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Gardening tips on growing amaryllis bulbs

Author: Cathy Cromell
Issue: December, 2011, Page 97
Variegated amaryllis


Q & A - ASK THE EXPERTS

Q - What type of soil and light conditions do amaryllis bulbs need to grow outdoors?

A - Most bulbs prefer organic matter in the soil and good drainage to prevent rot, according to University of Arizona Maricopa County Cooperative Extension (MCCE) Master Gardener Olin Miller. Amaryllis bulbs require morning sun and afternoon shade, especially during summer.

If you have an existing garden with good soil, spade in several inches of organic material. If you are starting a new garden from scratch, spade in 4 to 6 inches of organic matter to a depth of 10 to 12 inches, to promote drainage. After soil prep, water the area to create consistent soil moisture before planting your bulbs. Mix phosphorus fertilizer (which promotes blooms) into the bottom of each planting hole. Unlike most bulbs, which are buried completely, amaryllis should be planted so that the “neck” of the bulb is above the soil surface.
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