With their long, showy leaves, tall stems, and brilliantly colored blooms, it’s easy to see why amaryllis make such popular houseplants.
The best part is that they’re also exceptionally easy to grow.
Generally, amaryllis bulbs fare perfectly well when simply deposited into pots with good quality soil, placed in sunny spots, and given time to do their thing.
Did you know, however, that these absolute beauties can also be grown in water?
Amaryllis grow from bulbs, which are nutrient-rich vessels that already contain everything that they need to set them on their way to blooming.
Thus, all they still require is water and light.
How to grow amaryllis in water?
First, prepare a container or vase that’s larger than the amaryllis bulb itself. Fill it with pebbles and water. Remove any old or dry roots from the bulb before soaking it in water for at least an hour. Then, place the vase in a sunny area in your home so it’ll receive at least 6 hours of sunlight.
Growing Amaryllis in Water: The Simple Steps
Growing amaryllis in water is simple. One only needs a good quality bulb, a vase or container that is bigger than the bulb, some pebbles, and, of course, some water.
To set up the growing kit, all you need to do is place the stones in the vase and then top it up with the liquid.
Next, the bulb must be prepared for new growth by first eradicating any old or dry roots, and then by soaking it in water for an hour or so.
With the above steps completed, the bulb can be placed in the vase, with its narrow side facing up, and with no more than the base and the roots of the bulb touching the water.
Your vase needs to be placed in a bright, sunny spot that receives a minimum of six hours of light per day.
How to select amaryllis bulbs for growing in water
The rules for selecting amaryllis bulbs are the same whether one opts to plant them in soil or to force them in water.
First off, I select the variety of amaryllis that I want to grow. Some bulbs bloom more quickly than others, and there are plenty of colors choices, too.
Secondly, size does count in selecting bulbs. The larger the bulb, there is increased likelihood it’ll produce multiple stems and flowers.
Larger bulbs also tend to produce thicker, stronger stalks. If you are going for less-is-more, however, mid-sized and smaller bulbs will also perform perfectly well in water.
When growing amaryllis in glass, they need to be prepared by removing any old, dead, or dry roots.
If they have new young roots, great! When soaking your bulb before placing it in the vase, it will receive an added boost from this brief but deep exposure to clean, fresh water.
Ideal conditions for growing amaryllis in water
Amaryllis prefer warmer temperatures, and they love plenty of light.
A regulated room temperature of between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21 – 24 degrees Celsius) is idyllic for these beautiful blooms, although they still manage very well in slightly cooler spaces. They do not like the cold.
So, placing amaryllis in a sunny spot that is away from harsh direct light, for a minimum of six hours a day, is ideal.
Together with this, when placing the plant in a water vase, it is especially important that the bulb not be submerged, as this could cause rot.
The roots should have direct access to the water, but don’t immerse the bulb in it.
Once amaryllis starts to grow, it’s good to turn the vase from time to time, as their usually straight-shooting stems may lean towards the sun.
How to prepare my vase for growing my amaryllis in water
When choosing a vase or container for my amaryllis bulbs, I always search for one that is a few inches wider than my bulb.
Naturally, the vase should be clean and free of dust or mites.
Next, I look for stones, pebbles, or marbles that are both aesthetically pleasing, and that can provide a bit of an anchor for the plant.
With their long stems and top-heavy flowers, they can get quite heavy, so stones eradicate the risk of the vase toppling over.
Indeed, aquarium stones make a pleasing (and sometimes colorful) addition to my vases and are useful for eliminating any odors.
For added stability, I pack some more stones around the bulb once it is placed in the vase, taking care not to smother it.
Once my plants are on the grow, I consistently check their water levels to make sure they are not getting thirsty. I recommend changing their water weekly.
Before long, shoots will start to emerge from the top of the bulbs, and roots will begin to grow between the stones.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Grow Amaryllis in Water
What do I do once my amaryllis has stopped flowering?
Amaryllis are unlikely to survive more than one blooming cycle if left in just water. Once mine has finished flowering, I prepare them for a second blossoming by first repotting them in soil, with one-third of the bulb exposed. This gives them time to recuperate and to prepare to grow once more.
Are amaryllis bulbs toxic to humans and pets?
Amaryllis are considered toxic to humans when ingested. They are also viewed as toxic to animals and can cause several issues ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to tremors and lethargy. It is best to keep both the bulbs and the plants themselves away from your pets.
Can I prolong my amaryllis’ blooming time?
To a certain degree, the blooming time of an amaryllis can be prolonged by moving it to a cooler spot, away from bright light. This keeps the blooms lively for longer.
Whether planting one bulb or many, I have come to love water-growing amaryllis as features in my home.
Their trumpet-shaped blossoms light up a room, and given how low-maintenance they are, they are ideal for even an amateur green thumb.
While they may not spring up as quickly as their ground-dwelling counterparts, water-growing amaryllis are equally rewarding and are fast becoming a favorite the world over.
Read about more plants that grow in water.
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Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.