What do Poinsettias, Prepared Hyacinths, Paperwhite Daffodils and Amaryllis have in common? They are all great ways to decorate your home for the Holidays.
Amaryllis flowers come from a bulb, originally native to South America. In warmer climates, hardiness zones 9-11, they are a tender perennial. They will not survive outdoors in our area. They’re known by their botanical name Hippeastrum, which is derived from the Greek words for horse and star. In fact, in the Greek language, Amaryllis means ‘to sparkle’. Sparkle they do! In nature, they bloom outdoors in Spring and Summer, but we prepare them to bloom indoors for you, for the holidays.
They are low maintenance, easy to grow indoors and provide extremely attractive and reliable blooms. Amaryllis are extremely long lived. It can take up to 6 years for an immature bulb to reach flowering age and the bulb itself can live for up to 75 years. The older and larger the bulb, the more flowers it can produce. All of our bulbs are ready and able to bloom for you!
Flowers are predominantly available in shades of red, white, pink or orange. There are also unique varieties with stripes and or multiple colours. In fact, there are over 600 named, recognized varieties most of which are grown in Holland or South Africa and imported to Canada for the Holidays.
How To Grow Amaryllis
Newly purchased Amaryllis bulbs are usually extremely dry and benefit from soaking the roots in lukewarm water for a couple of hours. Afterwards, shake off the excess water and prepare your planting pot. The pot should be fairly heavy to prevent the tall stems from tipping over. A pot 1-2 inches wider than the bulb on all sides is ideal. We recommend using a lighter potting soil like Pro-Mix to allow for good drainage. Don’t use soil from the garden as it may have poor drainage or contain pests or disease. We recommend using fresh potting soil each year.
Also make sure the pot has a decent drainage hole. The bulbs will rot if left to sit in water. Spread the roots of the bulb into the soil and plant it pointy-side up with soil up to its neck. Pat down the soil firmly to set the bulb in place. 1/3 of the bulb should be visible above the soil
Position the bulb in a warm place in bright sunlight. Water occasionally until the stems and foliage appear. Water more regularly as the stem elongates and the flower bud begins to form. Turn the pot occasionally to keep the stem straight and strong. Taller varieties will benefit from a stake or a decorative Amaryllis support.
Flowers will develop when the stem is fully grown. This usually takes 6-8 weeks from planting. For Christmas blooms, this means potting up your Amaryllis blooms in late October through November depending on the variety.
Amaryllis flowers dislike intense sunlight. To prolong the blooms, keep the blooms out of direct sunlight. Bright, indirect light is best
Amaryllis are long lasting bulbs and can be made to rebloom the next year.
Once the flowers have finished blooming, cut away the spent blooms. Once the foliage begins to sag, cut it back 1-2 inches from the top of the bulb. Feed and water regularly. Once all chance of frost has passed, you can move your bulbs outdoors. Allow the leaves to fully develop and grow. As it does, it stores energy in the bulb which will also enlarge over the season. The bulbs will also reproduce by creating smaller bulbs called ‘offsets’ that can be separated from the mother bulb. These may take up to 6 years to reach a flowering size. Larger bulbs are also capable of producing more flowers so there is a benefit to keeping your Amaryllis going year after year.
In mid summer, reduce the amount of water the plant receives. Continue to reduce the watering and allow the soil to dry out completely by late Summer. By early Fall, the bulb will go dormant and the leaves will turn yellow. Cut the foliage back to about 2 inches from the top of the bulb. Remove the bulb from the soil and clean it gently so the roots do not get damaged. Store the bulb in a cool, frost free location. Someplace where the temperature stays between 4-10 degrees Celsius is good. If you’re going to use a refrigerator, do not store it near apples, as they give off a gas that can sterilize the bulb. Keep the bulb cool for a minimum of 4-6 weeks. At that point, you should be able to pot the bulb into fresh soil and enjoy the blooms again for the Holidays.
What's With The Waxed Amaryllis?
The hottest indoor holiday plant these days are Waxed Amaryllis. No muss, no fuss, just beautiful blooms. Everything the plant needs to grow is in the bulb itself. Simply put the bulb in a decorative display and enjoy until after it flowers.
2017 Amaryllis Varieties
We carry a fantastic variety of Amaryllis bulbs that are available instore or online in our webstore
A few varieties are already sold out and limited quantities are available on others. Hurry in for the best selection!
- Amaryllis ‘Cupid’
- Amaryllis ‘Elvas’
- Amaryllis ‘Comet’
- Amaryllis ‘Flamenco Queen’
- Amaryllis ‘Dancer’
- Amaryllis ‘Dasher’
- Amaryllis ‘Blitzen’
- Amaryllis ‘Prancer’
- Amaryllis ‘Apple Blossom’
- Amaryllis ‘Mount Blanc’
- Amaryllis ‘Nymph’
- Amaryllis ‘Red Lion’
- Amaryllis ‘Picotee’
- Amaryllis ‘Rudolph’
- Amaryllis ‘Red Lion’
- Amaryllis ‘ Vixen’