Amaryllis question

yesimarose(z8 So Calif)November 6, 2005

I bought several Amaryllis bulbs in boxes and planted them in the pots provided. But i notice that the pots do not have holes in the bottom. Should i repot in a pot with drain holes or leave them as is? Or make holes in these pots?

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bluebonsai101(6a PA)

Isn't that odd.....I had a teacher that I got one for the classroom project my son was doing tell me the same thing!! Definately either transplant or add holes :o) Dan

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 7:47PM
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haweha holes

The bulb producers do not have any interest that their bulbs might survive and thus potentielly be shortening their future profits.
The amaryllis-ready-to-use-kit-makers lack any knowledge of the plant's demand OR... they are instructed by the bulb producers to mix this funny amaryllis-killing-tool together.
This joke of hole-less little pot is sometimes still Topped by the useless chips- or bark-like substrate which is added in insufficient quantity and which in some cases seems directly to have come out directly of a dirt shredder

Do not buy cats in a sack and do not buy invisibly packed bulbs.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 9:40PM
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greenguy1(z7 Maryland)

Definitely put them in pots with holes, whether or not you intend om keeping them. No holes = overwatering/saturated soil = no root growth = whole thing falls over when it gets top heavy from the flowers; plus, the bulb will rot.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 9:00AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I have to disagree. I grow them every year in those little pots with NO holes provided with the bulb. All that means is you will need to water carefully as instructed. A pot with no holes will not require a saucer and will not make a wet spot on the woodwork. After the bloom is over I remove the flower stem and the pot and plant in the garden. Al

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 10:11AM
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I have to disagree.
A long term (continued) cultivation in these small pots without holes will yield inferior, unsatisfying results.

On the other hand, result like the following
(clickable th_images)
href> href> href>
and finally ...
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are not possible using pots without drainage holes.

And - guess- how strange the world is: I use exactly these holes in order to apply water, from below, thus imitating favourable natural environmental conditions: The steady water supply, for the roots, from the ground water...

For good reasons all the pots designed to carry plants I find in the local garden centers are exclusively hole-ly *ggg* so what...*g*
I even bother myself for the sake of the plants and drill numerous additional holes (diameter = 5 mm) into the ground plate of boxes which appear to have insufficient. The deformed 50 cm x 18 cm box above has at least 30 of these extra-holes.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 1:30PM
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Usually, when there are no drainage holes there is actually a garden pot inside the decorative pot, and there are drainage holes in the inner pot. When you got to repot them, you realize that there are actually two pieces, but they don't come apart easily. The excess water collects inside the two pieces, which is not a good idea. See if yours is actually a two piece pot. If so, you can just remove the decorative pot. Good drainage is key.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 7:42PM
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LAA668984(z4/5 ny)

I want to grow some amarylis indoors this winter, but I have 2 curious cats. Does anyone know if they are poisonous to cats? I don't have real pointsettias because of my cats, so I'd like to have some nice red amayrlis. If anyone knows, please let me know, I don't want my babies to get sick.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 8:33AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Since you live in southern California and the Amaryllis is perfectly hardy in the garden I would not expect you to grow it on in the pot after it has bloomed. Al

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 10:00AM
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anna_in_quebec(z4 QC)

LAA.. - I have many cats and many amaryllis - all are doing quite well!


    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 3:45PM
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brigarif Khan

Hello AL
What?No holes. It is against the law of nature.Just look arround.
I use baked clay pots with holes and pores.I find them better than plastic pots which have holes but no pores.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2005 at 3:20AM
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My sweet neighbor gave me a red Amaryllis in a little green plastic pot. Didn't occur to me that the thing didn't have holes until I noticed the bulb sort of floating! I flipped it out of that pot and into a normal pot with holes. It is blooming like mad and so gorgeous, but the bulb is really wrinkled and leathery looking.

