Caring For Amaryllis Grown In Water: Learn About Growing Amaryllis In Water

Did you know that amaryllis will grow happily in water? It’s true, and with suitable care of amaryllis in water, the plant will even bloom abundantly. Of course, the bulbs cannot remain in this environment long term, but it’s a great way to enjoy the showy flowers over winter when all else looks dreary. Want to learn more about amaryllis bulbs grown in water? Read on.

Amaryllis Bulbs and Water

Although most amaryllis bulbs are forced indoors using soil, they can also be easily rooted and grown in water too. The main thing to keep in mind when growing amaryllis in water is not to let the bulb itself come in contact with the water, as this will promote rot.

So how then is it done, you ask. With the use of a jar specifically designed for forcing bulbs in water, you’ll be amazed at just how easy it is to force an amaryllis in water. While there are specialized kits available that make this endeavor easier, it’s not necessary.

All you need is an amaryllis bulb, a vase or jar slightly larger than the bulb, some gravel or pebbles, and water. In some instances, the gravel stones aren’t even needed, but I feel it looks more attractive.

Growing Amaryllis in Water

Once you have everything you need, it’s time to place your bulb in the vase. Begin by adding the gravels, pebbles or decorative stones. Depending on the type of jar used, this may be about 4 inches (10 cm.) deep, or 2/3 – 3/4 of the way full. Some people also like to add aquarium charcoal to the gravels, which helps to prevent odors.

Prepare your bulb by trimming off any dry, brown roots. You want the roots of amaryllis bulbs in water to be fleshy and white. Now place the bulb root side down on the gravel medium, pushing it slightly into them but leaving the top third of the bulb exposed.

Add water to about an inch below the base of the bulb. This is important. The base of the bulb and roots should be the only parts touching the water; otherwise, rotting of the bulb will occur.

Amaryllis in Water Care

The care of amaryllis in water begins after planting.

  • Place your jar in a sunny windowsill.
  • Maintain temps of at least 60-75 degrees F. (15-23 C.), as the bulb depends on the warmth to help with sprouting.
  • Keep an eye on the water level, checking daily, and add as needed – changing the water once a week is preferable.

Within a few weeks to a month or so, you should begin noticing a small shoot emerging from the top of your amaryllis bulb. You should also see more root growth within the gravels.

Rotate the vase as you would for any houseplant to promote even growth. If all goes well and it receives plenty of light, your amaryllis plant should eventually bloom. Once the flowers fade, however, you’ll need to either transplant the amaryllis to soil for continual growth or you have the option of tossing it out.

Amaryllis grown in water doesn’t always perform as well as those grown in soil, but it’s still a worthwhile project. That being said, if you do decide to continue growing your amaryllis plant, it may take a couple of years before it reblooms.

How to Grow Amaryllis Bulbs in Water

Amaryllis bulbs produce large and showy flowers. Gardeners often plant amaryllis bulbs in containers in the autumn to force blooms over the winter when flowers are in short supply. Amaryllis grows and blooms easily in soil it also blooms readily when potted in water.

Place approximately 4 inches of river stones in a glass container 8 inches wide and 12 inches tall.

Examine the amaryllis bulb to find any roots extending from the bottom that are brown and dry. Cut off these roots without disturbing the white healthy roots.

Set the bulb on the river stones with the roots facing down. Add river stones around the sides of the bulb until only the upper 1/3 of the bulb is uncovered.

  • Amaryllis bulbs produce large and showy flowers.
  • Examine the amaryllis bulb to find any roots extending from the bottom that are brown and dry.

Add water to the container until the water level is 1 inch below the top of the amaryllis bulb. Do not submerge the amaryllis bulb--this will cause decay.

Place the container in a location that receives direct sunlight and stays at a temperature between 70 and 80 degrees F. Replenish the water every day as it evaporates so that it stays at the same level.

Watch for an amaryllis shoot to emerge in two to eight weeks. When the amaryllis blooms, rotate the container 90 degrees every day or two so that the bloom grows straight.

Discard the bulb when the blossoms wilt. Amaryllis bulbs grown in water do not generally grow well in subsequent plantings.

  • Add water to the container until the water level is 1 inch below the top of the amaryllis bulb.
  • When the amaryllis blooms, rotate the container 90 degrees every day or two so that the bloom grows straight.

