Plant Clinic

Make a statement with a bed of amaryllis

 

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Hunsberger


dade@ifas.ufl.edu

Q. How do you grow amaryllis after it finishes blooming? Can I grow it in my yard?

T.A., Overtown

Amaryllis grow well outdoors in South Florida and a whole bed in bloom can be stunning.

Plant your amaryllis in a sunny to partially shady location. One-third to one-half of the bulb should be above ground. Water newly planted amaryllis and keep them moist but not waterlogged until the plants are well-established. Once established, they are very drought-tolerant.

Over time, the original bulb will produce daughter bulbs and these can be planted elsewhere if desired. Or let the bulbs multiply to eventually create a bed of the same color flowers. Remove dead blooms before seeds are produced. If not, flowering the following season will be greatly reduced.

Amaryllis can be used as a foundation planting against nearby evergreen shrubbery. Bright colors should be used against dark house colors and shrubbery; dark flower colors display best against white or light backgrounds. Other uses for amaryllis include plantings in driveway islands, near a gate entrance and in walkway borders.

When purchasing an amaryllis bulb, keep in mind that the larger the bulb, the larger the flowers. And Dutch hybrids have the largest flowers. Amaryllis (Hippeastrum x hybridum) is native to South Africa and belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family.

Adrian Hunsberger is an entomologist/horticulturist with the UF/IFAS Miami-Dade Extension office. Write to Plant Clinic, 18710 SW 288th St., Homestead, FL 33030; e-mail aghu@ifas.ufl.edu.

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