I planted Hippeastrum in October and it bloomed spectacularly in March. When it finished, I cut off the stem about an inch above the leaves. I would love to rejuvenate the flowers for next year. What do I do next? Leave the leaves on for now and fertilize twice a week until this fall? Is it better to plant it in my garden once the weather warms up or just leave it in its pot? How much sun does it require?
Hippeastrum, or amaryllis, is one of the most spectacular flowers for indoor forcing here in cold, bleak Michigan winters. You are on the right track for rejuvenation. Continue to fertilize until the foliage dies. Remove the bulb from the pot, dry it off, remove any side bulbs, and store in a cool place in dry peat moss. It is best not to put the bulb in your garden, as you will interfere with its natural life cycle. They are native to tropical zones, places whose winters are our summers. The bulb needs a period of rest, after the leaves have worked hard to photosynthesize food stored then in the bulb. Come October, you can repot the bulb in a well-drained container. Don’t water until you start seeing growth. Then water sparingly once you start seeing new growth from either the flower stalk or the foliage. They enjoy a sunny exposure, being the tropical beauties they are, but will admirably tolerate dappled shade or part day sun.
Amaryllis in containers can be placed outdoors in spring when all threat of frost is past. Just start it in a shady spot, gradually moving it into more sun over a week or so. Keep them evenly watered but not saturated, and fertilized once a month.