Amaryllis: The Holiday Plant Gift that Keeps on Giving!
There is an Amaryllis for everyone!
During the holidays, you may start to see large red and white potted, lily-like flowers flocking storefronts and on kitchen counters at family gatherings. These flowers are the Amaryllis, a sub-tropical bulb native to South Africa (and some specialty varieties native to South America). And though they are usually used as one-time seasonal show-stoppers, here in North Florida they can be utilized after the holiday season as a colorful landscape accent.
Amaryllis are easy-to-grow bulbs that not only make a good holiday gift, but can be utilized in the landscape to provide blooms for years to come. Amaryllis are hardy in zones 9-11, but can overwinter in zone 8 with some frost protection.
These plants come in a plethora of color options, such as red, pink and orange, and even vibrant green. There are double blooming varieties and varieties with long, strapy petals.
Initial Potting & Care
When you first purchase your Amaryllis bulb, we recommend planting it in a snug container with a well-draining potting mix. If your container of choice does not have a drainage hole, plant the bulb in a plastic pot that fits inside of your decorative container. Plant the bulb so that the “neck” and the top inch of the bulb sits above the soil line. Once planted, water it in and wait for the flower to grow! Typically, Amaryllis will bloom within six weeks after being planted from a ready-to-bloom bulb. This time can vary greatly based on variety, amount of light exposure and the temperature. Water whenever the soil is dry to the touch.
What to Do When Your Amaryllis is Done Blooming
Once your Amaryllis are done blooming, sometime before the end of January, simply plant them in the landscape in full sun and well-draining soil. Fertilize two or three times in the growing season (March-September) with a balanced fertilizer with micronutrients. As plants naturalize to our Florida climate, they will reliably bloom every year in March-April. Cut the flower stalks once they are done blooming, to ensure bountiful flowering next year.
Some of Our Favorite Varieties
This article was written by Kaelin Kane, Tallahassee Nurseries Garden Showplace Manager & FNGLA Florida Certified Horticulture Professional.