Predicting exactly when a plant will flower can be a tricky business. Just ask anyone who has tried to coordinate a wedding with the weekend their peonies will be in bloom!
It's difficult to be sure when an amaryllis bulb will flower. Just looking at the bulb there's no way to know when it's getting ready to sprout. And once they do start growing, some bulbs come into flower more quickly than others. But there are actually some clues to this mystery that can help you plan for the best possible results.
Amaryllis bulbs that are grown in the southern hemisphere (Brazil, Peru, South Africa), typically flower from November through December. These are usually known as "early" or "Christmas blooming" amaryllis. Bulbs that are grown in Holland bloom later, usually starting in January and continuing through March.
Like most bulbs, amaryllis go through a dormancy period that lasts between 3 and 6 months. During this time, the plants finish developing their flowers, using energy they stored during the growing season. Natural dormancy periods vary, which is why some varieties of amaryllis bloom before others.
When considering the lists below, note that some varieties of amaryllis are grown in both the northern and southern hemisphere. If you want to purchase bulbs that will bloom in November or December, make sure they were grown in the southern hemisphere.
Another factor that impacts bloom time is when you plant the bulb. As a general rule, the sooner you put an amaryllis bulb in moist soil and give it light and warmth, the sooner it will wake up and start growing. But you'll also find that as the winter progresses, the bulbs are more eager to bloom and will come into flower more quickly.
If you purchase a number of amaryllis bulbs, you can extend their bloom times by not planting the bulbs all at once. Store the dormant bulbs in a cool, dry, dark place until you are ready to pot them up. Allow 6 to 10 weeks from planting to the first flowers.
Ready to Go
How do you know when an amaryllis is starting to wake up? The first sign of growth will be the tip of a bud or a leaf peeking out from the middle of the bulb. If the bulb hasn’t already been potted up, do it now and then move the pot into a bright room that’s approximately 65-70°F. Water sparingly. Once the bulb sprouts and is in active growth, you can expect flowers in 3 to 4 weeks.