The brilliant flowers of the elegant Amaryllis demand attention and look striking, but when it comes to growing them it’s pretty easy … all you have to do is plant and water them, then sit back, smile and wait. With their eye-catching trumpet-shaped flowers and vibrant colours, they make for stunning additions to any indoor or outdoor container garden.

Begin with selecting a suitable container, not plastic. Choose ceramic as ceramic pots are heavier and will support your Amaryllis when it is in bloom. Amaryllis love growing in small containers, so select a pot only about 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the bulb you’ve chosen and deep enough to accommodate root growth, say around 7 inches. Amaryllis bulbs require well-draining soil, so opt for a pot with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging and plant the bulbs so that one third is visible above the soil line.

Amaryllis can be categorized into single-flowered or double-flowered varieties. Single-flowered types have a classic, elegant look, while double-flowered types have multiple layers of petals, creating a fuller appearance. When choosing an Amaryllis bulb, look for plump, firm bulbs with no signs of mould or rot. Larger bulbs generally produce more robust flowers. Amaryllis bulbs are available in various shades of red, white, pink, white orange and even multicoloured varieties with intricate patterns and stripes; so pick one that suits your taste. They have names too … so ask for the popular Amaryllis cultivars at your local garden centre.

Fill the container with a well-draining potting mix, leaving enough space for the bulb to sit comfortably below the rim of the pot. Place the Amaryllis bulb in the centre of the container with the pointed end facing up. Let the roots hang down into the pot while you use a spade to pour soil in around them. Remove any air pockets around the roots, be gentle, by patting down the soil firmly, make sure the bulb is snug. Ensure that at least one-third of the bulb remains above the soil surface.

Water the newly planted Amaryllis thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain out; water it only when the potting mix is completely dry to a depth of at least an inch or more. Use lukewarm water but remember to pour it around the bulb and not on the actual bulb. Only keep the soil slightly moist and if you have a saucer under your pot, tip out the excess water.

Place the container in a location with bright, indirect sunlight. Amaryllis thrive in partial to full sun, so a spot near a sunny window is ideal or morning sun and dapple shade outside.

Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again. Fertilise your Amaryllis with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 2-4 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer) and as the plant grows, provide support for the tall flower stalks by using stakes to prevent them from toppling over

If your plant with its long stems and flowerheads falls over, maybe it’s not getting enough light or it’s getting too much water or perhaps it’s too cold where it is. Next cycle you can rectify these problems easily – place it in a sunnier place, don’t overwater and rotate the pot for even light.

Snails and slugs, as well as the black and yellow amaryllis caterpillar or lily borer love these plants. The lily borer eats the leaves and bores down into the bulb. I try to avoid anything chemical in the garden so you can handpick and destroy these unwelcome visitors, just throw them in salty water. If you notice Red blotches on the leaves caused by fungi known as Stagonospora curtisii, cut off the affected parts of the leaf as soon as you see it.

You can encourage your Amaryllis bulbs to rebloom with proper care.

After the flowers have faded, remove the spent flower stalk but leave the foliage intact. Continue to water and fertilize the plant.
Dormancy: In late summer or early autumn, stop watering and allow the plant to go dormant. This will allow the bulb to store energy for the next blooming cycle. Store the container in a cool, dark place (around 50-55°F or 10-13°C) for 8-10 weeks. During this time, the leaves will wither, and the bulb will rest.
Restart the cycle: After the dormancy period, bring the container back into a well-lit area, resume watering, and watch for new growth. Your Amaryllis should produce new flower stalks within a few weeks.
Northern Hemisphere? Southern Hemisphere?
Amaryllis can be grown successfully in both northern and southern hemispheres, but there are some key differences to consider.

In the northern hemisphere (North America and Europe), Amaryllis bulbs are often forced to bloom indoors during the winter months. They can be planted in containers as early as October to enjoy their vibrant blooms during the holiday season.

In the southern hemisphere,(South Africa, South America, Australia) Amaryllis bulbs can be planted outdoors in spring (September to November) to bloom in late spring or early summer.

Growing Amaryllis in containers is a rewarding experience that can brighten up any indoor or outdoor space. Just knowing that you can enjoy the beauty of Amaryllis blooms year after year, choose from a wide array of colours, names, and types to suit your taste is a delight for gardeners. They are ‘generously beautiful’ plants and the payback of growing them is huge … here’s hoping you will grow at least one!

P S Amaryllis is poisonous to pets and humans, they are beautiful but not edible!

What do you want your Container Garden to do?

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