Amaryllis reminder: Don’t cut off the leaves

'Star of Holland' amaryllis at Buffalo Botanical Gardens by Stofko
‘Star of Holland’ amaryllis at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Many of you may have received an amaryllis bulb or plant over the holidays, and you’d like to get it to rebloom indoors next year. It’s not hard to do.

However, I’ve heard from a couple people that they were told to cut back the plant after it has finished blooming.

Don’t do that!

You need to keep the leaves on the plant. Through photosynthesis, the leaves will work to recharge the bulb. The plant needs the energy stored in the bulb to produce a new flower next year. If you cut off the leaves, you’re weakening your plant.

You can cut off the stem if you want, but make sure you keep the leaves in place.

Water the plant while it’s blooming and keep watering the plant when the bloom is done.

When the danger of frost has passed, place the pot outside. Make sure you keep it watered well. Tip: I have several bulbs in one large pot; a large pot won’t dry out as fast as a small pot will.

Around the beginning of September, bring the pot inside. Sometimes I leave mine outside until the leaves die. I put mine in my basement where it’s a little cooler. Stop watering the plant. If they haven’t already, the leaves will die and that’s okay. You want the plant to go dormant.

Usually after Christmas, I notice that the plant has started growing again. I bring the pot upstairs, put it in a sunny window and start watering it again.

Get a few more details and see more photos in this previous article on amaryllis.

30 Comments on “Amaryllis reminder: Don’t cut off the leaves

  1. Mine is just now blooming. 4 blossoms and one more bud forming. I will try your suggestion for rebloom.

  2. My amaryllis are blooming now, too. I was afraid people had already cut back their plants. I’m glad this post was in time for some people.

  3. We follow the same process. This year our 3 bulbs grew buds almost as soon as we brought them inside and each had 2 huge flowerheads.This is the third year they have rebloomed.

  4. Yes–this works VERY WELL!!!!! I keep mine outside in the summer in partial shade and feed them when I feed all my other plants–

    15 years ago—-I had ONE bulb—I now have 34!!!! I just keep dividing and repotting—-!!!!
    HOWEVER–do NOT repot close to flowering–I had 2 -3 stems out of some bulbs but last spring repotted—-they did NOT flower!
    I have noticed they have started up again on their own in a unheated room where I keep them–
    HOPEFULLY they will flower this year–so I can give some away for EASTER!!!
    My husband not a plant person keeps asking me WHY I have SO MANY PLANTS (can there ever be too many??!!)
    I guess it is because I don’t kill my plants—-oh well—maybe I can give some away for Easter and whittle down my collection somewhat! I have a beautiful pink variety Apple something—-SO PRETTY!

  5. Andrea, we who are plant people envy you! Thanks for that tip. I may have to divide my amaryllis, and I’ll do that when it’s time to bring them inside in the fall. You have lucky friends who will get these plants from you. And if you give away some of your collection of amaryllis, that means you have room for other plants!

  6. This years Amaryllis had 4 huge flowers. However my bulb from last year (that stayed in the basement all summer) only had 2 foot long leaves when I brought it up and starting watering it just before Thanksgiving but no flowers. This year I’ll try putting it outside for the summer.

  7. I just came across your site after cutting back the leaves and flower stem! This is the first time I have had an amaryllis; Did I kill it? Do you have any recommendations as to how to revive it?

  8. I had two lovely blooms around Christmas, but now the leaves are growing and growing and one is about three feet long! The pot is indoors and is watered once a week, but I certainly don’t want the leaves to grow any longer! Can I do anything to curtail them?

  9. I got an amaryllis bulb kit for Christmas. I sat in my window seal. It bloomed beautifully. All of the blooms dried up so I threw them away. NOW I have very tall straight green leaves that just keep getting taller. I did see one tiny bulb peeking through with the big one. It was falling over, so I put it in a pot alone. It is growing tall too but there is only one green leaf. I had to stake both pots so the leaves wont fall over should I leave hem alone and not stale? They are heavy and tall. Did I ruin it? Should I leave them outside and continue to water them until they turn yellow, trim down and bring inside in dark place to get ready for blooming? This is the first time trying to grow something. Please help me! I really do not know what to do. Thank you in advance!

  10. I have one I keep outside in the summer. I have never repotted it and I haven’t removed the bulbs and put them in the refrigerator or anything. I live in Texas and don’t have a cool place like a cellar to store them in during dormancy. Any advice?

  11. I am in summer 3 with my bulbs outside here in Alaska. Getting ready to bring the large pot in with two huge bulbs that have babies I will split off in the spring. Watching our temperatures, but still in the 50’s for lows at night, so have not brought in. Then looked closely and have a flower spike about 14 inches now. Was getting ready to stop watering and let go dormant….should I still do that?

  12. Hi, I live in Thousand Oaks, CA. No frost here, pretty good weather year round. Do I still have to move my plants into garage in the fall (mid September)?

  13. My Amatyllis bloomed twice in 2 years, but now that I want it to go dormant it’s sprouting new leaves! 2 new ones! Do I continue feeding and watering or put it in the cellar?

  14. Linda, I still have my amaryllis outside. You can keep it out awhile longer and wait for the leaves to start turning yellow, or you can bring it in now if you want.

  15. I have had an array of amaryllis outside all season. In getting them moved for the fall ‘sleeping period’, I noticed red blotches on most of the leaves on mos of the bulbs. If I allow the plant to go dormant, what sort opf treatment should they get?

  16. My amaryllis is still outside. I’m in zone 6 in Cincinnati. this one is 3 years old & never bloomed until I put it outside & it bloomed in June. Right now, it still has green leaves & has produced a secondary bulb that also has a leaf or 2.
    Can I bring it in & allow its leaves to yellow, or should I leave it outside until it dies back?
    The weather can be a bit capricious here & it could get “frosted” any day now.
    Not sure what to do next. I’d really like it to bloom again, even if not at Christmas.
    Thanks!

  17. I have several posts of different kinds and colors. I’ve never taken them out of the pots in 4 years.. They have dead leaves and new leaves coming in around them… can I repot them now if they have green leaves about 12 in. Long ?

  18. They have spread like crazy in one pot as well…I would like to divide them now since they are coming up again.. will that kill or damage them? I am in Arkansas zone 7… and I have them in my house…

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