Amaryllis Flowers You Can Grow

Red Pearl Amaryllis flower

Amaryllis in a vase filled with water to grow the flower

When placing the bulb in a water vase, make sure only the white roots are in the water, not the base of the bulb.

Around town most amaryllis bulbs are on sale. Being the end of the season these bulbs are still fine to force in bloom if they are not soft or rotten. The brightest flowers in our house in January are flowering amaryllis bulbs. I like to grow them in water, and here is how I do it. First, I find nice firm bulbs, and I make sure the top of the bulb has some green color. Once I get the bulb, I go to the base and remove all the roots except any white ones that are not shriveled up. Place the bulb in a vase filled with water making sure the water does not touch the base of the bulb, even if there are no white roots. From the image above you can see you want the base very close to the water, but if it touches the water it will rot. Remember, over time water will have to be added to the vase, as the water is absorbed by the bulb’s roots. Place the container (which in some cases may contain rock to support the bulb) in a sunny location for it to grow. Without good sunlight the flower stalk will get tall and leggy and will fall over if not staked, which is hard to do. Some bulbs will send up a flower stalk first, while others may have leaves and flower stalks. Now be patient and wait for the bloom stalk, which can take from a few days to several week before it appears. It is fun to watch the stalk grow and eventually bloom. Once the flower or flower stalks are finished blooming, remove them and plant the bulb, with its leaves, outside after freezing weather has passed.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

4 thoughts on “Amaryllis Flowers You Can Grow

  1. re: the rolling of the eyes… not at the idea but I could always mark my calendar from the time an article appeared in Southern Living to the slew of phone calls and visits we would receive. The conversation would typically begin “I did everything right and it’s not working”. We would ask the appropriate questions, discover the error and give advice on how to correct the problem.
    An added benefit of growing amaryllis in water is the beauty and structure of the roots and bulb.

  2. Good morning. The first time you told me your preferred method of growing amaryllis in water, I rolled my eyes. However, by once again providing excellent advice, many of us share your opinion. I always add warm NOT HOT water so the bulbs come along a little faster. These babies are tropical in nature so I coddle them just a tad.

    • Good advice. One thing I do I forgot to say is if the water gets cloud I empty it. I then refill it with fresh water in the container after it sits out over night and comes to room temperature.

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