So you sent your Amaryllis to summer camp (your backyard or patio) where they were fertilized and watered and had a wonderful time. Now, like all returning campers, they have come home with dirty laundry (weeds) and are in need a good rest. Most people have heard that it’s good to give these bulbs a cool respite before bringing them into flower again, but they may not realize that a new pot and fresh soil is also beneficial.
If your Amaryllis has been in a small pot since you bought it, or the same pot for a couple of years, it’s a good idea to repot the bulb when you bring it in for it’s period of R&R. Only when it comes to plants, the second “R” stands for rejuvenation not relaxation. Here’s what’s needed:
A clay pot that’s at least 2″ larger than the bulb on all sides. Why so large? Because if your Amaryllis is healthy and growing, it will start putting out newer, smaller bulbs to the side. My policy is to let these develop and give the plant a larger pot to accommodate that growth – within a few years I have a plant that produces several blooming stems instead of just one. Spectacular!
You’ll also want fresh potting mix, a time-release fertilizer and an organic fertilizer. Why two fertilizers? Because by using a small amount of each you’ll get nutrients to that bulb through the winter and even into the spring, without thinking about it again until next summer. I use about a tablespoon of the organic fertilizer and two teaspoons of the time-release per pot, mixing them both in with the potting soil.
Don’t put any rocks or shards or other debris in the bottom of your pots. (For more information about this order a copy of my book, Coffee for Roses!)
Take the bulb out of the old pot, pull off the weeds that may have seeded around the bulb over the summer, and gently pull off some of the old soil from around the bottom most roots. (Remove any shards or rocks that you might have put in the bottom of the pots before you knew better.) Repot the bulbs so that about 1/3 of the bulb is sticking up above the surface of the potting mix. Water the pots to settle things in, and place them in a cool but not freezing location for about 4 to 6 weeks or until you see some new growth poking up. After the cool, resting period, be sure to place the pot in a warm, sunny location to stimulate new flowers.