Storing amaryllis bulbs for the winter is simple, and saving them means you can enjoy them again year after year.
Many people don’t realize that they can easily store their holiday amaryllis through the winter, and regrow them again next season.
In this post, I’m going to show you three methods for overwintering amaryllis plants.
Plus I’ll tell you exactly when to bring them inside and share my step-by-step instructions and tips for digging them up and safely packing them for storage.
Can Amaryllis Stay Outside In Winter?
Though amaryllis (Hippeastrum) plants are technically perennials, most varieties can only survive outside during winter in zones 10 and above.
If you live in a colder climate, you will have to dig up the bulbs and move them indoors for storage, as they will probably not survive the winter outdoors.
Can I Save My Amaryllis Bulb For Next Year?
Yes, you can easily save your amaryllis bulbs for next year, and many years after that, and it’s very easy to do.
Not only will they continue to bloom annually, but you’ll find that the flowers become even larger and more stunning with age.
Related Post:How To Get Your Amaryllis To Bloom Again
What Should I Do With My Amaryllis In The Winter?
Unless you live in a warm climate, you should dig up your amaryllis bulbs in the fall, then cure (dry) and pack them for winter storage.
If your amaryllis is potted, you can simply move it indoors and leave it in its container, rather than digging it up and packing it.
Methods Of Overwintering Amaryllis Bulbs
There are three methods you can use to overwinter your amaryllis bulbs. The best one depends on your climate and where you planted them.
- Leave them on the ground
- Overwinter them in pots
- Pack the bulbs and store them for the winter
1. Leaving Amaryllis In The Ground
If you live in zone 10 or higher, you can safely leave your amaryllis in the ground through the winter.
Some varieties, however, are hardy down to zones 6-7, so it’s important to know the type you have when considering your options.
If yours is a hardy type, you can give the bulbs an extra layer of protection by covering them with mulch to keep them warm over winter.
I recommend doing this if you live on the cooler side of the hardiness zone for your variety, or if there’s a risk that the ground could freeze.
2. Overwintering A Potted Amaryllis
If your Hippeastrums are in containers, you can overwinter them right in their pots.
As it gets cooler in the fall, they will begin to go dormant and the foliage will naturally die back.
At this point, cut off all the leaves to soil level and move the pots indoors before the temperature drops below 55°F (12-13°C).
Keep your potted amaryllis in a dark and dry area of your home over winter, somewhere with a consistent temperature of around 60°F (15-16°C) is perfect.
3. Storing Amaryllis Bulbs For Winter
Digging up and storing the bulbs is the most popular method of overwintering amaryllis, and is essential if they are planted in the garden. But the good news is that it’s very easy to do.
The most important thing is to make sure you lift them before the temperature gets below 55°F (12-13°C).
Amaryllis are sensitive to the cold, and frost or freezing temperatures could damage the bulbs, meaning they would be unlikely to survive the winter in storage.
Related Post: How To Grow Waxed Amaryllis Bulbs
Preparing Amaryllis Bulbs For Winter Storage
No matter how you plan to overwinter your amaryllis bulbs, it’s important to bring them indoors at the right time. Follow these tips, and they will have no problem surviving.
When To Bring In Your Amaryllis Bulbs
Hippeastrums are very vulnerable to frost, so you’ll need to bring them indoors before it gets too cold outside. But exposing them to the cooler fall weather will help trigger dormancy.
I recommend moving them inside once it’s consistently around 60°F (15-16°C), but definitely before it gets as low as 50°F (10°C). Which is typically about 4-6 weeks before your first fall frost date.
How To Bring In Hippeastrum In For Winter
Using your hands, shake or brush off the loose dirt. Check for damage and discard any bulbs that are rotting.
If yours are in pots, then you can simply move the container to a cool, dark location indoors. No need to remove them from their pot.
How To Cure/Dry Amaryllis Bulbs Before Storing
Once you’ve brought your amaryllis bulbs indoors, you’ll need to remove the foliage before storing them.
