Gift Ideas for Gardeners - Amaryllis Bulbs

Amaryllis bulbs make great gifts. Not only do they bring a bit of the garden to brighten up the indoors when the weather outside is cold and dreary, but with a little planning & know how, you can keep them growing and flowering year after year.

Amaryllis flowers always remind me of my mother and grandmother. I remember my mother often giving my grandmother an amaryllis blub for Christmas. And, I remember my grandmother always having an amaryllis or 2 blooming by her dining room window each year. What I don't remember, though, is what my grandmother did with them after they bloomed. I think she kept them in her "fruit room" (a windowless room in her basement) when they went dormant year after year, but I'm not certain of that. You'd think she would have had tons of them around if she kept them for re-blooming each year, but I don't remember seeing tons of them around each winter... just a few. So, who knows?

Any gardener or plant lover will certainly love the gift of an amaryllis

It's the ability to keep amaryllises going year after year (in addition to the fact that they are beautiful flowers!) that makes them such great gifts for gardeners and plant lovers. We keep ours year after year and, although we've lost some of them over the years, we have good luck with most of them. My husband inherited the red amaryllis pictured here from his father about 17 years ago and it's still going strong ... how cool is that?

Amaryllis Bulb - A Gift for Gardeners

Where to Buy Amaryllis Bulbs

You can buy amaryllis bulbs in a kit (the kits usually come with the amaryllis bulb, some sort of pot, potting soil and instructions), or you can buy just the amaryllis bulb and either put your own kit together (highly recommended!), or give the bulb as a gift by itself. Obviously, if you buy a pre-packaged kit, the cost will usually be greater than putting a kit together yourself, or giving a bare bulb.

Amaryllis bulbs and kits are very popular this time of year and you can often find sales and bargains on amaryllises online. I'd expect to pay at least $20-$30 (+ tax and shipping) for an amaryllis bulb kit, and prices can go up to $70-$100 or more if you go with something super fancy or with multiple bulbs. Buying a pre-packaged amaryllis kit is easy and if you don't have time to put a kit together yourself & don't mind paying extra for it, pre-packaged kits work as great gifts. Just today, I found the following sales online:

  • Jackson and Perkins ( has a really large selection of amaryllises and has many of them on sale for up to 50% off. I've purchased amaryllis kits from Jackson and Perkins for gifts in the past & think they have some of the best selection and variety of amaryllises you can find online.
  • Breck's Gifts ( has a nice selection of amaryllis too. And they are offering up to 50% off some of their amaryllises today.
  • Gardener's Supply ( has 20% off sitewide (including their amaryllises!) for today only.

You can probably also find bare amaryllis bulbs at garden centers and other traditional stores too. I recently saw bare amaryllis bulbs advertised for about $5.99 from our local Ace Hardware (one of the only local "garden centers" we have in our little town). I think $5.99 is an incredible bargain! Buy a little pot and some potting soil and put your own amaryllis kit together for a gift! You'll surely save quite a bit of money and you can add your own personal touches to the "kit" you make. I'm all about that!

The gift that keeps giving ....

So, if you make your own amaryllis "kit", you'll want to be sure to include some instructions if the person you're giving the amaryllis to isn't familiar with growing the tropical bulbs. Just type up some instructions, or include links to resources online and include with your kit or bulb.

How to pot an amaryllis bulb:

  • Choose a pot that is only an inch or 2 wider and deeper than the amaryllis bulb. Amaryllis bulbs like to be snug in their pots, so don't go with a pot that is too large.  Also, be sure the pot has a drainage hole (duh!).
  • Use moistened, fresh potting soil. Place enough potting soil in the bottom of the pot so that the top 1/3 of the amaryllis bulb will be above the soil surface.
  • Place the bulb in the potting soil (again, be sure to leave the top 1/3 of the bulb uncovered by soil!) and fill in the sides of the bulb with potting soil.
  • Leave about an inch of space between the surface of the potting soil and the rim of your pot to make watering the bulb as easy as possible.
  • Place the potted bulb in a bright location and water sparingly until you start to see some growth, then water regularly.

Here's how we take care of our amaryllis bulbs to keep them growing and flowering each year:

  • After the amaryllis finishes flowering, cut the flower stalk back to about 4 inches above the bulb. It's important NOT to cut the leaves back because it is the leaves that will feed the bulb as it regenerates for the next year.
  • Once the weather gets a bit warmer and any danger of frost has passed, place the bulb (in it's pot or you can also plant it in the ground) outside for the summer. Water it regularly and try to fertilize it at least a few times. It can stay outside all summer and into the fall until the first frost blackens it's leaves.
  • After the first frost of the fall or winter, bring the amaryllis inside and cut off the foliage to right above the bulb and store it for a dormant period. It's best to store the amaryllis bulb in a dark place for at least a few weeks (8-10 weeks is best) and then repot it, give it a drink of water and bring it out of the darkness.
  • Once it starts growing leaves, place it in a sunny window and start watering it regularly and fertilize it every few weeks.
  • It usually takes about 8-10 weeks of growth for the amaryllis bulb to flower.
Dec 08 2013
Posted in: Flowers

Join the Conversation!

Post a Comment

Your Name
Website (optional)
Check here to receive an email notification when someone replies directly to your comment
Help me fight spammers! Please enter the answer to 1 + 1 below