When all the flowers on a stalk have withered, it's time to cut off the entire flower stalk with shears, making the cut about 1/2 inch above the top of the bulb. Stop watering the amaryllis bulb in the fall, five to six months after it finishes blooming. An amaryllis flower stalk drips fluid from the cut end and can be messy. Wait for the bulb's leaves to turn yellow to brown and become shriveled and dry. However, be sure not to cut the green stalk. Few plants can top the amaryllis (Hippeastrum spp.) When all the flowers on a stalk have withered, it's time to cut off the entire flower stalk with... Caring for Foliage. Sanitize Pruning Shears. Make a single, smooth cut to leave a clean wound capable of healing quickly. You can grow an amaryllis as an annual, trimming it for neatness while it's blooming and then discarding it, but with a little extra care it can bloom again and continue blooming for years. To trim the flowers away, use small sharp shears, cleaning your blades by wiping them with rubbing alcohol between each cut to prevent the spread of plant diseases. Deadheading. Clean dirt and plant material from the blades before sterilizing. This plant is often grown indoors in a pot, started in summer or fall -- called forcing -- to bloom indoors during the holiday season. They are no longer useful at this point, and should be cut back to within 2 inches (5 cm) of the bulb. Be careful not to cut the leaves or the top of the bulb. Joanne Marie began writing professionally in 1981. Cutting the Stalk. Sterilize the pruning shears with the bleach solution after each cut to prevent the spread of disease or pathogens, such as red blotch, a fungal disease that causes patches on the bulbs, deformed leaves and a fragile flower stalks, advises the University of Minnesota Extension. The leaves will turn yellow and die back once the bulb enters dormancy. When Do You Make an Amaryllis Go Dormant? Because the flowers all originate from the same point on the stem's tip, cutting away old blooms can also make it easier for new flowers to open fully. Mulch is particularly important if you want to leave the plant outdoors through winter in USDA zone 8. Repeat this process to cut off all leaves, removing the outer leaves first. Dig up outdoor grown amaryllis bulbs when you need to thin the flowers. An extra large bulb might develop two or three flower stalks, each with buds; cut these off in sequence as the flowers fade. for impressive, showy flowers. Pat the metal dry with a soft cloth. After the plant's been dormant for about eight or 10 weeks, replace the old soil with fresh potting soil, place the pot in bright light, and resume watering to start new growth. Sterilize pruning shears and other tools before cutting amaryllis leaves to prevent spread of plant disease, advises the University of Florida IFAS Extension. When this happens, stop watering and allow the soil to dry out and leaves to wither naturally. The plant grows from a large bulb that can only stay outdoors year-round in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 or 9 through 11. Other sterilization options including wiping the blades with Lysol or other household disinfectant or ethanol or isopropyl alcohol. Dip the blades of the pruning shears into the solution, submerging them for 20 to 30 seconds to clean them. Place the plant in a sunny window and water it whenever the top 2 inches of soil feel dry to the touch. The plant needs the … Cut horizontally across the width of a leaf with a pair of pruning shears, 1 inch above the point where the leaf joins the bulb. This period of leaf growth allows the bulb to store nutrients for the next season's bloom.

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