Sometimes a capricious amaryllis does not stick to the rules and leaves without delighting us with its magnificent flowers. There is no reason to leave it at that. Even a slight misalignment in the maintenance program can cause the problem. Once the deficiency has been remedied, the majestic inflorescence rises above the elegant leaves as desired. If you follow this root cause analysis in the process of elimination, in the end you will know exactly what to do. How to bring your foliage knight star to bloom.

Do not cut off leaves

A root cause analysis is not worth the effort if you cut the leaves off. Blaming the leaves for failing to flower is the wrong approach. As the following notes show, the problem results from neglect in the choice of location or in maintenance. As a rule of thumb, cutting off leaves does not stimulate an amaryllis to flower.

Cause: lack of light

Solution: change of location

A look at its origin reveals that an amaryllis struggles with the lack of light during the Central European winter. In its South American areas of distribution, the royal flower beauty is spoiled by sunlight for hours longer, even during the winter dry season. If a knight star leaves but does not bloom, a change of location usually solves the problem. How to do it right:

  • Spend in a bright to sunny window seat
  • Direct sunlight in winter is tolerated
  • Temperatures from 15 to 20 degrees Celsius
  • From May to September: partially shaded location on the balcony

If the sky remains overcast for many days, compensate for the lack of light with a plant lamp or daylight lamp. If your knight star is still only wearing its leaves at the end of April / beginning of May, move the plant to the balcony. Alternatively, plant the leafy plant in loose, permeable soil in the bed in mid-May. In the partially shaded location, the mild spring sun, with a little luck, will bring the bud that is resting in the bulb to life. As long as the leaves stay green and don’t turn yellow, there is still a chance of a delayed flowering period.

Tip:  Amaryllis is a poisonous plant. There are high concentrations of toxins, especially in onions and plant sap. Therefore, please always wear protective gloves when caring for your knight star. A hippeastrum is not suitable for cultivation within the reach of children and pets.

Cause: Excessive moisture

Solution: pour more moderately

In their South American habitats, amaryllis bloom in the middle of the dry season. If the watering is too intense, the plant interprets it as the rainy season and only sprouts its leaves. By reducing the water supply, you simulate the onset of the dry season, after which the hollow stem with its majestic buds and flowers rises above the foliage. How to proceed properly:

  • Let the substrate dry 2 to 3 cm deep (finger test)
  • Fill the coaster with soft water
  • Wait a few minutes until the surface of the earth is moistened
  • Remove excess water from the coaster

Do not water a knight’s star during the winter dry season until the substrate has noticeably dried out. During the summer growing season, there is then an increased need for watering, whereby the soil must not come under waterlogging at any time.

Cause: fertilizing at the wrong time

Solution: stop nutrient supply

If you can rule out a lack of light and too frequent watering as the cause of the failure to bloom, please check the nutrient supply. An amaryllis is only ready for its flowering period under the influence of sunny and spartan conditions. As a result, the application of fertilizer is limited to the summer growing season. Please do not fertilize your knight star in the period from July / August to April / May.

Cause: Lack of rest time

Solution: Modify the maintenance program

A knight’s star draws its flowering power primarily from an autumn rest phase of around 12 weeks. If he is denied this breather, his energy reserves are only sufficient for the growth of the leaves and no longer for a winter bloom. If you were able to deny the aforementioned causes in the process of elimination, do not throw away the precious amaryllis bulb. By following the maintenance regimen below, there is a good chance of flowering next winter:

  • Carry amaryllis to a partially shaded spot in the open air from May to early September
  • Keep the substrate slightly moist with soft water
  • Apply liquid fertilizer every 14 days from April to the end of July / beginning of August
  • Water less from mid-July until the onion is dry at the end of August
  • Move to a dark, cool area at the beginning of September

For about 12 weeks, your knight star will stay without light at 5 to 9 degrees Celsius to regenerate. At least now the last leaves are moving in. Only when a leaf is completely dead do you cut it off. At the end of the rest, repot the amaryllis. A poor, permeable substrate, such as peat-free vegetable soil or succulent soil with quartz sand, is well suited. In the bright to sunny window seat at 15 to 20 degrees Celsius, it takes 6 to 8 weeks before the flowering period begins. It is important to note that you do not water until the first tips of the buds appear.

Tip:  While your gardener is trying to find the causes for the failure to bloom, an amaryllis starts its own emergency program. Since the plant feels threatened in its existence, it produces daughter bulbs. These Kindel are excellent for propagation.

If an amaryllis only leaves leaves and consequently refuses to bloom, you now know the four most common causes. Instead of throwing away the precious flower bulbs or cutting off the lush green leaves, take care of them carefully. Lack of light, excessive watering and improper fertilization are quickly remedied. If you can rule out these triggers for the problem, it is worth the effort of modified care with a summer growing season and autumn dormancy. Your knight star will thank you with a breathtaking flower festival in the middle of winter.

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