Amaryllis with no leaves: can it come back next year?

amaryllis Star of Holland
Amaryllis ‘Star of Holland’. Photo courtesy the National Gardening Association

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Here’s a question from a reader:

I bought an amaryllis in a home hardware store. Bulb and container. It is blooming beautiful right now in January. It’s named “Holland Star.’ I have two stalks, lots of blooms but no leaves??? What does that mean? Hope you can give me some advice.

So glad I found this site. I have bought these for my mother many years ago. I did not know they would keep from year to year. We are about an hour or so west of Buffalo.

Christine in Ontario, Canada 

What an interesting question! I didn’t know how to answer it, so I asked my friend David Clark. He teaches the great horticulture series at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens and can speak to your group, too.

Yes, amaryllis with no leaves can come back!

Here is David Clark’s answer:

‘Star of Holland’ is a stunning amaryllis variety with bold red blossoms, highlighted by a wondrous white star in the center.

Your bulb is growing as it should!

As the name suggests, this is a Holland variety, not a South African type —the two have different growth patterns. Holland bulbs produce their sturdy stalks ahead of the leaf production, while African bulbs have the tendency to show leaves before blooming.

Your bulb is right on, and happy to hear you have two stalks!

As each blossom fades, cut it off the thick stalk at the tip, while leaving the stalk intact until it dies down naturally.

Then follow the tips in our other articles on post-blooming amaryllis care.

How to get your questions answered

Readers often contact me with questions that I can’t answer. Sometimes I ask a gardening expert, like I did in this article.

Other times I post the question and rely on my readers to share their expertise. Sending a question to me to post can be helpful if you’re looking for a wide range of opinions and don’t mind waiting for the answer. If you want to try this route, email the question to me at and I’ll pose it to my readers in an upcoming issue.

However, don’t send me questions:

  • To find out what is wrong with your plant
  • To identify a particular plant or insect
  • If you need an answer quickly

To find out specific information like that, ask the Master Gardeners with Cornell Cooperative Extension or turn to your local garden center. They can give you the information you need.

If you’re looking to buy a particular plant, it’s best to contact garden centers directly. Every garden center carries different items, and what it has in stock changes throughout the year.

To find contact information for garden centers, you can:

  • Click on any of the ads on the emailed version of the magazine or click on the ads here on the website.  
  • The most complete list of gardening businesses is on our Gardening Directory.

And when you contact the garden centers, please let them know that you found them through!

3 Comments on “Amaryllis with no leaves: can it come back next year?

  1. I have had an amaryllis plant for about 18 years. The leaves die before it starts blooming. more leaves grow after the flowers die.

    The bulb has divided many times. Each bulb produces more flowers, usually twice a year, This is a very easy plant to grow.

  2. Be patient. I have found that the leaves start to emerge as the blooms start to fade.

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