Amaryllis Care: Easy Indoor Care Tips

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In this amaryllis care article, you will learn some important background facts about the amaryllis plant, how to care for amaryllis plants indoors, some of the best species to buy and some trouble shooting tips.

Amaryllis [ pronounced a · mr · i · luhs ] is a genus of the sub-tribe Amaryllidinae. This small genus is characterized by flowering bulbs.

One of its species, the Amaryllis belladonna, originates from the Western Cape area in South Africa. Others are native to Peru.

This elegant bulbous plant has bulbs that grow between 2 and 4 inches in diameter. Its foliage is consisted of strap-shaped green leaves that can grow between 12 and 20 inches in length and 1 and 2 inches in width.

The amaryllis bulb has leafless stems that bear clusters of 2 to 12 flowers at the top-they’re shaped like funnels. Each of them has 6 tepals and their usual color is white with crimson red veins however, purple or pink can also occur.

It’s not too demanding to take care of and the amaryllis flowers are really beautiful and rewarding, so it’s not uncommon to see it growing indoors. It needs good soil, proper watering, and sufficient bright, but indirect light to thrive.

A good choice is a support stake so that the blooms go upright. It’s one of the holiday favorites thanks to its fragrant and stunning bloom.

It blooms in winter around Christmas or Valentine’s Day. They’re really amazing when they blossom in the colder, greyer months.

You can find them in November and December in grocery stores, flower shops, gift shops, etc. either bare or planted.

In many stores, they’re sold with pot, bulb, and soil, making them an ideal gift idea too. In addition to good looks, the amaryllis also has some air-purifying properties to offer.

Amaryllis Meaning:

The word amarysso is Greek and it means ‘to sparkle’. The bulbs were brought in Europe back in the 1700s. Today, most amaryllis plants are hybrids.

Important to know:

Make sure you put them away from the reach of children and pets such as cats and dogs-the plant’s leaves and flowers are toxic!

How to Care for Amaryllis Plants

An amaryllis plant can tolerate sun and shade well however, they usually do better in a between atmosphere.

For example- a partial shade. On the other hand, excessive sunlight can burn the foliage whereas too much shade will reduce the flowering.


To ensure the bulb establishes roots quickly, place it in an area of your home with warm and nice temperature, 68 degrees F or higher.

The plant tends to bloom even better afterwards. Although it can do in lower temperatures than this, it won’t thrive as much.

Once the buds and leaves have sprouted and the plant is growing faster, you can move it in an area where there’s a lower temperature.

This is good for its overall sustainability and in this way, you can enjoy its blooming a little longer.

Water & Humidity

After planting the bulbs, water it thoroughly and place the plant in a bright and warm area.

Until new growth appears, water it sparingly. After new growth appears, make sure to water it more regularly.

The plant will do well in most indoor areas with normal humidity still, in case of too dry air in your home, pebbles and a tray with water may be a smart choice.

This bulb loves to grow in a soil that drains well. One way to boost the drainage is to create raised beds or add some organic matter such as compost or peat.

Amended soil is also nutritious and will give amaryllis the nutrients they need to grow healthy and happy.

Fertilize your amaryllis every month with a liquid houseplant balanced fertilizer. Do it according to the instructions on the label for best outcome.

This plant will do the best when it’s slightly root-bound. So, you should only repot it when the bulb is too close to the container’s edge. It’s best to do it before the bloom season, i.e. in early fall.

Choose a pot which will give the bulbs about an inch of space to each side.

When it’s repotting time, take out the bulb and cut off roots if necessary. Set the bulbs in water, up to the roots and leave it for 12 hours to speed up the process of blooming.

Then, plant it in the new amaryllis pot and leave 1/3 of the bulb free of soil. Keep on watering it and tending to it as it grows and soon enough, you’ll spot winter blooms.


Amaryllis can be propagated in 4 ways, that is, through seeds, offsets and bulb cuts, and tissue culture.

Propagating them through seeds is doable, but expect between 3 and 5 years before you see flowers.

The offsets should be dug out and divided when the foliage dies in autumn. Divide the bulbs and choose firmer and at least one third-size of the mother bulb. Replant the offsets as soon as you can.

If you choose to do it through cuts, do it in midsummer and fall. Go with bulbs that are at least 6 inches in diameter. Cut them vertically into several pieces and ensure each section has at least 2 scales.

