As a winter-flowering bulbous flower, the amaryllis is somewhat sensitive when it comes to watering. Too little makes the plant weaken, too much leads to rot, and the wrong timing can even ruin the bloom. Here are some tips on how to water your amaryllis properly all year round.
Unlike classic houseplants, an amaryllis (Hippeastrum hybrid) is not watered evenly throughout the year, because as a bulbous flower it is extremely sensitive to watering. As a geophyte, the plant adjusts its life rhythm, which consists of a resting phase, flowering period and growth phase, according to the available water supply and temperature. Accordingly, when watering the amaryllis, some points, and especially the right timing, must be observed.
What to pay attention to when watering the amaryllis?
Amaryllis do not tolerate waterlogging. If the root begins to rot due to excessively wet soil, the plant is usually lost. So make sure that excess water in the pot can drain well and the bulb is not too wet. The easiest way to avoid wet planting soil is to water the amaryllis through a saucer rather than through the pot. Then the plant can draw the necessary wetness for itself. Any remaining water must then be poured away promptly. Alternatively, a drainage of expanded clay or gravel at the bottom of the pot is a good protection against waterlogging. After watering, check the planter regularly to ensure that no water accumulates in it.
How to water amaryllis in the flowering phase?
As a winter bloomer, the amaryllis delights with its magnificent bloom especially in the months of December and January. If you want to awaken an amaryllis bulb from its slumber in early winter, do so with a single, generous watering. Wait until the first sprouts appear at the top of the bulb before watering again. Then it’s time to move the amaryllis to its future location and start watering it regularly. In the beginning, the amount of watering will still be reduced, but as the plant grows, it will gradually need more water. Finally, during the flowering period, the plant should be watered sufficiently and regularly.
How to water amaryllis in the growth phase?
Once the blooming period of the amaryllis is over in spring, the plant enters its growth phase. This means that instead of a flower, the leaves are now growing to give the plant the energy it needs to bloom again. A regular water supply is the key here. In the period between March and July, the amaryllis is therefore watered as needed. For example, if the amaryllis is placed outdoors in a sheltered, warm spot for the summer, it will need to be watered somewhat more often than indoors. Fertilizer is also used now, which helps the plant develop leaf mass. Treat the amaryllis in the growth phase as a normal potted plant.
The dormancy of the amaryllis: stop watering
At the end of July, beginning of August, the amaryllis finally enters its resting phase. In preparation for this, the large green foliage leaves are retracted and the energy accumulated over the summer is stored in the bulb. This process begins as soon as you reduce watering. Very important to avoid mistakes in the care of amaryllis: Give the amaryllis less water at longer intervals starting in late July until you completely stop watering in late August. The leaves will then turn yellow and gradually fall off until only the large bulb remains. Now follows a rest period of at least five weeks, during which the plant should be cool, dry and dark. If you miss the rest period and continue to water the amaryllis as usual, no flower will develop. After the rest period is over, you should repot the bulb. A short fresh watering from the water jug will then bring the bulb back to life in November.