How to DIvide an Amaryllis

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This mother bulb has produced 3 babies, two of which are ready to divide.

With time, most amaryllis bulbs produce offsets (secondary bulbs) that you can remove and pot up individually. Some varieties naturally produce many “babies”, others very few. The better the plant is maintained, though, the more likely it is to produce offsets, so give your amaryllis as much sunlight as possible and fertilize regularly during its growing season if you want to see more bulbs.

When

The best time to divide an amaryllis is in the fall, during its dormancy, especially just as it begins to wake up and you see new leaves appear.

But very young offsets may not yet be ready to divide. Wait until they have at least 2 or 3 leaves, a sign that they are mature enough to live on their own.

How

When the time is right, unpot the mother plant and pull downwards on the baby bulb. It ought to give way readily and detach from the mother bulb. Ideally it will already have a few roots of its own. Now repot the large bulb back into its original pot or a pot of a similar size. Plant the young bulbs in smaller pots, perhaps 4 inch (10 cm) ones. Later, when they begin to fill their pot, you can repot them into larger ones.

Some amaryllis grow quickly and their babies will begin to bloom the second year after you divide them. Others take more time: 3, 4 or even 5 years. Remember that good growing conditions make a huge difference: intense sunlight and abundant fertilization will help stimulate rapid growth and the earliest possible blooms.

Do You Really Want to Divide?

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Hippeastrum ‘Pamela’ with many bulbs in the same pot: what a show!

Traditionally amaryllis are grown in individual pots, that is, one bulb per pot. But there is nothing wrong with letting the babies continue to develop next to the mother bulb. Simply repot into a larger pot so the colony will have room to develop. Over time, you’ll have a forest of flowers in one big pot and that can be spectacular!

Repot your amaryllis into the larger pot at about the same season you would normally divide it, that is, towards the end of its period of dormancy.

To divide or not to divide? The choice is yours!

Basic Amaryllis Culture

So much for what to do with baby amaryllis bulbs. To learn more on how to successfully grow an amaryllis, from choosing a bulb to potting it up to getting it to rebloom, read It’s Amaryllis Time.20160927a

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