I have grown a beautiful Amarylis, you know, the kind you buy at Walmart for $5, it grows, it blooms, it falls over, it dies.

This time I took special care to move it as the wind would, everyday, (just like they do in the zoo), to produce a stronger sturdier stem. That did great, except it’s still too top heavy for that little pot. Does anyone know why they have to be in little pots like that? I once planted one in a larger pot, and it didn’t grow at all.

NOW, for the hard part. I know to let the flower die off naturally, so the nutrients go back into the bulb. No problem. But I have yet to get one of these to bloom again. I’ve gotten them to come out of dormancy and have green leaves again, just no blooms.

What am I doing wrong? And if I plant it outside in the spring, will it bloom outdoors?

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What is the climate zone for Amarylis? Anyone know? They grow outside down here just fine and cope with really hot weather as well as fairly cool (that is ‘cool’ by Australian standards…)

Often bulbs will not absorb enough nutrients when grown in a pot to produce a flower for the next year. I have found that bulbs planted out from pots and left in the ground have flowered in the subsequent year. Be careful not to let the bulb flower set seed, as it will rob the bulb of nutrients as the bulb directs most of its’ energy into its’ “baby”.

There are a couple of ways you can keep the pot from tipping over – bury it in the soil, or put the pot into a bigger pot and pack it in with potting mix or garden soil. I have seen Amarylis flower spikes held up using one of those thin bamboo stakes with a loop of rigid string at the top. It allows the flower to move about but not topple over. They are lovely plants and hard to resist. You might also try a regime or fertilizing through the growing period. Alternate 2 or 3 different soluable fertilizers, like a seaweed based one, a fish-meal based one and a ‘complete’ one. I have used this method successfully with Ixias bulbs, fertilizing every week with a slightly weaker solution than recommended. The bulbs have flowered every year without fail, but these are tiny bulbs, and very tough.

You may also consider that flowering bulbs are a source of income for Walmart and may be designed to fail, so that you buy a new bulb next year. Try buying the bulbs when they are not in bloom and planting them into pots yourself. That way, you can put them in a bigger pot, with a bamboo stake ready to hold the blooms. When they flower in splendid style you can go into Walmart and make rude gestures at all the inferior plants and tell eveyone in a loud voice how YOUR bulbs look so much better!