Gardening | 24 November 2015How to Grow an Amaryllis Indoors Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Of all the plants we use to deck our halls during the holidays, the amaryllis is the one that you can keep going year after year. This pretty bulb takes six to ten weeks to bloom (depending on the variety), which means it’s the perfect winter flower for giving (hello, holiday gifts) and admiring in the New Year (hello, colorful blooms amidst the bleak midwinter). Planting and growing your own amaryllis is easy, thanks to George Weigel’s guide in Mid-Atlantic Month-by-Month Gardening. Amaryllis (and paperwhite narcissus bulbs) will root and bloom without a chill period: just pot and water them to start growth, and start some every few weeks to spread out the flowering over winter. *** It’s important to know that despite its beauty, the amaryllis is toxic to dogs and cats. The ASPCA has a list of plants that are toxic to pets which describes both why the plant is toxic and how it affects animals. If you have a very curious pet who likes to “investigate” house plants, skip the amaryllis and opt for different holiday décor. Amaryllis “Minerva.” Photo credit: Dwight Sipler Amaryllis bulb Photo credit: Mid-Atlantic Month-by-Month Gardening How to Grow Amaryllis Bulbs Indoors Set the bulb, pointed end up, in a pot nearly filled with potting mix. Plant so that half of the bulb is above the soil line. Firm potting mix around the bulb and water. Move the pot to a cool, bright location (60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal), and keep the soil damp but never soggy. Turn the pot regularly as the leaves and then the flower stalks emerge. This produces more even, balanced growth. Blooms should occur in six to ten weeks. After flowers fade, cut off the flower stakes at the base. Treat it as a houseplant the rest of winter—watering when the soil goes dry, displaying it next to a sunny window, and fertilizing monthly with a balanced houseplant fertilizer, diluted bulb fertilizer, or flower fertilizer (10-10-10). *If you don’t plan to keep your amaryllis, toss the bulb when the flower show ends. In May, after the danger of frost is past, gradually acclimate the plant to the outside over seven to ten days, then either continue to grow it as a potted plant outside or plant it in the ground over summer. Fertilize monthly. Stop watering and fertilizing in late August. In early September, move the pot back inside and let foliage die back. Or dig up the bulb and store it bare and dry. Cut off foliage when it browns. After about eight weeks, repot in fresh potting mix and begin watering again for a new cycle. ————————————————- About Mid-Atlantic Month-by-Month Gardening: The only guide with month-by-month advice about caring for your Mid-Atlantic garden. If you liked Mid-Altantic Getting Started Garden Guide, Mid-Atlantic Month-by-Month Gardening should be the next addition to your bookcase! This is the perfect book for beginning to intermediate gardeners and home landscapers living in the Mid-Atlantic (including the states of Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington, DC). Mid-Atlantic Month-by-Month Gardening gives you the when-to and how-to for growing, caring for, and maintaining your garden and all types of plants. All of the information you need is given in a chronological, straightforward way. From January to December, each month has specific advice on what should be done in your garden. Step-by-step photographs give you the confidence to make your garden as unique as your Mid-Atlantic home. Author George Weigel is a garden writer, designer, and speaker, a Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist, and–as his balding, plant-killing brother likes to put it-a “Certified Gardening Wacko.” He is your guide to the garden, with specific when-to and how-to content to give Mid-Atlantic gardeners the tools to be successful. About the Author: George Weigel is a garden writer, garden designer, garden speaker, Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist, and–as his balding, plant-killing brother likes to put it–a “Certified Gardening Wacko.” In central Pennsylvania, George is best known for his Over the Garden Fence columns that have appeared weekly in the Patriot-News, Harrisburg’s newspaper, since 1993. The Garden Writers Association named George’s column as one of America’s five best garden columns in 2008. His articles have also appeared in such magazines as Horticulture, People, Places and Plants, Green Scene, Pennsylvania Gardener, and Central PA Magazine. When he’s not writing, George spends his time operating his own garden-design and consulting business for DIYers, leads garden-themed tours, gives frequent lectures, and is a member of the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society’s Gold Medal Plant Award committee. George is the author of Cool Springs Press’ Pennsylvania Getting Started Garden Guide (2014). Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.