Forcing Amaryllis Bulbs for the Indoor Winter Color - from Blue Bells and Cockle ShellsIt is the time of year when even the most stalwart of gardens have gone to sleep for the season. So, unless you live in a very mild climate, it’s unlikely that you are seeing any flowers in your garden right now. That doesn’t mean that you can’t bring some flowers inside to enjoy. A wonderful choice of flowers to have indoors during the winter is the amaryllis. I’m not sure when amaryllis plants became a holiday season plant, but I just learned about them a couple of years ago. Last year was the first year that Sola and I grew one. This year, we bought new bulbs, but I am hoping to take things a step further and forcing these bulbs to bloom again next year and hopefully, for many years to come. Forcing Amaryllis Bulbs for the Indoor Winter Color - from Blue Bells and Cockle ShellsForcing bulbs is a somewhat complicated process, but you don’t need to go through all of that to enjoy a lovely amaryllis plant this holiday season. Many nurseries sell amaryllis bubs and I have noticed that even grocery stores are selling amaryllis kits this year. If you get a kit, it will come with directions and a pot, but otherwise, all you need is an amaryllis bulb, some potting soil, and a pot that is 1-2” larger than your bulb (some amaryllis bulbs can be quite large, so don’t buy your pot until you buy your bulb). To plant the amaryllis:

  • Fill your pot with about 1” of soil
  • Place the bulb into your pot with the roots facing downwards and the pointy tip facing upwards
  • Cover the bulb with soil, filling your pot, leaving the tip of the bulb exposed
  • Keep your bulb in a warm location, which provides 6-8 hours per day of exposure to indirect sunlight
  • Water your plant once a week or frequently enough just to keep the soil slightly moist
  • Your bulb already has stored all the nutrients it needs to bloom, so if you are not going to try to force your bulb again next year, you do not need to feed your plant (this site has a good post about forcing amaryllis bulbs)
  • If the flowers appear to be too large for their stalks, stake the plant by tying it to a stick or other tall, slender object

Forcing Amaryllis Bulbs for the Indoor Winter Color - from Blue Bells and Cockle Shells

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