Bloom-Be-Gone? Getting Your New Amaryllis Bulb to Bloom


“Amaryllis Christmas Gift.  The bulb sprouted multiple leaves but no flower bud. All other bulbs planted simultaneiously and cared for the same produced beautiful flowers. Is this normal? Thank you. Carol.”

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Amaryllis (Hippeastrum sp.) are a very beautiful and easy-to-grow flower to have in your house during the Christmas season.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that these are brand new bulbs that you have planted.  If not, the information will be valid for an older bulb that you have had.

The most likely condition is that the bulb is too immature to bloom yet. The way growers know it is time to sell a bulb to a customer is when the bulb has reached a particular size. This varies between varieties. However, if the grower has been taking very good care of the bulbs, it is possible that one here or there got a little bigger than normal and was sized out/sold too soon.

The other possibility (especially if this is one that you have had for some time now) is that it has had some type of stress occur and needs to rest for a year. I am not saying you did anything wrong to it — it’s just something that happens even when we take good care of our plants. For whatever reason, it may not have gotten enough light or fertilizer, and therefore opted to not have a bloom this year in order to save the reserves for itself.

No matter which option, the solution is the same. Continue to allow the bulb to grow, as what you do to it in the next few weeks will determine if it will bloom again.  (The same can be done for your other bulbs that did flower.  The only difference is that you will need to cut the old flowers from the stem after flowering, and when the stem starts to sag, cut it back to the top of the bulb. )

Continue to water and fertilize as normal until summer (at least 5-6 months) and allow the leaves to fully develop and grow. When the leaves begin to yellow, which normally occurs in the early fall, cut the leaves back to about 2 inches from the top of the bulb and remove the bulb from the soil. Clean the bulb and place it in a cool (40-50 deg. F), dark place such as the crisper of your refrigerator for a minimum of 6 weeks. Caution: Do not store amaryllis bulbs in a refrigerator that contains apples, this will sterilize the bulbs and prevent it from ever blooming again. Store the bulbs for a minimum of 6 weeks.   After 6 weeks you may remove bulbs whenever you would like to plant them. Plant bulbs 8 weeks before you would like them to bloom.

I hope this information helps you out. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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