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Amaryllis Bulbs 101

The Martha Stewart Show, Episode 3048

According to Greek mythology, a maiden named Amaryllis created a red bloom for her true love from her own heart's blood. Traditionally, this red-hued Amaryllis is one of the most popular and beloved flowers for the holiday season. According to the Netherlands Flower and Bulb Information Center, more than 10 million Amaryllis bulbs are imported to the United States every year. New varieties of Amaryllis are constantly being developed, with a wider range of colors and petal shapes.

A petit, cheery orangey-red.

Has a white star-shaped center with big visual impact.

Has huge, deep red flowers that look like velvet.

A small, greenish-white flower with accents of burgundy.

Has long spidery green petals streaked with burgundy.

Le Paz
Streaked and striped green and brown.

Dancing Queen
Full, double candy-striped flowers.

Pink Floyd
Neon pink buds are held upright until open to resemble lilies.

Planting Amaryllis
Amaryllis bulbs like snug surroundings. Plant the bulbs in a close cluster in a pot that is an inch bigger than the cluster. Potting soil should be fast-draining with plenty of sand, offering a stiff support. Fill the pot partway so the bulb will rest at the correct depth. Bury the bulb, leaving at least a third of the bulb above the soil line. Water thoroughly until soil is moist, and place in a warm, bright spot. Do not water again until signs of life begin or until three weeks have passed.

Each stem will produce four or more flowers. Be sure to snip off each bloom as it fades. When all the blooms have faded, cut the entire stem off about an inch from the base. The bulb will probably produce a second stem with four more flowers and, if you're really lucky, sometimes a third stem will pop up.

Special thanks to the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center for providing Amaryllis for the segment and our studio audience. Ben Wolff pots can be purchased via

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