Choose a firm fleshed bulb and potting soil that is water retentive but drains well. Select a container with good drainage (6” minimum for our top sized bulbs). Too large a container will encourage leaf and root growth instead of luscious blooms.
Trim off any bruised, dessicated or dried out roots. Place some soil in the bottom of the container, first covering the drain hole with a small piece of newspaper, coffee filter, or heavy paper towel to contain the dry potting soil from leaking out.
Hold the bulb in the center of the pot and fill in soil around the roots until the roots are covered. Continue filling in until 2/3 to 3/4 of the bulb is covered.
Water around the bulb with luke warm water. If the soil level drops, add more soil to bring the level up and then re-water. Make sure the water drains through the bottom of the pot, and then set the container out of direct sunlight in a warm room between 70º– 74º F.
TIPS FOR YEAR ROUND CARE
Once soil is moist, the bulb needs very little water until the leaves emerge. When leaves grow to 12” begin rotating the pot regularly so the stems do not bend toward the sun. If the stems grow over 18–20“ tall, stake them and place small pebbles over the top of the pot to weight it down. You can also place the pot inside another slightly larger and taller pot to help balance the plant.
After the plant is finished flowering, cut off the bloom stalks, but keep the rest of the foliage growing by regularly watering and feeding every three weeks. After last frost, bury the pot and all outside in the ground. Keep the soil level of the pot even with ground soil level and spread some bulb fertilizer around in about a 12” radius. Water and rain will carry nutrients to the bulb.
It is important to leave the foliage on the plant as it helps the bulb gain strength for its next blooming cycle.
Before first frost in early October, take up the container, remove any excess soil and place it in a cool, dry location 60º-65ºF. Stop watering and discontinue feeding. Leaves will begin to yellow and die back. When they are all yellow, cut them off.
Continue to keep pot dry until fresh green growth begins to appear and the cycle begins again. Sometimes, the bulb may take a vacation and not produce a bloom for one season. If this happens, continue to follow the directions and blooms should appear the following season.