The blooms are gone from the amaryllis, and you’re trying to decide what to do with it now. The floppy leaves aren’t particularly attractive, but the plant is still alive and you aren’t really ready to toss it in the dumpster. Maybe the following information will help you decide to make the effort to get it to rebloom next year.
While you’re deciding, snip off the flower stalk to the nose of the bulb and give the plant a bit of water. Put the pot in the coolest part of the house, in a place out of direct sun, but where it will still get plenty of light. Treat it like you would any other houseplant, not over-watering but keeping the soil moist. Depending on the humidity where you live, a once a week watering should be enough.
When the weather warms up you can put the pot out in the garden in a shady spot. Bring it in if temperatures drop. The amaryllis is a tropical bulb plant and won’t tolerate the cold.
During the 5 month period that the amaryllis is living among your other plants without too much attention, the bulb is taking in nourishment and growing. While the average bulb you buy from the retailer has a circumference of about 8 inches and produces one flower stalk, larger bulbs can produce 2 flower stalks. Two to six flowers will bloom on each stalk. Maybe the little bit of extra effort is worth twice the blooms after all.
Now comes the hard part. I find this the most fun. Decide when you want the amaryllis to bloom again. You can choose Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day or anytime in between. An even later date can be picked if you want to use the bulb for another special occasion.
Grab the calendar and count back 9 week. Circle the date. Count back 7 weeks from that. Circle the date. Count back 5 weeks. Circle the date. This last date is the day you should start reducing the amount of water you give the plant, until after 3 weeks, the plant is getting no water at all. Let the leaves of the plant die back naturally and then put the plant in a dark, dry place that will keep a temperature of about 50 to 60 degrees F.
Check the calendar. There should be a circled date that coincides with this action. That means you’re right on schedule.
In about 6 to 8 weeks there should be another circled date on the calendar. This means that the bulb has rested long enough and can be brought out into the light and watered. Be careful to just moisten the soil. Don’t water the amaryllis bulb.
In 7 to 10 weeks the amaryllis should bloom, hopefully just in time for that special occasion.
By now you should have decided whether to toss the bulb when the beautiful blooms are spent.