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Twice is nice

By: Garden Gate staff
Would you like the amaryllis you’re growing right now to bloom again next summer? And did you know spring-started amaryllis can bloom all summer and then again indoors in winter?

get your amaryllis to rebloom

There are two types of amaryllis bulbs; both have the same beautiful flowers. The bulbs you usually get during the holidays, called “Christmas bulbs,” take four to six weeks to bloom. “Dutch bulbs” usually have the largest flowers and bloom in eight to 12 weeks. Would you like that holiday amaryllis you’re growing right now to bloom again next summer? And did you know spring-started amaryllis can bloom all summer and then again indoors in winter? It takes a little planning, but no matter when you start, the process is the same. Here’s how to make it happen.

GET BLOOMING — Plant the largest bulb you can buy in all-purpose potting mix in a container that’s 1 1/2 to 2 in. wider than the diameter of the bulb. Let the top quarter of the bulb poke above the soil line. Water thoroughly and set in a sunny south-facing window. Once you see green, start watering every time the soil gets dry. You can also start fertilizing — Miracle-Gro® Bloom Buster ® 15-30-15 works well. You’ll get several bloom stalks, each lasting a week or two.

QUIET TIME — As flowers fade, pinch off spent blossoms and cut the flower stalks back at the base of the plant. Let the foliage continue to grow for eight weeks and keep watering and fertilizing normally. At this time, stop watering and move the pot to a cool, dark place (40 to 45 degrees) for another eight weeks and tip it on its side as a reminder not to water.

MORE BLOOMS — After the rest period, bring your amaryllis out and start over. Pull off the dead foliage and water. You may need to set the pot in a tub of water to rehydrate the dry soil. In several weeks you’ll get another flush of blooms. Though the flowers will probably be smaller than the first time, you can get several flushes of blooms over a couple of years from one bulb.

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