The last method, although it’s common on a commercial scale, at home, there’s little chance to make it as you need experience and proper equipment.

Best Amaryllis Species

Santos Amaryllis

This is a beautiful and pleasant variety with candy-striped flowers and orange-red markings.

Minerva Amaryllis

This is one of the most impressive amaryllis-it has large, red flowers adorned with a white star shape and a light green throat.

Red Nymph Amaryllis

This exclusive hybrid boasts big red double bloom flowers-they’ll make a statement in winter with their dark red color against the white snow outside.

Other Amaryllis Indoor Care Tips

To encourage blooming indoors during winter, move the bulb to a sunny window with at least 4 hours of direct sun exposure.

Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. When the buds begin to form and show color, move them away from the window to a shadier location.

Amaryllis is a sub-tropical plant and does enjoy warmth- this is why it’s never a bad idea to place it close or above your heater, especially in the first weeks after you plant the bulb.

When growth is established, you can move it away to a less warm temperature. After its flowers fade, cut off the stems.

Keep on watering and feeding the plant, but reduce the watering. Leave the bulb to rest and store it in paper bag in a dry area for at least 60 days before you plant it in fresh soil, around 6 weeks before you want it to bloom.

Trouble Shooting- Common Issues

Problem: reddish or brown spots on the bulb

Cause: Fungal disease.

Solution: The best treatment is prevention to lower the incidence-use sterile potting soil and avoid wetting the foliage when watering the plant.

You can also use an appropriate fungicide.

Problem: poor flower growth

Cause: Too much watering before top growth begins, a soil low in nutrients, inadequate area or underwatering.

Solution: Try to resolve the problem through a process of elimination- reduce the watering, use a soil that’s nutrient-rich, place it in the right area or water it on a regular schedule.

Problem: wilted or deformed foliage after being kept outside

Cause: Outdoor insects, probably the narcissus bulb fly went into the soil and then into the bulb.

Solution: It’s best to destroy and take out that bulb from your collection.

I hope you’ve found this amaryllis care article interesting and useful.

If so, then why not Pin it on Pinterest!

Tips for Growing Amaryllis

Position your amaryllis on or near a north-facing windowsill. 10-20 degrees centigrade (50-68 Fahrenheit) is ideal.

How to Care for a Blooming Amaryllis

  • The flower bud often appears before the leaves. Once you see the bud you can start being a little more generous with the water.
  • When the leaves start to appear, you should add a liquid feed to the water, such as Miracle-Gro, once a week. This is an essential step if you want your amaryllis to flower again the next year. The bulb takes up the nutrients from the food, the leaves photosynthesise and any energy not needed for growing this year’s flower is stored in the bulb to make next year’s flower.
  • When the flower stem has reached full height, move the amaryllis to its flowering position. It can have pride of place somewhere you will enjoy it most.
  • For the relatively short time that the flower is out, it doesn’t matter if the amaryllis is kept well away from the light, so you can use it to brighten up a dull corner of a room.
  • The flowers will last longer in a cooler room and if they are kept away from any radiators.

How to Care for a Wilting Amaryllis

  • When the flower wilts, you can cut it off at the base of the stem.
  • Move the amaryllis back to the north-facing windowsill.
  • Continue adding a liquid feed to the water once a week until the leaves start to turn yellow. Then stop watering altogether for two months whilst the plant has a rest. You can move it away from the windowsill again if you want it out of the way, but I leave mine there.

After two months, start to water it sparingly again. All being well, you will soon have another flower from your amaryllis bulb. Don’t despair if it doesn’t flower the second time around it just means the bulb didn’t store enough energy. Feed it regularly once the leaves show, and it will reward you with flowers the year after.

When Does Amaryllis Bloom?

The normal blooming time is March to early June. Even if you got your amaryllis as a Christmas gift, don’t expect it to naturally flower at Christmas again—growers specially prepare the bulbs to do that. Changing your watering and fertilizing schedule can make an amaryllis more likely to bloom at Christmas time.

Amaryllis Flowers Brighten Up a Dull Corner

Amaryllis on the Rocks: Growing Hippeastrum in Water

I recently decided to try growing an amaryllis (Hippeastrum) in water. I was so happy with my first attempt that I began preparing a new bulb every two to three weeks. With nothing more than a glass container, a bulb and a few stones, big beautiful blooms can be yours with a minimum of muss and fuss.