You can either allow the leaves to die back naturally, or cut them down to the top of the bulb. There’s no need to remove the roots.
Finally, allow the bulbs to cure (or dry) for 1-2 weeks. This will remove excess moisture and prevent problems like mold and rot while they’re in storage.
There’s no need to worry about curing your potted amaryllis bulbs, just stop watering them.
Related Post:What To Do With An Amaryllis After It Blooms
Storing Amaryllis Bulbs For Winter
In this section, I’m going to explain how to properly pack and store amaryllis bulbs for the winter.
If yours are in a pot, you can skip these packing instructions and overwinter them right in their containers.
Packing Amaryllis Bulbs For Winter Storage
Where To Store Amaryllis Bulbs Over Winter
The best place to store your amaryllis bulbs over winter is in a cool, dry area of your home, like a closet, unfinished basement, or heated garage.
Ideally, a steady temperature of around 60°F (15-16°C) is the best, but it could vary by a few degrees.
If they get too warm or too cold, there is a higher risk that they could rot.
Amaryllis Winter Care Tips
Check your Hippeastrum bulbs once a month throughout the winter to make sure they don’t dry out too much or stay too wet.
Discard any that are showing signs of mold or rot, as this can spread quickly to other bulbs.
If they are becoming too dry, on the other hand, spritz them lightly to rehydrate them, but be sure not to get them too wet.
Related Post:How To Care For An Amaryllis Plant (Hippeastrum)
Replanting Amaryllis Bulbs After Overwintering
Exactly when to replant your amaryllis bulbs after overwintering them depends on when you want them to bloom. Follow my tips below for the best results.
When To Bring Amaryllis Bulbs Out Of Storage
If you want them to flower in time for Christmas, then bring your amaryllis bulbs out of storage 6-8 weeks before that date, and pot them up if they’re bare-root.
Wait until spring to move them back outside. It’s safe once nighttime temps are 60°F (15°C) or above.
If you want to plant them in your garden, make sure that the ground is dry and has warmed up to around 60-65°F (15-18°C). You can use a soil thermometer to check it.
How To Prepare Amaryllis Bulbs For Planting
There’s nothing special you need to do to prepare your overwintered amaryllis bulbs for planting. You can simply pot them up or plant them directly into the ground.
This step is entirely optional but it helps break their dormancy and wake them up faster.
Related Post:How To Grow Amaryllis In Water
Below you’ll find my answers to the most frequently asked questions about storing amaryllis bulbs over winter. If you don’t see yours listed, please ask in the comments.
How long can you store amaryllis bulbs?
You can safely store amaryllis bulbs through the winter. During this time they will become dormant and require very little care. But I recommend planting them every year because they will dry out and eventually die if stored for too long.
Can you store amaryllis bulbs in the refrigerator?
No, you shouldn’t store Hippeastrum bulbs in the refrigerator. This is because refrigeration temperatures are far too low, and the cold is likely to kill them.
Can I store amaryllis bulbs in a paper bag?
You can store amaryllis bulbs in a paper bag for no more than 6 weeks. For longer-term storage, I recommend using peat moss or coco coir, as these mediums will help prevent them from drying out too much.
Should I cut the roots off my amaryllis before storing it?
You could cut the roots off your amaryllis bulbs before storing them, but it’s not necessary. You can wait to cut off the dried-up old roots before replanting them, as new ones will develop pretty quickly.
Can you leave amaryllis in pots over winter?
Yes, you can leave your amaryllis in their pots over winter. But you will need to cut the foliage back to the top of the bulb, then bring them indoors to protect them from freezing. Stop watering and store them in a cool, dry, and dark spot in your home.
How often do you water an amaryllis in the winter?
You don’t need to water amaryllis very often in the winter, especially if you store the bulbs. Only keep them moist enough so they don’t start to shrivel or wither, as too much moisture will cause them to rot.
Can I keep my amaryllis alive during the winter?
You could keep your amaryllis alive during the winter, they make lovely green houseplants. However, without a cool winter rest period, they most likely will not flower next year.
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More About Overwintering Plants
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