Caring For Amaryllis

Q: I have amaryllis in pots that I have tried unsuccessfully to force into bloom during the holidays. They all sprout prolific leaves and look healthy but no flowers appear. Are they just too old?

A: I think the bulbs are not getting enough solar energy during the year to form a bloom. Amaryllis can handle almost full sunshine. Rather than trying for a Christmas bloom, let your bulbs grow outside all summer long in pots and bring them indoors after the first light frost. Remove the leaves and store the pots for winter in a dark place with no water. Bring them outdoors when it’s warm enough to do so in April. Give them water and fertilizer. If they are happy, they will bloom in May. If they don’t flower, I would continue the outdoors/indoors/outdoors cycle until they do.