In recent years, it has become popular to gift waxed Amaryllis bulbs as gifts around Christmas or to purchase as decor around the house. But, what do you do with waxed Amaryllis after it blooms? I know we’ve had a lot of questions about this decorative flower bulb and we’d like to share with you what you can do with your Amaryllis bulb since so many people just throw them away at the end of their bloom period.
You have several options for your waxed Amaryllis after it blooms. You could remove the wax and prepare the bulb to be planted and rebloom next year, you could plant it in the ground year-round in zones 8-10, or you could discard of the bulb and purchase a new one next year.
If you want to discard your bulb, you can just go ahead and throw it in the compost pile and forget about it. But, at The Grow Monster, we like to re-use our bulbs each year instead of purchasing new ones (well, we still purchase new ones but then we have even MORE flowers!). If you’d like to learn how to prepare the waxed Amaryllis to re-bloom next year and a few tips to help get the best results for your waxed Amaryllis after it blooms, read on for the details.
What to do with Waxed Amaryllis After it Blooms
You’ve had a few stalks with flower heads and now notice they have shriveled and the Amaryllis bulb doesn’t seem to be producing more flower stalks. The Amaryllis blooms for about 3-4 weeks and produces a few flower stalks with about 4 blooms on each stalk. As the individual flowers start to shrivel up, you want to cut them off the Amaryllis stalk. You will notice that not all 4 blooms die at the same time, so just cut each flower as it becomes less vibrant.
Place your waxed Amaryllis bulb in a well-lit area, but not in direct sunlight. It will start to bloom in approximately 2-3 weeks. As it blooms, you may also notice some leaves starting to emerge- do NOT cut off the leaves if you want to reuse your Amaryllis bulb again. If you are going to be getting rid of the bulb, then you can cut the leaves off about an inch higher than the top of the bulb.
You will start to notice that there are more than 1 flower stalks starting to emerge as your bulb is blooming. This is perfectly fine and expected. Usually, one stalk is about to bloom when the last one has already shriveled. This will continue for several stalks until the bulb no longer blooms and starts to really put on leaves. If you would like to reuse your Amaryllis, then let those leaves continue to grow from the bulb.
Where to Cut Waxed Amaryllis After Flowering
After your waxed Amaryllis is done flowering, you will cut that flower stalk about an inch above the top of the bulb. Remember, a waxed Amaryllis will send up more than one flower stalk, so just because all the blooms on one flower stalk are spent doesn’t mean that the bulb itself is done flowering. It may already be sending up additional stalks or will shortly after you cut the stalk that has finished blooming.
The Amaryllis flower stalk is hollow, so you want to take care while cutting it. Make sure you are using a sharp knife and cutting about an inch above the top of the bulb. The reason for this is since the flower stalk is a hollow tube you don’t want any water or debris to get inside the bulb where the rest of the stalks and leaves are. Any excess moisture that enters the inside of the bulb through the hollow flower stalk can start to decay and rot the bulb from the inside.
Cutting it that extra inch will allow you to press the stalk like you would a straw to make the stalk no longer look like a tube. If you want to reuse your Amaryllis bulb, be sure not to cut the leaves as you are cutting off the spent flower stalks. The leaves are what helps the bulb begin to collect and store energy to bloom the next year.
Can a Waxed Amaryllis Rebloom?
The waxed Amaryllis is certainly a site to see! You just “set it and forget it” and it will bloom unaided, no watering needed. But, can a waxed Amaryllis rebloom? A waxed Amaryllis can rebloom and usually holds 1-3 additional flower stalks. Because the Amaryllis is encased in wax, you aren’t able to add any additional water or nutrients to it through soil (nutrients taken up through the roots). This means that all the energy the plant has to use is whatever it stored over the previous season while it still had leaves and roots.
Depending on the size of the bulb, you may get 1-3 additional flower stalks throughout the blooming time of your waxed Amaryllis. The larger the bulb, the more flower stalks you should have. While the bulb still had roots and leaves, it was storing energy received by the sun to be later used for flower stalks, blooming, and leaves to repeat the process again. Depending on how well the bulb was cared for during that time before it was waxed, you may receive those additional blooms.
You may see additional flower stalks on your waxed Amaryllis after it blooms. If you notice these flower stalks, you need to make sure to cut off the spent stalks to allow room for the new ones and also to prevent the bulb from spending all of its energy creating seeds on that spent flower stalk. If there are also leaves growing throughout this time, leave them if you will be going to re-use your Amaryllis bulb next year.
What Do You Use to Stake a Waxed Amaryllis?
A waxed Amaryllis bulb usually has a piece of metal that was inserted in to the bulb before they dipped it in wax. Sometimes, the metal piece is added after it is dipped. This piece is wrapped around the bottom of the bulb in order to help stabilize the bulb and hold it upright while it is blooming. But, as the waxed Amaryllis is starting to put out flower stalks and eventually leaves, it may start to fall to one side of the other as it gets top heavy. So, what do you use to stake a waxed Amaryllis?
The Grow Monster has thought of a few different ways to stake a waxed Amaryllis bulb as it flowers. You could have a cluster of bulbs sitting on your table or shelf. As they grow, they can have each other to lean against to stay upright. Another option is to put them next to a vase with other flowers or even a different decorative piece that allows them to lean and stay upright. Finally, there is always getting an actual smaller plant stake that you can use to hold the bulb upright.
How Do You Store Waxed Amaryllis Bulbs for Next Year?
If you would like to save your waxed Amaryllis after it blooms for next year, you will first need to remove the wax and metal piece from the bulb. It should be fairly easy to remove the wax just by pushing in to it against the bulb. Take care not to damage the bulb as you remove it and not to remove any leaves that have already grown from the bulb. Move your fingers around the bulb as you remove all remnants of wax remaining.
The next thing to do after removing the wax from your waxed Amaryllis after it blooms is to remove the metal piece on the bottom. Different suppliers will have chosen different lengths of metal and some may be pressed deeper in to the bulb than others. Once again, be sure not to damage the bulb as you are removing the metal. Hopefully, it is just stuck a bit in to the bulb at the bottom. As you are removing the metal piece, be mindful of any roots that may be exposed on the bottom of the bulb. Don’t take any of those roots off the bulb.
Can You Plant Waxed Amaryllis Bulbs Outside?
Once you have all of the wax removed from the waxed Amaryllis after it blooms, you can then decide what you will do with the bulb. Depending on what zone you are in, you could plant the Amaryllis bulb outside or you can plant in a pot (remember Amaryllis like to be crowded, so choose a smaller pot and plant only half way up the bulb).
If you choose to plant outside, make sure all danger of frost is gone before planting. You will want to make sure to water the bulbs once planted and leave any leaves as the leaves are what will store energy for the bulb to make more flower stalks next year. It may take several weeks for your bulb to create enough roots once planted. If you would like more information about using your Amaryllis bulb again, check out this article.
If you live in zones 9 and above, you can keep the bulb outside overwinter, covered in you are in zone 8. Otherwise, you will need to dig up the bulbs for indoor storage before your first frost date each year. You can continue you force your bulb to bloom during winter, or you can let it naturalize over a couple years to bloom in spring when it normally would.
Amaryllis flowers are a beautiful addition to anyone’s winter indoor plants, but the cost may make you think twice about getting them if you are going to just throw them away when done. But, if you care for them correctly, you should be able to save your bulbs season after season to continue enjoying those beautiful blooms!
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