Waking Up the Amaryllis

* If you were on top of it and put your pots of amaryllis into dry, dark storage sometime back in late August or early September, they can be pulled out now and revived. If you were not so on top of it, file this away until it has been 2 to 3 months since you DID do the dry dark deal, the goal of which is to make them think it’s winter in South America.
Amaryllis don’t like root disturbance, so it’s better not to divide them, but they can’t bloom well if they’re choked, either. Take a deep breath, make a decision, then split apart any bulb clusters so fat they’re bursting out of the pot.

It also pays to remove the pups; just cut them off at the soil line unless you want to start an amaryllis farm. Refresh the pots: discard the top inch or so of old soil, loosen what’s underneath with a fork, then put on an inch of new soilless mix like pro-mix.

Water well – just water, don’t add any fertilizer – and put in a warm, bright spot. Then wait, resisting the impulse to water again, either until you see signs of growth or a month has passed, whichever comes first. The accepted rule is that any bulb that made 5 leaves or more last season will be strong enough to flower this time around, but as far as I can tell from my ever-growing 15 year old herd of amaryllis, this rule is complete hooey. Pixies tell amaryllis when and whether to flower, so there’s no point in getting too het up about it.

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