Amaryllis 2.0

I’ve been getting Amaryllis bulbs over Thanksgiving weekend for the last seven or eight years, and am always happy for the blooms to shine through the Christmas holidays. This year, for the first time, though, a friend mentioned that I should force it to rebloom throughout the year. Honestly, it never occurred to me to force Amaryllis bulbs.

I’m a great gardener, and keep summer flowers rooted in water through the winter months. So I trimmed the spent stem of December’s bloom on New Year’s Day … and I’m excited to report that my new bloom is within days of opening. I’m going to keep it like an experiment this year and see if I can get it to bloom two or three more times. Easter will be my next goal, then Halloween, and then again at Christmas.

The theory is the same with any flowering bulb or houseplant: once it’s stopped blooming, trim the stem back so the plant isn’t wasting any energy trying to keep it alive; place it in a dark room for six or seven weeks without watering it; then bring it back out into the sunshine, and water and fertilize it. Crossing my fingers for a successful experiment!

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