How to Store Amaryllis Bulbs 2022 Comprehensive Guide

Amaryllis Bulbs

Amaryllis flowers (Hippeastrum spp.) are beloved for their big, bold shows of color indoors in midwinter when not much else may be blooming. They are typically grown as indoor plants, but they can survive outdoors in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 through 10.

Well-cared-for bulbs can continue to bloom for a long time after their blooms have faded. To learn everything there is to know about amaryllis bulb storage and general maintenance, keep reading.

About the Amaryllis Bulbs

The Amaryllis bulb has a healthy outer skin that resembles paper or paper that has dried out. The bulb was typically stored after harvest, which resulted in this outer covering. Everything is healthy and normal for the plant. At the base of the bulb, each variety of this plant has a sizable amount of roots. For a bloom in the early days of winter, make sure to choose an Amaryllis variety that is called “Christmas.” After being potted, the majority of the Dutch cultivars can take up to 12 weeks to bloom.

The name originates from the Greek word “Marissa,” which means “to sparkle,” a fitting moniker. Few things in life are breathtakingly gorgeous as a “Christmas-blooming” amaryllis.

“Early” amaryllis varieties that bloom from the holidays through The southern hemisphere usually experience growth in January. Some of them include:

  • Olaf
  • Minerva
  • Mandela
  • Magic Green
  • Ice Queen
  • Evergreen
  • Denver
  • Cherry Nymph
  • Charisma
  • Bolero

Other varieties begin blooming in the middle or late of the winter and keep blooming through March. These amaryllis varieties with later bloom times are typically imported from Holland.

  • White Nymph
  • Splash
  • Spartacus
  • Red Pearl
  • Red Lion
  • Nymph
  • Lagoon
  • Exotica
  • Double King
  • Christmas Gift
  • Apple Blossom

No matter which varieties you have, the process for storing your amaryllis bulbs after they bloom remains virtually the same.

What You Will Need to Store Amaryllis Bulbs

A cool, dry location is perhaps the most critical requirement when storing the bulbs. Fortunately, I have a basement in our country house that is just right for storing bulbs and tubers. If we didn’t have a basement, I suppose I would store things in my garage or a closet in a room that stays at a temperature of about 50 degrees. Later on in this post, I expand on that area. Here are items to round up for this project:

  • Clean the container to put the bulb in
  • wood chips/ shavings like pet bed liner material
  • brown paper bag
  • Plastic grocery bag

Amaryllis Bulb Storage Instructions

During their time of rest and recovery, amaryllis bulbs have specific requirements. Flowers usually wither by late winter, depending on the schedule you’ve trained them on. Follow these five simple steps for successful amaryllis bulb storage:

  1. Trim the Stalks Trim the stalks with a clean knife or well-sharpened gardening shears to 1 1/2 to 1 inch above the bulb. Wait before trimming the leaves to give the bulb time to photosynthesize (a sunny location is ideal).
  2. Keep the Soil Moist Water in the soil whenever it becomes nearly dry or whenever the soil dries out in the top 2 inches. You can move your plant outside if the temperature in the evenings stays above 50 °F and the pot has good drainage. (Take note: Unless your plant is protected from the elements and has drainage holes, you cannot place it outside. Rain can collect and clog the holes, rotting the bulb as it goes.)
  3. Feed It Fertilizer Weekly fertilization with a balanced indoor plant food will help the bulb develop the buds for the following year.
  4. Trim the Wilted Leaves Trim the leaves back to one or two inches above the bulb as they wilt and die. If it is underground, dig the bulb up with a small trowel. Maintain it in its pot if it is. Bring your amaryllis bulb inside in either case.
  5. Store in a Cool, Dry, Dark Place For eight to twelve weeks, keep your bulb cool, dry, and dark, ideally in your basement, an attached garage that isn’t heated, or the crisper of a refrigerator. Amaryllis bulbs should not be kept in a refrigerator with apples because the apples will sterilize the bulbs. Additionally, avoid giving the bulbs any fertilizer or water during this time.


True dormancy does not occur in amaryllis. Store them in soil rather than a bag or box, as many other bulbs do, to promote their continued growth and the replenishment of nutrients from new foliage.

Amaryllis Bulbs look like

What the Amaryllis Looks Like After Storage

A healthy amaryllis bulb that is ready to be planted when you take it out of storage should be yours if you follow the above-mentioned instructions. The extra layers of paper-like “skin” on bulbs are always present. I peel about two to three layers off of that. The bulb doesn’t get too dry most of the time when I can store it in my basement, which is kept at a comfortable 50°F. The bulb will begin to sprout a new bulb if it becomes too warm or dry.