Too bad this thread wasn't here on October 19th when she gave me the plant. Never had a clue...
Hans-Werner ~ your photos make me green with envy!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2005 at 8:56AM
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Oh thank you for the compliment,


Now keep your plant in a bright place at your best window and make it consolidate and expand by carefull watering from the bottom and regular fertilizing.
If you are suspicious that the actual substrate might not be perfect then do not hesitate and replant the bulb into coco peat.
Knight star lilies are not really difficult and they do not need sophisticated bulb treatments as I often read of.
And... their appearance is simply a reflection of the previous long-term husbandry.

how do you like these twins:
(H.aulicum v.robustum x H."Liberty" - sterile 3n dead end hybrids)
click on the th_Bildchen

Liebe Gruesse

    Bookmark   November 11, 2005 at 8:09PM
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Simply gorgeous!
Just what I need, another plant addiction :)

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 11:47AM
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Mozart2(Zone 5 Michigan)

Hi yesimarose:

I've posted this response elsewhere and am modifying it very briefly - mostly due to the time factor - lots of stuff to plant - I am still working out in the garden planting some last minute items, I decided to take a short "coffee break" ;>) - mostly to warm up a bit - and saw your posting.

If you've planted your Amaryllis, unpot it, and buy a far bigger pot and re-pot it - as soon as possible - per the recommended suggestions discussed below.

I've grown these bulbs for a number of years and one of the "tricks" is to place them in a much larger pot than is usually recommended. Currently, I have a Amaryllis bulb planted in a 16 inch diamter pot and it is doing very, very well. If fact, it has three "kids" growing around the mother bulb.

Many years ago, when I went to repot one of my bulbs and noted that the roots of these bulbs were comparatively large and I came to the conclusion that the usually recommended procedure of the "forcing" i.e. planting - of these bulbs in pots that are just an inch or two larger than the diameter of the bulb is FALSE - mainly because there is insufficient room for root growth and equally insufficient room for the take up of nutrients let alone enough room for good nourishment. In short, there seems to be no logic to place these bulbs in a 'straight-jacket' and expect them to grow in stature or longevity.

No human being can "grow" under such straight-jacket conditions, so why should we come to believe that the same method should be more than 'suitable' for plants. Doesn't make any sense.

Consequently, I repotted my bulbs in much larger pots 12 - 16 inches minimum. Of course, I trimmed the roots and got rid of much of the 'old' soil and gave the bulb a nice new home of good potting soil. I would highly recommend that you pot your Amaryllis in a good sized 14 or 16 inch pot with some depth to it.

One of the consequences of this development was the magnificant array of blooms that I experienced in their third year of growth. Not only did the bulb grow larger, but the mother bulb gave 'birth' to several 'kids' so that I ended up with three or four or more stalks all full of bloom one Christmas. Lovely - absolutely lovely. I had two stalks coming off of the mother bulb.

One of the responses to your posting has given you photographic evidence of this occurrence. When this number of bulbs are in bloom, they are a joy to experience.

I did repot my current bulb in the fall of last year into a 16 inch pot, because I had one 'kid' who was making it's appearance. We have a horticultural program where I work and I donated the 'kid' to the program and it was potted up in a nice large pot. Sure enough, the 'kid' came into bloom this spring.

Another source for my idea and inspiration was the story I was told about one of the former employees working at Kelly's Seed & Hardware in Peoria, IL. This employee - of German heritage - planted his Amaryllis bulbs outside in the late spring and early summer in a very deeply prepared and in a very loose soil structure. He fertilized and watered them on a regular basis and ended up with Soccer sized Amaryllis bulbs in the late fall.

I would have loved to see his bulbs and talked with him about how he accomplished this, but I do think that planting these bulbs in far larger pots than usually recommended is very beneficial (and equally enjoyable).

With regard to a suggested soil mixture, I would purchase a very good, loose, humusy soil mixture or make one up myself with good potting soil, some perlite, some aged cow manure, and some sphagnum peat moss and then give the bulb and soil a very good soaking of 1/2 strength fertilizer and then let it rest for a bit and then water it until water drains out of the bottom. Some time later, you can then give it another good soaking with 1/2 strength fertilizer and from then give some watering when needed. And repeat the process of fertilzing, then watering as needed, i.e. let the top few inches of the soil dry out and use your finger as a "tester".

Hope this information becomes more than inspirational in your Amaryllis growing efforts.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 2:23PM
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Hi Yesimarose! I have a very strong feeling that u and I bought our Amaryllis kit from the same source. I really found that very odd that the green pot provided had no holes in it. The coco peat "thing" was cool though. I put holes in the pot using the circle marks at the bottom as my guide. As u can see, there are two sets of these circle markings, some on the very bottom and some on the slightly elevated part of the bottom. Try to put holes on both parts. In my opinion these holes would serve two different purposes. After i planted my Amaryllis I bottom water it with warm water, just like how Hans have been suggesting. The water will be absorbed through the very bottom holes. After like 5-10 minutes, I throw away the excess water that was not taken up. The slightly elevated holes would serve like an aeration thing providing air to the roots which is necessary for good root growth and preventing root rot. Hey I bought 4 different varieties of this Amaryllis kit and they are all ready to bloom now. I would like to take this oppurtunity to thank Hans-Werner too who I think has been so unselfish sharing his growing techniques to us.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 4:12PM
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Mozart2(Zone 5 Michigan)


Wie Geht's?

