Indoor amaryllis: varieties, planting and care

Presentation of the amaryllis

The flowers commonly called amaryllis belong to two genera: Hippeastrum and Amaryllis. The first is grown indoors because it hates the cold, it is the indoor amaryllis flowering in winter. The second is the garden amaryllis, Amaryllis belladonna, which is grown outdoors and is hardy in areas with mild winters.

Indoor amaryllis produces leaves that all start from the bulb, ribbon-like and leathery, flaring out as they grow. They reach between 30 and 50 cm long and grow quite slowly, just after the appearance of the flower stalk which is very thick, rigid, and rises straight up, higher than the foliage.

This floral stem bears 2 to 4 flowers at the top, sometimes 6, opening into large trumpets. Depending on the variety, the flowers are single or double. Often, a second and a third flower stalk appear and grow lower than the previous one.

With giant single or double corolla flowers, this bulb from the tropical regions of South America creates a surprise when it blooms, so spectacular it is. Grown only indoors, the amaryllis brightens up our winters.

Make an amaryllis bulb bloom

Flowering indoor amaryllis blooms about a month and a half after planting, or if the bulb is already in a pot after the flowering stem bud appears. It lasts several months in a row, between 3 and 4 months during which the flowers open in a staggered fashion, but end up forming a superb bouquet when they are all open.

Very large, the bulb is impressive by its diameter oscillating between 20 and 35 cm in diameter. The largest produce 3 flower stalks, the smallest only one. Indoor amaryllis has a long lifespan exceeding 10 years under good growing conditions.

Varieties of indoor amaryllis

The genus Hippeastrum has given rise to many indoor varieties offering various colors: from pure white to scarlet red, passing through yellow or pink.

Amaryllis “Red Lion”

Indoor amaryllis: varieties, planting and care
Variety Amaryllis “Red Lion”

The “Red Lion” amaryllis is 50 cm high, its flowers have a funnel shape and deliver a delicate fragrance. You can admire its thick green leaves once the flowers have faded.

Each flower stalk bears 3 to 4 large red flowers.

Amaryllis “Minerva”

Indoor amaryllis: varieties, planting and care
Variety Amaryllis “Minerva”

Amaryllis “Minerva” is 50 cm tall and can reach 90 cm when fully grown.

Its simple red flowers with a white heart are very bright.

Amaryllis “Apple Blossom”

Indoor amaryllis: varieties, planting and care
Variety Amaryllis “Apple Blossom”

Amaryllis “Apple Blossom” can reach 50 cm in height.

Its single, wide-open flowers are soft pink with a white center, streaked with darker pink. The flowering of this amaryllis is very elegant and will bring softness to your interior.

Amaryllis “Ludwing Dazzler”

Variety Amaryllis “Ludwing Dazzler”

This amaryllis measures 60 cm in height.

During flowering, you can admire the simple flowers of pure white with a pale green heart. This perennial flowering plant reproduces its cycle for several years.

Amaryllis “Butterfly”

Variety Amaryllis “butterfly”

Like most amaryllis, the “butterfly” variety is 50 cm tall.

The “butterfly” amaryllis is recognizable by its simple pale yellow flowers streaked with burgundy.

Amaryllis “Lady Jane”

Variety Amaryllis “Lady Jane”

The “Lady Jane” amaryllis can measure up to 50 cm in height.

This flowering plant offers beautiful double flowers with slender petals, pink-streaked with white.

Planting indoor amaryllis

Where to plant amaryllis?

Exposure

Place the pot in a very bright place, but without the scorching sun. Exposure to the morning sun near a window is ideal. The flowers last longer when the heat of the rays does not reach them once opened. But to thrive, they need plenty of light, warmth, and partial sun exposure.

Temperature

This amaryllis flower is only grown indoors, as it should be kept above 8°C when dormant and above 16°C when flowering, ideally 18-20°C.

When to plant amaryllis?

Indoor amaryllis is planted from October to January for winter flowering. By planting several bulbs 15 days or a month apart, flowering is obtained from the beginning of December to the end of April. When you buy bulbs early in the season, you can store them for several days or weeks in a dry, cool, and dark place. But don’t keep them out of the ground too long or they will lose vigor and dry out.

How to plant amaryllis?

This amaryllis (Hippeastrum) is only grown in pots: choose a pot with a diameter just larger than the size of the bulb. Bury the bulb only half or two-thirds of its way up. A good potting soil is sufficient.

Amaryllis care

Watering the amaryllis

Water weekly when the flower spike and foliage grow, then every other day when the plant is in flower. The potting soil must not dry out, but the residual water must be emptied to avoid stagnant humidity which can lead to the rotting of the roots and then the bulb.

Reduce the frequency of watering the amaryllis at the end of flowering then stop when the foliage is dry. The bulb must remain dry during its resting period.

Fertilization

Adding liquid fertilizer to the irrigation water allows the bulb to better replenish its reserves after flowering. Make this contribution every 15 days in the irrigation water between April and June, before the foliage dries out completely. Once it is dry, fertilizer inputs are unnecessary.

Repotting the amaryllis each year at the end of the rest period renews the soil and therefore the nutrients in the substrate.

Winter protection

The indoor amaryllis can stay on the balcony or on the terrace from mid-spring, making sure that it does not suffer the last frosts of May and until October. When temperatures drop below 10°C, it should be indoors to avoid cold damage. Amaryllis is not hardy in our climates.

Amaryllis pruning

Carefully remove faded amaryllis flowers without touching others. When the flowers are completely faded, let the flower stalk dry before cutting it flush with the bulb. If another stem has appeared, you can cut the first one more quickly.

Also, let the leaves dry before cutting them so that the bulb replenishes its reserves. If some turn yellow during vegetation, remove them once dry.

Propagate amaryllis

After 3 to 4 years, the amaryllis bulb produces adjacent bulbs on its own, which can be separated and repotted in other pots. It is then necessary to maintain the same watering cycle and temperature and light conditions.

Attacks and diseases of amaryllis

Pests do not usually attack indoor amaryllis. If a few aphids appear on young leaves, remove them with a damp cloth and spray the foliage regularly.

Excessive watering and especially residual water stagnating in the saucer can cause gray rot. Change the soil, make sure to bury the bulb only halfway, and apply a biological fungicide to the bulb before replanting it. If the disease is too advanced, the bulb should be discarded.

Make an indoor amaryllis bloom again

When the bulb does not bloom again, there are several possible causes: either it has remained out of the ground for too long, it will bloom again the following year if you keep it in its pot. Either it was affected by frost or rot before planting (case of soft bulbs). There is nothing to do in this case.

The most common reason is a lack of a cold period before flowering. This period is actually useful for the bulb to be ready to flower after its rest period. To make the amaryllis bloom again for sure, place the bulbs in the cold (vegetable drawer in the fridge) for a few days before repotting, or place the pot outside for several days in October before bringing it indoors.

Question / answer

The leaves of my amaryllis are white. What should I do?

The explanation for white leaves is the essential sign of a lack of light, a lack of chlorophyll production (this is why endives are grown in the dark to obtain white leaves). Our advice, expose your amaryllis to light and the leaves will quickly turn green, flowering will certainly be earlier.