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AMARYLLIS CARE

The Christmas-flowering amaryllis (Hippeastrum) is a prolific and long-lived bulb that will produce its showy trumpets year after year with a minimal amount of care.

After the blossoms wither, cut the flower stem 1 inch above the base. Treat as a house plant, providing regular watering feeding and plenty of light. They may be summered out doors, initially in summered and gradually moving them into full sunlight. "Plant" the pots in a flower bed to help retain moisture.

For Christmas blooms next year, place the pots on their sides in late September. Do not water. In November remove the old foliage, replace the top inch or- two of potting soil. The bulbs like to be crowded and should have about an inch all the way around between the bulb and the pot. Thoroughly water and then wait until growth.

The new flower bud and stem will emerge and bloom in three to eight weeks. Water sparingly it first, increasing the amount as the stem elongates. Sunlight is essential during the growing stage. Rotate the pot to encourage straight stems. Water generously during blooming,, And remove from direct Sunlight to prolong the life of the bloom.

Depending on the bulb size, there will be one to three stems. Each bulb will provide several weeks of spectacular color, making amaryllis an economical and elegant addition to the, home and garden.

Betty Summers, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas AgriLife Extension Service


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