The bulb in this image has a lot of skin, but I can still feel the bulb’s heart. Peel back a few of the layers and start planting without panicking.

When to Plant Amaryllis Bulbs and Induce Flowering

Reintroduce your amaryllis bulbs after at least eight weeks in storage. Transplant them in your garden about eight weeks before you want to see them bloom, most likely for the summer if you’re growing them outdoors. A good time is in late May.

A growing plant should be placed in a shaded area to harden off. After a few days, gradually introduce longer exposure times to direct sunlight for the amaryllis. It should be completely hardened off in seven to ten days (this is a good general rule of thumb for hardening off other plants and seedlings as well).

Pick a spot that gets some to all of the sun. Place the pot in the ground after creating a hole. If the weather or soil becomes dry, keep watering, and until the end of July, give it a balanced dose of 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer once or twice a month. Midway through September, bring the plant inside.


To keep your amaryllis plants safe from frost, store them off-season, indoors, potted in a pot slightly larger than the bulb,

Place the plant in a cool, mostly dark area in late September to encourage the closest state of dormancy conceivable. When the leaves start to turn brown, take the five steps listed above. Place it in a well-lit area with a constant temperature of 70 to 75 F after 8 to 10 weeks of storage. Keep the potting soil moist. Don’t let the ground remain soggy. (Replace it with a healthier bulb if the one you have rotted.)

Another choice is to place the plant in autumn in a well-lit area with a constant temperature of 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This might enable the amaryllis to survive as a green plant from autumn to midwinter. Move the plant to the warmer (70 to 75 F) location once the requirement of 8 to 10 weeks in a cool environment has been satisfied.

Another choice is to accelerate flowering so it happens before Christmas. This is possible if you move the plant into a warm, sunny area and begin watering it once more in early to mid-November. If necessary, remove the top two inches of loose soil and replace it with new soil by repotting or simply scraping it off.

When Amaryllis Starts Sprouting…


At least 6 to 8 weeks prior to when you want your Amaryllis to begin blooming, you must begin preparing.

You will start to see tiny sprouts that show that the plant is back to its alive form once they are back in its active environment and prepared to begin blooming.

To get the amaryllis accustomed to its new environment, you must move slowly. It won’t grow healthily and steadily before that.

Rushing the plant’s blooming process could harm it and stunt its growth.

After bringing the plant out of hibernation, alternately place it in a cool and sunny area.

Avoid subjecting your amaryllis to excessive sunlight too soon.

Before putting it outside, keep it indoors with indirect light for a few days.

Additionally, you would need to monitor how much time you spend leaving the plant in the sun.

Your plant will soon begin to sprout newer leaves and buds if it is kept in the right conditions.

When to Repot Your Amaryllis

Repotting a plant is based on the plant’s growth and whether it requires a different pot or not.

The Amaryllis is a plant that doesn’t develop into a large size too quickly.

Initially, you might need to use a smaller pot before repotting it into a larger one.

When you believe your plant has grown sufficiently that it will not fit into its smaller pot, start looking for a bigger, more sturdy pot.

You must keep in mind that the container you choose needs to have a stable, heavy base and enough space at the bottom for the roots to spread out freely.

Smaller bases in pots will lead to intertwined roots, which can stunt a plant’s growth and make it wilt.

Put your Amaryllis in the appropriate pot once you’ve found it.

Before planting your Amaryllis in the pot, make sure the soil is loose and well-draining.

Start your regular routine of taking care of the plant as usual once you’ve moved it into the new pot.


Can You Store Amaryllis Bulbs in the Refrigerator?

Do not store amaryllis bulbs in a refrigerator that contains apples, this will sterilize the bulbs. For at least six weeks, keep the bulbs in storage.

Should I Cut the Long Leaves Off My Amaryllis?

The plant’s leaves must remain attached. The leaves will help recharge the bulb by engaging in photosynthesis. To grow a new flower the following year, the plant needs the energy that is stored in the bulb. Your plant will become weaker if you remove the leaves.

Conclusion: Keep Your Amaryllis Bulbs Healthy

Make sure to store your amaryllis bulbs in a way that will keep them healthy, even when they are dormant.

To learn more about the conditions your plant should be kept in, do some research before you start storing amaryllis.

Learn about various techniques and ways to keep your plant safe while it is dormant.

Make sure you carefully revive it when you’re ready to.

Negative environmental factors could cause your amaryllis to wilt and die if you are not careful.

In general, all you need to do to have a long-lasting amaryllis plant that remains vibrant and beautiful all year is to do good research and adhere to the instructions as closely as you can.