How do you get Hippeastrum to flower again?

Answered by Robert Flynn

To encourage hippeastrum, also known as amaryllis, to flower again, it is important to provide them with a period of rest during autumn. This rest period allows the plant to recharge and prepare for another round of blooming. Here are some specific steps you can take to help your hippeastrum flower again:

1. Timing: In mid-October, it is ideal to start preparing your hippeastrum for its rest period. This timing may vary slightly depending on your location and the specific cultivar of hippeastrum you have.

2. Light: Position your plant in the brightest spot possible. Hippeastrum requires plenty of light to store energy for future flowering. Placing it near a south-facing window or under grow lights can help provide adequate light during its rest period.

3. Temperature: It is crucial to maintain a consistent temperature range between 10°C and 13°C (50°F and 55°F) during the plant’s rest period. This cooler temperature signals to the hippeastrum that it is time to enter dormancy. Avoid exposing the plant to extreme temperature fluctuations, drafts, or direct heat sources.

4. Watering: Once the hippeastrum enters its rest period, you should gradually reduce watering. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings, but do not let it completely dry out. Overwatering during this time can lead to bulb rot, so it’s essential to strike a balance.

5. Fertilization: During the rest period, it is unnecessary to fertilize your hippeastrum. The plant will not actively grow, so it does not require additional nutrients. Save fertilization for when the plant starts showing signs of new growth.

6. Pruning: As the leaves of your hippeastrum turn yellow and wither, you can trim them back. This helps the plant conserve energy and focus on the bulb’s development. Be careful not to damage the bulb while pruning.

7. Storage: If you prefer, you can remove the hippeastrum bulb from its pot and store it in a cool, dry place during its rest period. However, this step is optional as long as you can maintain the desired temperature and light conditions in its current location.

8. Duration: The rest period for hippeastrum typically lasts around 8-12 weeks. During this time, it is normal for the plant to appear dormant or even lose its leaves. This is part of its natural cycle and should not cause concern.

9. After the rest period: Once the rest period is over, gradually reintroduce the hippeastrum to warmer temperatures and increase watering. Place the plant in a slightly warmer location where it can receive more light. You should start to see new growth emerging from the bulb within a few weeks.

10. Care after flowering: After your hippeastrum blooms, continue to care for it by providing adequate light, water, and occasional fertilization. This will help the plant store energy and prepare for future flowering cycles.

Remember, each hippeastrum bulb is unique, and factors such as cultivar, age, and overall health can influence its ability to flower again. By following these general guidelines and providing the necessary rest period, you can increase the chances of your hippeastrum producing beautiful blooms for years to come.