Well, I don't wish to venture any further with my fading knowledge of High School and College "Gemman" clases, but I thought I'd give you a two "thumbs-up" in regard to the information you have provided and the photographs!

I particularly enjoyed your statements in your first posting:

"The bulb producers do not have any interest that their bulbs might survive and thus potentielly be shortening their future profits."

As well as:

"The amaryllis-ready-to-use-kit-makers lack any knowledge of the plant's demand OR... they are instructed by the bulb producers to mix this funny amaryllis-killing-tool together."

How very true; somewhat reminds me of the chapter on the sales effort in a book by Baran and Sweezy that I read so many decades ago.

Also, loved your added "laugh" feature!

FYI - I top water my bulbs, allow them to drain before putting the pot back into the saucer, and then let them dry out - sometimes from benign neglect - and then give them a another drink. I choose this alternative, because I work in one part of the State of Michigan and live in another (home) on the weekends, holidays, vacation, etc. So I don't always have the time to do the preferred method.

Thanks again for helping people out with your excellent information and photographs.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 6:20PM
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Yes, Amaryllis is poisonous to cats. See this page for a list of plants from the ASPCA:

Here is a link that might be useful: Poisonous Plants & Cats

    Bookmark   November 24, 2005 at 1:28AM
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I am a neophyte gardener! I purchased a substantial of those ready-to-use kits recently. Those that I planted in the supplied hole-less pots got root rot due to my inexperienced over-watering. The others which I planted in my own pots which happened to have holes are doing fine.

My question is this. Having removed all rotted roots, even to the point of scraping the bottom of some of the bulbs, and repotted, will the amaryllis survive? Some lost half their roots and others all except one or two roots left.

Even for a neophyte indoor gardener, the stupidity of providing a pot w/out hole is obvious after this one experience.

Thanks for any ones advice. The pictures are spectacular.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 5:28PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

In defense of al, who truly does know his stuff, let me just add my two cents worth and say that the ROOTS can grow in standing water, but the BULB should not be in standing water. Ever grow your amaryllis in one of those "bulb vases"? They are narrow in the middle, so that the bulb stays high and dry in the vase, while water and roots go down into the bottom.

Chazn, it's unlikely that your bulb will survive, but not impossible. It basically depends on how far into the bulb the rot has penetrated. If only the roots rotted, it may pull through. But, you have absolutely nothing to lose. Try it and see. Most horticultural knowledge is obtained by experimentation.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 1:21PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Maybe because I spent my earning life in retail sales, I understand the buying public. The pots and the plant are intended to be discarded when through blooming. The seller does not put holes in the pot,not to save him any money, but to prevent damaging the surface on which the buyer sets the pot. Because I live in an area where Amaryllis grow very well year around in the garden, mine are removed from their tiny pot when planted in the garden and their roots, while curled up, are in fine condition. These are sold to be given away as Christmas presents, and in fact all of mine were received as presents. In my garden they bloom the last part of May and also make new bulbs which I remove and pot up. Al

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 10:43AM
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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

AMARYLLIS CAN KILL A CAT. Do not put an amaryllis within a cat's reach, ever.

For the record, poinsettias are not toxic. Cats may vomit if they eat a lot, but it won't hurt them.

I had a cat who brushed against a stargazer lily and then licked the pollen off her fur. She almost died - they had to force charcoal down her throat and put her on fluids to dilute the poison. She pulled through, but a couple years later died of kidney failure. I suspect the kidneys were damaged from the lily toxin.

Be very careful with any plant around your pets.

Here is a link that might be useful: Toxic Plants

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 2:59PM
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ladychroe, thanks for the tip. I have amaryllis all around the outside of my house and my cats go where they please with no problems. I have never seen anyone of them brush against the pollen but then the flowers are too tall for them. Again Thanks as I do love my friends-cats.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 2:33PM
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