“Potted amaryllises excel as small-but-stellar holiday gifts,” says Sally Ferguson of the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Centre in Danby, Vermont. “These easy-to-grow winter-bloomers produce surprisingly exotic flowers, yet are still unknown to many people, even many flower sophisticates and gardeners. The bulb is huge, the flowers are huge. They grow and bloom for weeks on end – indoors in the dead of winter!”
Best of all, says Ferguson, “most people respond to this flamboyant blooming houseplant with disbelief, ‘What is this?’ You get to say: ‘It’s an amaryllis!’ This happens so often that we named our new amaryllis info sheet It’s an Amaryllis! Now, when someone gives a gift amaryllis, they can provide care tips too.”
Amaryllis can be purchased as potted plants already growing or as bare bulbs to be potted up at home and presented as ready-to-grow gifts.
When the flower is dead, cut down the stalk, remove bulb from pot, and place bulb in a dark, cool place for six weeks. An ideal place is the crisper in the refrigerator. After six weeks, replant, and with a little luck, the plant will bloom again.
When buying potted amaryllis as gifts, choose young plants not ones already in full bloom. When giving the bulbs, pot them up and present un-sprouted. For all recipients, watching amaryllis grow is half the fun. For gardeners, knowing that amaryllis bulbs can be kept from year to year to bloom in future seasons, even for decades, is another delicious thrill.
Source: Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Centre