This post is a friendly step-by-step reminder about what to do with your amaryllis bulbs if you want to save them for next year. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to share some of the not so friendly comments my post on waxing Amaryllis has elicited over the years.
Who knew, who ever would have guessed that the most controversial, rage inducing post I have ever produced would be a post on a flower.
If you've followed me for a while you know as soon as they came out several years ago, I deconstructed a waxed amaryllis bulb and taught you how to make one yourself.
I was very excited about doing so, because that is how I get enjoyment out of my life. By ripping things apart and putting them back together. And then encouraging other people to do the same so we're all in a mess.
The thing about waxing amaryllis bulbs is that you have to cut off much of the basal plate, which is the thing that holds all the brains of the operation. You get rid of that, and you lobotomize the amaryllis, making it unlikely to grow ever again.
It was this point that caused some very, very strong responses from people who had stumbled onto the post from the far reaches of the Internet. I'll get to those once I've taught you how to SAVE your amaryllis bulbs.
How to Save Amaryllis Bulbs
For replanting a waxed bulb follow these steps.
- After your amaryllis has bloomed and the blooms have finished, cut the bloom stalks off, but leave the leaves on the plant.
- Scrape the wax off of the bulb.
- Plant it in soil and continue to care for it like any other house plant. Keep watering to a minimum and make sure the soil is very well draining- you don't want to rot the bulb.
- Once spring weather arrives (no more frost) put the potted amaryllis outside for the summer, taking care of it as necessary. Amaryllis plants need little water so don't overwater them.
- If you don't want to have to worry about watering it all summer, you can transplant the amaryllis plant straight in the garden as well.
- Dig it up September 1st, cut off the leaves and a lot of the roots (leave 3-4" of roots).
- Place bulb in a paper bag and store in the coolest room you have to dry out and go dormant for at least 8 weeks but no more than 12 weeks.
- On November 1st, (after 8 weeks) pull the bags out of storage and replant them in a small pot. You can use soil, but planting amaryllis in rocks like this is the best way to go to guarantee you won't rot the bulb.
- They'll rebloom in 6-8 weeks .
If you're working with an Amaryllis that hasn't been waxed, the steps are all the same other than scraping off the wax.
NOW, if you don't want to do any of this you can just toss your bulb in the compost pile or bin once it's finished. It'll decompose in no time. This is the point that drove certain people into an absolute frenzy.
THIS innocuous post on waxing Amaryllis bulbs has elicited some of the most entertaining comments I've ever had on my blog.
Gems like this:
"Go on keep adding the ignorant to your followings… keep hurting the creatures that give you life. You who only care about you ego and popularity… you who are truly uncaring to anything but your own species. No one cares about plants in this modern government brainwashed world… I do though… but no one will listen. You say I’m insane but the that’s what the government does. If someone accesses taboo but important info they are labeled as insane. We are all being lied to… plants are like you and me… the entire world has been scammed and desensitized to their anguish…"
"I am a sucker for a plant and my heart sank when I finished reading this. Needless to say I will not be trying this selfish self-serving idea."
"Your all cowards for ignoring what you would feel if you accepted that these plants which can live as long as you if properly cared for, felt excruciating agony when you cut into their head. The bulb is like the amaryllis’ head. Your basically cutting off the top of its head with part of its brain and sealing a wound with hot wax. Your basically committing plant scaphism!!! Not that you would care all people like you care about is fashion and money. What kind of sick person exploits a living being this way? Do you truly care that little about your fellow life forms. Would you do this to an animal If it was legal? I’m sure you would just so long as the screaming was not audible. You really should treat plants better because without them as we will soon be we’d be dead!!! Plants and trees feel pain like us animals it’s been proven it’s just the corrupt rulers want to keep it hidden because billions are made torturing plants trees and even animals!!! You should do a little research before mutilating a creation that could live as long as you!!!
"Why on earth would you want to take a perfectly healthy bulb and kill it? If you plant it in soil and a nice pot it will live and rebloom for years, even longer, 20 years plus, if planted in the ground. The wax and root removal mean one season only and then trash. Shame on you."
And this comment compares me to a superstar:
"I agree completely (with the others.) Don't listen to the others (who kill bulbs) as they appear to not be real gardeners, otherwise they would not want to kill the bulb. Just goes to show you what a toss away society we have become. I am one of the editors of a garden blog and we were all quite surprised by this woman's nonchalant, almost condescending misguided boost. She reminds me of a Kardashian."
This guy nailed it. How do you argue with someone who sees the real you?
And finally -
"I just think we should be more kind to nature". It's hard to argue with that.
But I will.
Where does everyone think the bulbs that don't sell go? Are they transported to the world Amaryllis support team to be resuscitated and rehabilitated?
They are not. It's not their purpose. Their purpose is to bring a jolt of joy and lift your mood during one of the most depressing times of the year. I know this because I feel like that is my purpose as well.
The bring a jolt of joy and lift your mood - just like a Kardashian is supposed to.