Some of my amaryllis did not sprout

Munster, IN(Zone 5b)

These are very old amaryllis; I have caring for these for at least 7 years,and think I have gotten better over time. Anyway they did well outside this summer, lots of leaves, fat bulbs.. I brought them in - dried in the garage, brought in house when it got cold, but did not get them out of dormancy in the time frame I planned. After christmas, I decide I would need to get them going regardless of when they will or won't bloom, so I watered them and some took off. In fact the one that has never re-bloomed has the most and tallest leaves. However about half have no new shoots. They seem to using water. My question is what can be done? Sorry for being wordy.....

1. all the plants - under grow lights. It has seemed a great place to put them for starting. The tall one has actually been relocated to a sunny south window, it's back for this picture. I'm thrilled as this expensive bulb has never rebloomed; but never died. I been caring for it for probably 5 or more years in hopes that I would get it right. It also the only bulb in a plastic pot - though it wasn't always; I'm guessing that's somehow significant.
2. close up of 2 not sprouting
3. close up of 2 which did...
4. the bud!!!!! and some small bublets that were growing in the non-sprouting pots. I pulled them hoping that would help.

Thumbnail by martyR Thumbnail by martyR Thumbnail by martyR Thumbnail by martyR
Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

If the bulbs still feel firm just wait and give them more time.

Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

Don’t worry about age. I have bulbs I acquired in 2003 that are still doing just fine.


Munster, IN(Zone 5b)

Thanks for your responses. I will wait, I have learned - not easily LOL - the patience needed to garden. However always hoping for a 'trick" to speed things up. The bulbs that haven't sprouted all look the same, but are taking up water at different rates. I'm trying to only water after they are dry; they have free drainage.

Also update on the pictures- somehow they are not in the sequence I intended.
First picture is actually #3

Second picture is #2

Third picture is # 1.

Fourth is 4. BTW is it worth saving those little bulblets?

Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

If you want to go for a Master’s in Patience, try breeding Amaryllis.

Seed germination varies from a few days to a couple of months.

Seedling to blooming can take years. The professionals can go from seed to bloom in 2 years. My best is 3 years. 4 years or more is common. Sometimes I get offsets on seedlings before the seedling blooms!

Since most our modern Amaryllis are hybrids of hybrids of hybrids, each seed can be unique. 3 years is a long time to wait to see the outcome of an “interesting” cross.

Hang in there!

Bulblets is a whole ‘nother discussion.


Munster, IN(Zone 5b)

Thank you all for the encouragement. I'm continuing to water; no leaves yet and no other bud sprouting, and I will continue to watch. However the one that hasn't ever re-bloomed is growing like crazy and anytime now. will bloom.

I am including some pictures of the other old bulbs when they bloomed the past several years. I inherited them from older relative who passed; they were in a basement window, no flowers but leaves and bulbs galore. I separated them from 2 pots into about 6 pots. The bulbs continue to grow each year. I'm not sure how many of theses I want to raise and let a lot of bulblets go last year.

Photo 1 = the current bud - this one will be either white or red I think

Photo2 = 2 all these are this orange-apricot color, and sometimes I have up to 5 flowers blooming at once.

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Munster, IN(Zone 5b)

It bloomed! Here are the first pictures. I could tell that it was the red one last week form the bud. Now it is in bloom with three flowers; two are fully open and a deep velvety red. I'm so glad that I kept trying with this bulb. I was at least 6 years possibly more since it first bloomed along with a white one that I lost several years ago. I believe I will buy some new ones now that I have the time and some knowledge of how to care for them. The other bulbs are poking along, mostly growing leaves but no buds. But as several of you have commented, they often don't re-bloom every year. And several of the bud-less bulbs did bloom the last two years. So I will keep them under the grow lights, which keeps the dining room less crowded.

Thumbnail by martyR Thumbnail by martyR
Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

Amaryllis are like many other “crops”. Different varieties bloom at different times.

Once they acclimate to their new home, they may consistently bloom at the same time each year. I know from experience that my solid reds will be first and the red & white stripes are much later. I have a salmon color bulb and a couple of double whites that bloom after the reds.

Newly acquired bulbs bloom immediately because they have been treated to do so.

I suspect your bulbs are inside so pollination should not be happening. If a small bulb or infrequent bloomer does try to develop seeds, removed the pod immediately. Heavier the seed production this year generally means fewer flowers next year.

Don’t forget to start feeding them once the flowers are past. I don’t know why we wait until then but everything I read says to.

I’ve also read about feeding every x number of months. That sounds like feast or famine to me. I have good results with feeding far more often with ½ strength fertilizer. Sometimes I use 1/3 strength.

Best Wishes and Good Luck.


Munster, IN(Zone 5b)

Thanks for the information, Candace. I am not worried about the ones that look like they won't bloom because they have in past, and I did both start and break the dormancy period far later than I usually do. I much admit that I am concerned/ puzzled by the 4 bulbs that did not start any leaves yet. I believe that I read somewhere that a bulb is less likely to bud-bloom if it has 3 or less leaves. This red one went thru many years of that for varied reasons, but this summer developed good leaves. I will continue to water and feed the leave-less bulbs, as they aren't dying - just can't see what they are doing.

I also have seen the "rule" about not fertilizing until after flowering. Maybe it's because the bulb has sufficient stores for this flower and then needs to re-build those stores. That's just a guess and I hope some more experienced growers will chime in.

I too tend to fertilize all my houseplants with 1/2 strength on more or less the same schedule, indoors and out - right now i'm doing every 3 weeks and have it in my computer calendar as a reminder.

BTW the third flower is starting to open. I hope to get a photo showing all three in bloom.

Marty {Martha}

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