Amaryllis no flowers just leaves

Amaryllis Amigo

(Image credit: White Flower Farm)

Spectacular flowers on tall green stalks and commonly known as amaryllis have become a holiday favorite in homes around the world for their large and beautiful blooms. Of all the flowering bulbs, the many hybrid varieties of amaryllis are the easiest to bring to bloom both indoors and outdoors and for an extended period of time.

Amaryllis Dancing Queen

(Image credit: White Flower Farm)

The true amaryllis is of the family Amaryllidaceae and has only two known species, both found in the winter rain areas of South Africa. The more common genus of this family is known as Hippeastrum and is native to tropical and subtropical Central and South America. The genus Hippeastrum has nearly 90 species with nearly 700 hybrids and cultivars that easily grow and flower indoors during the cold holiday season of the Northern Hemisphere.

Amaryllis pardinum

(Image credit: Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher)

One of the first of the Hippeastrum species, Amaryllis pardinum, was discovered by English botanists in Peru in 1866. Bulbs of this species were sent to England and first bloomed in June 1867. The flowers were so beautiful and unlike anything ever seen in Europe before that a genuine sensation rippled through the European botanical community. The spectacular flowers were spotted like a leopard with large, broad petals that show off a beautiful, symmetrical face.

Amaryllis bulb

(Image credit: Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher)

Bulbs of most Amaryllis are large, measuring about 2 to 5 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) in diameter. From the bulb, a long, erect stem ranging from 12 to 31 inches (30 to 80 cm) in height will grow. Between two to seven leaves will grow from the stem, and depending on the species, two to 15 flowers will bloom. The flowers are large, about 5 to 8 inches (13 to 20 cm) across with three sepals and three petals that are brilliantly colored.

Amaryllis Ferrari

(Image credit: White Flower Farm)

The name amaryllis finds its origin in Greek mythology. Amaryllis was a shepherdess who loved a shepherd named Alteo. Alteo possessed the beauty of Apollo and the strength of Hercules. Alteo loved flowers and Amaryllis died trying to win Alteo’s affection. Upon her death, the blood of her heart created a beautiful crimson flower known today as the amaryllis.

Amaryllis Exotica

(Image credit: White Flower Farm)

During the 18th century, the amaryllis flowers were commonly known as a lily. Even today, in some parts of the world they still carry that common name. They are called the March lily in South Africa and the Jersey lily in England. The Italians refer to the amaryllis as the Madonna lily, while the people of Portugal call the beautiful flowers the “Bordao de Sao Jose,” meaning St. Joseph’s staff.

Amaryllis Lemon Star

(Image credit: White Flower Farm)

The hybrid amaryllis known as Lemon Star first appeared in the United States in 2007. When the spectacular luminescent flowers first open, they have a beautiful yellow cast that lightens to a creamy white as they age. The throat of the flower is a rich green when it first opens, then gradually turns to a yellowy cream.


(Image credit: White Flower Farm)

The amaryllis Aphrodite is named after the Greek goddess of love and beauty. This is a double amaryllis with pure white petals whose tips have been brushed with salmon-pink. The lime green throats add amazing contrast to this magnificent flower. It is considered one of the easiest of indoor flowering plants to grow.

Amaryllis Chico

(Image credit: White Flower Farm)

New, exotic hybrid varieties of amaryllis flowers are now being developed, such as Chico, the flower shown here. Chico has spidery, narrow petals that bend gracefully backward. The burgundy and green blooms make for a unique flower display. This South American tropical beauty is said to resemble exotic tropical birds.

Varieties available

(Image credit: Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher)

Many varieties of amaryllis bulbs are sold in countless retail stores across the Northern Hemisphere during the holiday season. Amaryllis flowers are only outsold during the Christmas season by the poinsettia. Amaryllis bulbs are easy to grow and thrive in the warm living rooms of homes surrounded by wintery weather.

