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How to Grow Amaryllis Step by Step – Guide

Native to southern Africa, Central, and South America, amaryllis is a herbaceous, perennial, bulbous plant that belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family. Learn all about how to grow amaryllis.

The name Amaryllis means “to kindle” in the Greek language, and each of its species is beautiful and elegant. It requires patience to see it bloom and special care for this to happen successfully.

Called St. Michael’s lily, pink lily, mother-in-law, and daughter-in-law, and St. Francis flower, this plant has a unique, exotic, and beautiful appearance, making it the perfect candidate to adorn your home.

Description of the Amaryllis

Amaryllis belladonna, as it is also called, reaches 16″ to 20″ (40 to 50 cm) in height. It has green, flat, long, narrow, and accentuated leaves, which appear after flowering.

These leaves of the amaryllis flower can measure from 4″ to 24″ (10 to 60 cm) long and each plant has 3 to 7 leaves of 0.4″ to 2″ (1 to 5 cm) wide.

Its stem is hollow and erect, 20″ to 24″ (50 to 60 cm) high and 0.4″ to 1.2″ (1 to 3 cm) in diameter. The base is thick so it supports several flowers. Many times the weight makes you have to tie it to prevent it from bending.

Amaryllis Flowers

Amaryllis lilies have trumpet-shaped flowers with six petals and prominent stamens. They are borne on a long stem in groups of three or five.

Amaryllis flowers are white, red, pink, orange, or bicolor. They open beautifully during the winter and can last until spring.

Each one of them can measure between 4″ and 8″ (10 and 20 cm) wide. It flowers every year, as long as they find the perfect conditions.

Each of its flowers has a beautiful coloration and perfect size that makes them recognizable. It is a plant that can be forced to bloom, that is why it is commonly used as decoration in December because it combines perfectly with the colors that distinguish Christmas.

amaryllis flower

Growing Amaryllis

Clear and warm places are perfect for the health of the plant, and in the hot season like in summer, it is always good to expose it to the open air, so that it can keep cool without receiving direct sunlight.

How to Grow Amaryllis

When planting amaryllis bulbs you should leave part of the outside. It would be perfect if one-third of this bulb is above the substrate.

It depends on how you care for the amaryllis plant so that within three years of planting you will have the most robust plant with beautiful flowers. Nurture it with the right fertilizer from the beginning of its growth, so that you help the plant to store nutrients for when the cold weather arrives.

You can remove the bulblets that grow around the main bulb and plant them separately. The garden substrate is ideal for growing in pots as well as directly in the soil; it allows them to grow at the perfect temperature and with a separation of up to 3″ (8 cm), they will look very natural.

how to grow amaryllis step by step

Amaryllis Care

Spring is the perfect time to grow Amaryllis. If you choose to grow in a pot, the pot should be narrow and deep. In case you plant it in the soil of your garden, you should cover the buds of the plant with straw.

To protect it from the cold, prepare a mulch of straw, leaf litter, or ferns and this will be sufficient for its protection. Perhaps it has to do that its place of origin is Africa so that this plant does not resist the cold. Any frost, no matter how light, can kill it.

Ideally, the climate should be no lower than 59°F (15ºC), less than that is to run the risk of losing all the planting work.

How to Grow Amaryllis – Sun Exposure

Light is very important for this beautiful decorative flowering plant. Whether we are talking about indoor or outdoor amaryllis in the house, in its first stage it is important to keep it in the shade and then, when the buds have appeared, they can be in a semi-shade or a well-lit place, but not fully in the sun.

How to Grow Amaryllis – Watering

In the beginning, it is enough to keep the substrate humid, however, as it grows you will have to increase the amount of water so that the plant has enough strength in its growth and development. The ideal is to water two or three times a week in the warm months, and once in the colder months.

How to Grow Amaryllis – Fertilizing

Just when the amaryllis is flowering is the ideal time to add chemical fertilizer. The soil should be rich in nutrients: it is a good idea to plant in compost made from manure, as the nutrients remain longer in the substrate, but you can also apply liquid fertilizer twice a month when the plant is in full bloom.

Espoma Organic Bulb-tone 3-5-3 Natural & Organic Fertilizer and Plant Food for all Spring and Fall Bulbs. 4 lb. Bag. Use for Planting & Feeding to Promote Vibrant Blooms
  • FOR USE ON: Use Bulb-tone organic fertilizer for all Fall bulbs like tulips, daffodils, crocus & hyacinths and on Spring bulbs like gladioli and lilies
  • CONTAINS: Bulb-tone is a rich blend of the finest natural & organic ingredients enhanced with our exclusive Bio-tone formula; 3-5-3 Fertilizer analysis with 6% Calcium. Bulb-tone is environmentally Safe - No sludges or toxic ingredients
  • WHEN / HOW TO USE: Best to use Bulb-tone fertilizer when planting or feeding post bloom on spring flowering bulbs; place directly in the planting hole for new bulbs and sprinkle on the soil surface for established plants then water thoroughly. Bulb-tone is ready to use and requires no mixing


Mites, aphids, snails, slugs, mealy bugs, among other pests, are some of the most common pests. It is very important to constantly check for them to detect them in time and take the respective measures.

It is also convenient to pay attention to the excess of water during watering the amaryllis plants, they usually suffer from rotting at the bulb level when the drainage is not correct.

How to Propagate Amaryllis

Amaryllis belladonna reproduces by bulb division after flowering. In warm, humid climates the foliage can be kept all year round, but in our climate, this is quite rare.

So once flowering is over, every four to six years, after the fall bloom, we can remove them and separate them from the main bulb, these small bulbs should be planted immediately.

It is also possible to grow them from seed, but it is a long and tedious process, they can take 3 to 5 years to give their first bloom.

how to propagate amaryllis

Conservation of Amaryllis

Amaryllis bulbs can last for years, as long as you provide the proper care. The flower itself may last three to six weeks.

To keep your amaryllis for years, keep these tips in mind:

  • When the stem and flowers fade, cut them off at ground level.
  • Water at the right times so that the plants keep their reserves.
  • Always keep them in a bright place.
  • Once the leaves are looking dry and limp, it is just the right time to give them their annual rest.
  • In theory, it is not necessary to lift the Amaryllis bulbs once flowering is over, let them rest until the following year. Every four to six years we can get new bulbs to plant.

Where to Buy Amaryllis Bulbs?

If you are interested in buying Amaryllis bulbs, at certain times of the year they are easy to find in nurseries, but if you can’t find them in your area you can always buy Amaryllis bulbs on Amazon:

Amaryllis Kit: Minerva + Plastic Pot/Soil/Bulb - Large Bulb 26/28 cm -Netherland
Amaryllis Kit: Minerva + Plastic Pot/Soil/Bulb - Large Bulb 26/28 cm -Netherland
Amaryllis Kit: Minerva + Plastic Pot/Soil/Bulb - Large Bulb 26/28 cm -Netherland; 000744501979
Amaryllis Apple Blossom Holiday Gift Growing Kit. Includes: Big Apple Blossom Bulb, plastic pot and saucer, and Professional Growing Medium
Amaryllis Apple Blossom Holiday Gift Growing Kit. Includes: Big Apple Blossom Bulb, plastic pot and saucer, and Professional Growing Medium
Zone 1-10 indoors, will bloom 6-10 weeks after planting in a sunny spot indoors.; Bulb Size 26-28

We hope that this article on how to grow amaryllis will be of great use to you. We recommend our article about How to Store Tulip Bulbs Step by Step.

where to buy amaryllis bulbs

About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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