For years I maintained a large collection of amaryllis bulbs in the time-honored method by potting up the same specimens year after year. Despite the rewards of their flowers, I eventually grew tired of the chore of replanting so many behemoth bulbs. I also ran out of space to store the plants during their long (and not particularly attractive) slide into dormancy.

On a trip to the local home store last November, an amaryllis set in a bed of decorative stones inside a clear glass container drew my attention. I was struck by the appeal of the fat brown bulb itself. Viewing its big white roots through the clear glass felt a bit like having a view of life underground.

Reproducing the look was simple, and I’ve enjoyed experimenting with containers of varying shapes and stones of different colors and sizes. By using my own containers, shopping for amaryllis on sale, and recycling the decorative stones as I start new bulbs, I’ve kept the cost under $5 each time. Besides being inexpensive, this method couldn’t be easier, and also makes a great gift.

Here’s what you’ll need:

• a clear glass container with an opening wide enough to accommodate the bulb and your hand

• aquarium charcoal (optional)

• a loose, dormant (or barely emerging) amaryllis bulb

If you’re like me, you already have some large glass vases or other clear containers gathering dust. If not, check out your favorite discount store or resale shop. Wash the container in warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly.

I purchased packets of stones, uniform in size and color, from the floral section of the craft store. You could also use marbles. Rinsing the stones thoroughly will help keep the water you pour over them fresh and clean-looking.

Dormant amaryllis bulbs ready for do-it-yourself planting are widely available beginning in the late fall. You can often find them at reduced prices after January 1. If you find a good buy and purchase several bulbs at once, you may wish to stagger their starting times. If so, you can keep the bulbs from breaking dormancy by placing them in a dark, dry, cool spot (not the refrigerator) until you're ready to plant.

1. Place stones in the bottom of the glass container to a depth of about 3 or 4 inches. Add some aquarium charcoal, if desired, to help keep odors from forming.

2. Snip away any old shriveled, dried roots from the base of the amaryllis, being careful to leave the fleshy, white roots. Removing old roots will help prevent them from decomposing in the water.

3. Place the bulb root side down on top of the stones. Continue adding more stones to serve as an anchor, leaving the top third of the bulb uncovered.

4. Add water to the container until it reaches about 1 inch below the bottom of the bulb. (I used distilled water rather than tap water to help prevent mineral deposits from forming on the glass.)
Note: It’s very important that the bulb’s base not sit in water -- if it does, it will rot.

5. Place the container in a warm, sunny spot indoors -- in front of a south window is ideal. Check the water level daily and add more water as needed.

6. Watch for the leaves and flower stalks that will soon emerge. Rotating the container frequently will help the stalks grow straight.

The main disadvantage of this easy growing method is that once bloom is finished, the amaryllis bulb is likely not worth saving for future growing seasons. For this reason, it makes sense to use the least expensive amaryllis bulbs you can find. The generic discount varieties may not display unusual colors or outstanding size, but they still have plenty of flower power. As for the more rare or fancy cultivars, you’ll undoubtedly want to plant them in the traditional manner (See Amaryllis 101), and continue to care for them after blooming, so that you can enjoy them for many years to come.

After the last bloom fades on your amaryllis on the rocks, thoroughly wash and rinse the container and stones. You’re now ready to arrange your next bulb to bring bright, cheerful color indoors!

About Gwen Bruno

About Gwen Bruno

After spending 28 years as a teacher and librarian, Gwen Bruno is now a full-time freelance writer residing in suburban Chicago. As a preschooler, she lovingly tended a small patch of weeds in her backyard. Luckily, her parents supported her budding horticultural endeavors, and she's been gardening ever since.

Amaryllis Toxicity

While beautiful to look at, amaryllis can be toxic to pets. If ingested by cats or dogs, the plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, drooling, loss of appetite and tremors.

If you suspect your pet has snacked on your amaryllis, contact your veterinarian.

To prevent potential problems, make sure your plants are out of reach of all pets, even the most ambitious felines. If you have trouble keeping your cats away from your plants, reconsider keeping amaryllis in your home.

Learn more: Watch the video below for Martha's tips on growing amaryllis flower bulbs.

Watch the video: exceptional method for reproducing amaryllis, amarillis bulbs,

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