Amaryllis – Needs Light to Bloom

Q: For the past two holiday seasons I’ve received amaryllis bulbs. After the two bloomed last January, I cut off the stems and placed them in a metal cabinet in the garage. I brought them back inside about early November and have seen very long green leaves grow but no flowers.

A: Keeping them all summer in the cabinet is the problem. All blooming plants have to absorb light energy through their leaves after blooming, to prepare for the next year’s bloom cycle. For success with this year’s bulbs, when all of the blooms have faded, cut the bloom stalk off at soil level. Allow the leaves to remain on the plant and keep it in a sunny window until May. An amaryllis can be planted outdoors in the ground or in a pot for the summer. Plant so that an inch of the bulb neck is above the soil. Next September, dig the bulb, cut off the foliage, and keep it dry until November. With a bit of water and warmth added then, you may be rewarded with spectacular blooms next Christmas.

amaryllis