Did I kill the Amaryllis?

Pocono Lake, PA(Zone 5b)

I think I may have left these 2 Amaryllis plants outside for too long. It rained a lot and it is possible that we had some frost here, I'm not sure. (Brooklyn NY) I brought them in four or five days ago, and now they look like this. At first I thought the leaves were just wet but as you can see they are sort of flattened and lifeless. There are a couple of what look like new growths coming through. Did I kill these poor things, or can they be salvaged? I have another pot of these btw but they look the same.

Thanks for your help!

Thumbnail by allieninja
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Looks like the frost got it to me.
When frost gets a plant--it just goes all limp--and lifeless--just like yours..

The bulb may be salvageable. Dig some of the soil away and feel the bulbs.
If they are soft--then they also may have gotten frozen. If they are firm--
I would cut/pull off all the dead foliage and let it go dormant (No watering--NO light needed)
and wait for it to, hopefully, send up new growth. I would not expect it to bloom
this year...

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

The bulb will behave like an onion. The frost will kill the tops, but the bulb will prob -after it dries just wait for spring. Needs a dry, darkish cool spot to spend the rest of the winter. I would remove them from the pot and just let them go dormant. Mine stay out all winter, but the straps freeze back after a frost, but our temps stay a LOT warmer and more humid than yours. If you leave it out the rest of the winter it will kill it thru and thru. If you wish it indoors, you can find a warm southwest exposure to set the pot in, give it 6 wks to to settle in and ck for new leaves, reduce water for the colder lower light seasons.

Pocono Lake, PA(Zone 5b)

Thank you to the both of you. Kittriana, (or anyone) if I want to leave them in the pots, should I put them under a grow light? Or should I let them be in a dark room to go dormant after I trim all the dead leaves off. I've looked around the internet for an answer but different sites say different things.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Never trim the straps on an amaryllis! You will stress the plant more than the ice. If you have 2 pots, try one in heat and grow light and one in the cool til spring! You will find how best to keep them this way. But the cold DID send them both to pulling their strength into the bulb, so be patient. Cool dark should be gray and a temp of 45* no lower.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

I go along with the others re frost damage, keep the plants indoors and every day, check the foliage for signs of rot, that is the foliage will get mould, browning or just turn jelly like, IF this happens, cut the foliage but only the damaged ones.

Amaryllis bulbs are so beautiful, they are probably the indoor type of plants anyway, therefore don't go to the other extreme and give the plants too much heat, sit the plants beside a window, NOT full sun but good light, these bulbs grow their foliage way before the flowers begin to show then all of a sudden you notice a tall green shoot with a swollen tip, that's the flowers ready to open,
If you do manage to get flowers, after they fade, remove the flowering stems as the plants show signs of dying down BUT DONT remove the foliage, leave that on the bulb (IF HEALTHY) as this dying down feeds the bulb, slowly reduce the watering and allow the bulb to dry out, place in a dark cool place for the process to begin again next year,
Don't bury the bulbs too deep sit the bulb only HALF way into the soil as IF the bulbs get wet, they rot very easy. Change the bulb compost each year as you see new growth begin.
Hope this helps you out a bit and your plant recovers for this year, if not, after all the foliage dies down, treat and store as given above.
Best Wishes.

Pocono Lake, PA(Zone 5b)

I should probably clarify - these were my dad's plants for many years. He moved, and I took them. So these are very well established pots - probably 8 or 9 bulbs in each pot. The plants have got to be years old by now. I don't know if this changes anyone's advice?

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

In the south they live outdoors- agreed on plantimg only to half bulb depth, but its because they can pull themselves so deep into the ground they quit blooming. Down here we also use them for ditch control of water- I have seen an amaryllis with a stalk a full 24" thick. The bulbs outdoors are goin to be different than those in NY where they cannot survive the long cold spells. The straps- foliage - allow to wither back, unless like WeeNel says the jelly like slime of freeze shows up. I will be home and can show pics in a few days. Mine should be getting frozen by Minday- but we leave them strictly alone, and by spring they are sending foliage back up and blooming again.If parts of the bulbs rot- like an onion you can cut those parts out and even as much as a quarter of the bulb with roots attached will grow.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

1)My Ellen Bosanquets amaryllis. 2) My Ellen Bosanquets after straps were cut during the bad drought year in Texas. 3) a native amaryllis. and last, todays pictures of the Ellen Bosanquets as the freezes hit and the plant dies back... the straps will continue to die back and cover the bulbs- which provides a protection of sorts. The red stalked amaryllis is a pink scented one, that will get to be absolutely huge stalked, humongous. For our zone these remain outdoors all year, By zone 7 they are winter indoor tender prizes. I will not even trim back the bad straps until spring when the new straps push thru with the old dried straps on the tips of new growth.

Thumbnail by kittriana Thumbnail by kittriana Thumbnail by kittriana Thumbnail by kittriana
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


Since Amaryllis here cannot be left outside--I did not know that frozen, limp straps
would provide a cover for the bulbs.

A good bit of information to stuff in my noggin'.


Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Kittirana, that protection / cover over bulbs by the leaves is the same for ALL bulbs IF they are tender and this cover gives you a little more time when busy, a couple extra days / weeks depending on temp's, before you really need to get the tender bulb /Plants in-doors before the frost actually freezes the bulbs, Amaryllis are better buried NOT too deep in the soil therefore is more prone to frost damage earlier than other plants / bulbs.

Nature does try to help us out at times. but were not always good at seeing this help LOL.
Good luck and Best Regards.

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

Hiya Kitt.... The Ellen Bosanquet Crinum and the Amaryllis ( Hippeastrum) are in the same Family.....Amaryllidaceae, but different genus...


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