Back in February I shared some tips for forcing bulbs – one of my favorite ways to bring Spring inside weeks before it’s actually here. Since then, I’ve been doing a little research to figure out the best method for restoring the bulbs for another force next year. Here’s what I’ve found is best…
After the amaryllis has stopped flowering, cut the old flowers from the stem, and when the stem starts to sag, cut it back to the top of the bulb.
To promote leaf growth and development continue to water and fertilize as normal all summer, or for at least 5-6 months, allowing the leaves to fully develop. When the leaves begin to yellow, which normally occurs in the early fall, cut the leaves back to about 2 inches from the top of the bulb and remove the bulb from the soil.
To store the bulbs, gently clean the bulb being ever so careful around the roots and place it in a cool (40-50 deg. F), dark place such as the crisper of your refrigerator for a minimum of 6 weeks. Do not store amaryllis bulbs in a refrigerator that contains apples, this will sterilize the bulbs.
After 6 weeks you may remove bulbs whenever you would like to plant them. Plant bulbs 8 weeks before you would like them to bloom.