Culture of the amaryllis bulb

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Since an amaryllis bulb is a fairly common Christmas gift and not everyone who receives one knows how to care for it, I thought it might be appropriate to share a little information about its culture. I was reminded of the popularity of these plants a few days ago when I saw stacks of them in a local garden shop. And they are truly a gift that keeps on giving if they get the proper care from day one. Once well rooted in an outdoor flower bed, they will bloom each April or May for an extended period of time. Of course, if you are the recipient, you probably won’t get to choose the flower color, but they do come in red, pink and white should you be interested. 

Joe White is a retired horticulturist.

Typically, amaryllis bulbs are only available in the fall, but should not be planted until late spring next year. So, what about those you received as a Christmas gift? After removing them from the gift box, plant them in a clay pot that’s only slightly larger than the bulb, but large enough to put about an inch of soil between the bulb and the inner wall of the pot. Press the soil firmly until the surface is just up to the pot rim. Adjust planting depth of bulb until its neck and a little of the top of bulb shows just above the soil line.  



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