Amaryllis Planting in a Toronto Garden

(Question)

can an Amaryllis survive a Toronto winter?
What secrets are there to make it bloom in the summer in the garden?

 

(Answer)

 

Hello, your question leads me to believe that you were either gifted with or purchased a glorious Amaryllis over the holiday season.  You probably had a wonderful show of blooms for quite while and would really love to have them again.  Well the truth is that your Amaryllis has just put on the performance of its lifetime, one not likely it will be able to repeat without a large degree of TLC.  The requirements necessary to keep one of these bulbs reblooming is why most Amaryllis are consigned to the compost heap after flowering.  That is not to say it is mission impossible.  Here are some “secrets” that may help you see those beautiful blooms again, but first, the answer to your primary question; No, Amaryllis will not overwinter in our climate,  but here are the steps to follow to have your Amaryllis bloom next year:  Once the flowering is over, cut the stem down to bulb level, and continue watering your plant regularly.  Once the last frost date has passed you can move your plant outdoors.  Place in partly shaded spot, water and fertilize regularly through the summer.   Try not to over water, wait until the soil is just starting to dry out before watering again.  The aim is for the plant to produce new foliage, that foliage is necessary to provide nutrition to the bulb so that it can rebloom for you in the winter.  In the fall, before a heavy frost cut off all the foliage, stop watering and bring your plant indoors and into a cool,dark, dry spot (around 15 degrees Celsius).  Amaryllis need at least a 10 to 12 weeks rest period before setting new blooms.  Once this “cooling off “period is over, bring your plant to a warmer, brighter location.  Remove any dead leaves and resume watering and lightly fertilizing (again making sure not to over water).   You will have to wait several more weeks until new buds appear, but I’m sure you will find all your efforts worth it.  Good luck with it!