When the weather outside is frightful- oh the bulbs are so delightful.
I adore Amaryllis. They are one of the few winter flowers that are actually supposed to bloom during the winter and I always love seeing them poke their silly flower stalks out from those homely bulbs. I have about 20 amaryllis, and I think I have finally figured out the secret to success with them- it only took about 10 years.
First- when you plant amaryllis in the fall, do so in a clay or plastic pot that is just slightly larger than the bulb. Do not cover the bulb with too much soil. Plant it, water it once and then put it in the basement until you see green leaves or the flower stalk poking up (or January 1, whichever comes first.)
Once the first of the year arrives, I bring all of those that have not yet blossomed upstairs to the hot sunny kitchen windowsill for regular water and sunshine. They are usually done blooming by Easter.
The key for growing amaryllis without fungus gnats is not to grow them in cachepots- only stand-alone containers with excellent drainage. I also let them dry out between waterings. If grown in bright sunlight, they won’t get very leggy, which is crucial if you want to display them in their containers.
I prefer to cut them and put them in a vase- they are less likely to flop, and for reasons I’m not very clear on, they will last up to two weeks in a vase if kept out of direct sun. This is vastly longer than if they are left on the stalk (about 1 week max. for that).
After flowering, you could throw them away, but I don’t know why you’d want to. I keep watering mine and then put them on the bottom shelf of my outdoor “greenhouse” in spring and summer. In August, I turn all of the pots on their sides so they dry out a bit, and then bring them inside all over again (make sure you check the bulbs for bugs and slugs!)
Brought up this way, you can enjoy your amaryllis for years.