White Flower Farm

(Image credit: White Flower Farm, Litchfield, CT, USA)

Many nurseries worldwide sell and ship amaryllis bulbs to the ever-growing number of amaryllis-loving customers. Such reliable sources, like the White Flower Farm of Litchfield, Conn., guarantee their bulbs to be healthy, free of disease and ready to gloriously bloom. Amaryllis bulbs have become a major component of the worldwide flower industry.

Amaryllis All Leaves And No Flowers: Troubleshooting No Flowers On Amaryllis

Gardeners plant amaryllis bulbs for the gorgeous, trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom in incredible shades from white through orange and red. The long, strap-like leaves are attractive, but it’s the lily-like flowers – exotic and tropical – that are the star of the amaryllis show. So what’s going on when amaryllis grows leaves but no flowers? When an amaryllis has no flowers, just leaves, you need to look at how you are caring for the bulbs.

Non-Blooming Amaryllis

Every amaryllis is a non-blooming amaryllis some of the time. To figure out when it is normal to see no flowers on amaryllis plants, you need a basic understanding of the garden life of an amaryllis bulb.

When you first plant an amaryllis bulb, it has no flowers or foliage. It is simply a bulb, but it has potential for great things within

its papery coating.

Plant a new bulb in a tight pot with potting mix and just a little potting soil on the bottom. Water it well. In a few weeks, a thick flower stalk will shoot up, followed by the flat leaves. Once the flower starts blooming, it may continue to flower for seven weeks or longer.

Amaryllis All Leaves and No Flowers

When you try to get your amaryllis to rebloom, you may find that the amaryllis grows leaves but no flowers. If it turns out that you get no flowers on amaryllis plants, one of several things may be amiss.

Amaryllis grows leaves but no flowers if you try to get the plant to rebloom too quickly. The bulb needs time to store up nutrients, followed by an essential dormant period.

Once you see the flowers fade, trim off the stalks but not the leaves. Set the pot in a well-lit spot, and keep watering and feeding it every few weeks until the leaves fade. During this time your amaryllis has no flowers, just leaves.

Only then should you stop watering and let the bulb dry out. The bulb needs to sit six to 12 weeks in a cool, dry, dark area before you try for more flowers.

If you fail to give the plant its rest period, you may see leaves but no flowers on amaryllis. Likewise, if you fail to allow the bulb to rebuild its nutrients in a sunny location after the flowers fade, the result may be amaryllis, all leaves but no flowers.

Netherlands Flower Bulb Information CenterThe stages of an amaryllis bulb producing a flower.

Q: My amaryllis didn’t bloom for the first time this year. I’ve had it for about 4 years now. I keep it next to a sunny window and fertilize it once a month. It’s always bloomed in December, but this year I didn’t even get a flower stalk. What do you think’s wrong?

A: Sounds like the bulb didn’t sufficiently recharge itself. In other words, it’s run out of the energy needed to go into another round of flowering.

Amaryllis bulbs do best when you can get them outside in sunlight over the summer. Even next to a bright window inside doesn’t give the plant the energy it gets from the sun outside.

You can grow your amaryllis as an outdoor potted plant over summer or plant it in the ground as you would an annual. Give it a location that gets at least a half day of sun, fertilize it monthly (twice a month in pots) and keep the soil of average dampness.

Most growers say amaryllis then likes an 8-week dormant period before bringing it back to life for a new bloom. I usually plant mine in the ground over summer and dig them up around Labor Day. I cut off the still-green leaves and just store the bulbs dry on my garage work bench for about 6 weeks or so.

Then I pot up the bulbs in fresh soil and start watering. Within a few weeks, new foliage is growing, and a few weeks after that, one or more flower stalks pop up that ultimately produce those big, trumpet-shaped flowers.

Depending on the variety, give your plants about 8 to 12 weeks of lead time between repotting and bloom if you’re trying to time the bloom for Christmas.

Amaryllis like to be a little pot-bound, by the way. Pick a pot that’s only slightly bigger than the bulb. Also plant so about one-third of the bulb is above grade. Don’t bury the bulbs too deeply.


