Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) are easy and rewarding indoor plants to grow.
Pot up amaryllis bulbs from October to February and the huge trumpet blooms will put on a magnificent show around eight weeks after planting.
There are many amaryllis varieties to choose from, from dwarf types reaching just 20cm, to towering 75cm tall specimens, all are grown in the same way. All parts of amaryllis are toxic to cats, so it’s best to grow them in areas they can’t reach.
Discover our top tips for growing amaryllis.
Use the right compost
From spidery cybisters to 75cm-tall giants, all amaryllis have the same requirements. They’re best suited to a rich, very well drained growing medium, in a warm, light spot. Provide this by incorporating grit or sand and leaf mould or well-rotted manure into multi-purpose compost.
Placing compost around an amaryllis bulb in a terracotta pot just bigger than the bulb
Sit the bulb tightly
Amaryllis perform best if sat tightly in their containers, so choose one that allows a couple of centimetres of compost around the bulb. Once in flower you might need to support the flower spikes with canes.
Amaryllis bulbs planted in terracotta pots just a few cm bigger than the bulbs
Stagger planting times
Amaryllis take six to eight weeks to bloom after planting. By staggering the planting, you can enjoy flowers right up to Easter by using the eight-week rule; just count back from the desired blooming period. If you want blooms for Christmas, plant in September.
Pink-edged and green-centered, cream amaryllis blooms
Old amaryllis bulbs
If you have an old amaryllis bulb or bulbs – don’t throw them away. Remove the faded flowers but let the stalk die back, as it will continue feeding the bulb. Stop feeding and watering when the leaves and stalk turn yellow. Keep the bulb in a cool, dry spot over summer, then cut back the foliage and start watering again in autumn.