Now is the perfect time to prepare amaryllis bulbs to enjoy during the winter months. By planting amaryllis bulbs now, you can enjoy fresh blossoms throughout the holiday season.

Of all flowering bulbs, amaryllis is among the easiest of bulbs to bring to blossom. By starting amaryllis bulbs now, in your home, you will enjoy a blossoming period in approximately seven to 10 weeks.

When it comes to planting amaryllis bulbs, start with a fresh, healthy bulb. Prior to potting, submerge the base and roots of the amaryllis bulb in lukewarm water for a few hours. Plant in nutritious potting compost.

While being careful not to damage the roots, plant the bulb up to its neck in the potting compost. Press the soil down firmly to set the bulb securely in place.

Store unpotted bulbs at cool temperatures, approximately 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once potted, place the bulb in a warm location in direct sunlight. Natural heat is necessary for the development of the rich green broad stems.

Water the plant sparingly until the stem appears. As the bud and leaves appear, gradually water more. At this point, the stem will grow rapidly.

Flowers will develop once the plant has reached its full growth potential.

Amaryllis bulbs generally flower in seven to 10 weeks time after potting. To achieve continuous bloom over the holidays, plant a variety of bulbs at two-week intervals for a stunning showcase of colour in your home.

An amaryllis bulb can be brought to blossom time and time again, making it a popular plant to be enjoyed throughout the year.

Once the amaryllis has finished flowering, it can be forced to re-flower. When the stem starts to naturally wilt, cut it back to the top of the bulb. Continue to water and fertilize as normal, for at least five to six months, allowing the leaves to fully develop and grow.

When the leaves begin to yellow, cut the leaves back to about five centimetres from the top of the bulb and remove the bulb from the soil. Clean the bulb and place it in a cool dark place, such as the crisper of your refrigerator (away from apples that may cause sterilization of the bulb), for a minimum of six weeks.

After this dormancy period, you may remove bulbs and transplant into your favourite container.

This fall, try potting a few amaryllis bulbs in your home. Stage plantings to allow for beautiful blossoms at various times throughout the winter months.

The abundant flowers in a vibrant array of colours and combinations is a natural feast for the eyes. With a little effort, this stunning plant will re-flower throughout the year bringing a multitude of joy with each new blossom.

Shari Morash is a gardening enthusiast and an accredited designer. She is the owner and founder of Northern Elegance. Contact her at shari.morash@gmail.com.

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