Amaryllis – When to Bring Inside

Q: My amaryllis bulbs are growing well outside. Should I bring them inside now or wait for the yellow leaves like other bulbs?

A: If you want to keep the bulbs fully protected and plant them outdoors next spring, bring them indoors, remove the leaves and store in a cool spot. If you want to force them to bloom for the holidays, you’ve waited too late for the flowers to occur by late December.

The process of forcing amaryllis to bloom out of season is begun in September. You’d remove the leaves and allow the bulb to dry for two months. In early November you would put them in a warm window and water with half strength houseplant fertilizer. Amaryllis bulbs you buy now at stores have been prepared so they will bloom a few weeks after purchase.

In my opinion the blooms of a home forced amaryllis are never as big as those from a garden center. I think you’d be better off to let your bulbs bloom normally in the garden in May.

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