Amaryllis require a minimum of 8 weeks cooling off period between 4 -10 degrees Celsius, to produce flowers. They also need to be stored in a dark place. They can be bagged in thick brown paper and stored in a refrigerator, but don’t store apples in the same fridge as this can sterilize them. You could also store them in your garage, as long as it doesn’t get below 4C. After two to three months of cooling off you can pot your bulbs. Soak the bulbs in warm water for two hours prior to placing the bottom two thirds of the bulb in a nutritious potting compost. Store bought potting soil is ideal. Press the soil down firmly, so that only one third of the bulb is above soil level. Water sparingly and place in direct light in a warm spot (at least 20 degrees Celsius) The bulbs need the light and heat to stimulate flower growth. Overwatering in the early stages of growth can rot the bulb. Continue to water sparingly until the stem appears. Increase watering as bud begins to appear. Fertilize monthly with liquid fertilizer (a 20-20-20 blend is good) It takes about 8 weeks for Amaryllis to bloom from potting time. Rotate the pot to ensure all sides of the plant get adequate light, and to encourage straight stem growth.

If a bulb doesn’t flower after all these steps have been taken it may be undernourished and unable to produce a flower for the season. Continue to feed and water until the leaves turn yellow and wither as the plant goes into dormancy. This will allow the bulb time to replenish its stored nutrients for next season. Trim off the dead leaves and begin the cool storage phase again. Your bulbs should be firm like onions prior to planting in the spring. Good luck!

Why Won’t My Flower on My Amaryllis Bloom?

Image by, courtesy of Powi) (Per Ola Wiberg

The amaryllis is a popular indoor plant because of its large, striking flowers. Amaryllis thrive in USDA Planting Zones 9 through 11. Their natural flowering period starts near the end of December and can continue for up to 10 weeks. But with a little know-how and the right environment, it is possible to control when the plant will bloom. With proper care, your amaryllis plant can last a lifetime.

Forcing Amaryllis to Bloom

Before amaryllis bloom, they must experience a dormant period of about four months. Forcing dormancy requires withholding water and moving the plant to a cool spot where the temperature stays about 55 degrees. These conditions are not easy to create naturally, but you can remove the plant from its pot, rinse it and store it in your refrigerator for six to eight weeks to force it into dormancy.

Do not refrigerate apples if you are storing amaryllis bulbs in a refrigerator, as the bulbs will become infertile and won’t bloom. Most amaryllis lovers begin withholding water in late summer, so they can take advantage of the upcoming cool weather necessary to promote dormancy.

Fall Care

Leave your amaryllis plant outside during early fall. Move it to an indoor location at the end of October, or a little later if you’re in a southern location. If frost is expected, move the plant indoors until the threat of frost has passed. Find a place inside near a window or one where the plant will receive a moderate amount of light. Keep it away from heaters, air conditioners and drafts. The plant will do best in a cool location, with temperatures as close to 60 degrees as possible. Withhold water from the plant during this period.

Winter Care

Winter is growing season for the amaryllis plant’s leaves and flowers. To promote growth, move it to a window where it will receive at least five hours of sunlight each day. When buds appear, begin to water the soil weekly, but do not let the water touch the part of the bulb that is located above the soil. Apply liquid fertilizer once a month. Be sure the water can drain easily. Flowers will bloom for seven to 10 weeks. When a bloom fades, cut the stalk close to the bulb. It is natural for sap to emerge from the cut stalk. Continue to water the plant weekly. When the last frost has passed, move your amaryllis back outdoors.

Spring Care

In early spring, find a sunny spot for your amaryllis to live outdoors. Water the plant every day, preferably in early morning or in early evening, when the sun is not shining directly on the plant. Amaryllis will lose their old leaves, but new ones will appear. Fertilize the plant every two weeks with the same liquid fertilizer you used during winter.

Summer Care

The amaryllis bulb grows during the hot months, so it requires some sun. Morning sun is best, followed by shade in the afternoon. Continue to water the plant daily. Begin withholding water during late summer in preparation for the dormancy period.

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