Amaryllis plants are beloved for their huge, brightly beaming blooms and large leaves – the whole package lends a tropical feel to indoor settings and gardens alike. These brash beauties live for decades and thrive indoors, but even the best houseplant has its days. Droopy amaryllis plants aren’t uncommon; and these symptoms are typically caused by environmental problems. Read on to learn what makes the leaves on amaryllis turn yellow and droop.
Why the Leaves on Amaryllis are Drooping
Amaryllis is an easy-care plant, provided the basic needs are met. When they don’t get the right amount of water, fertilizer or sunlight at the proper time in their bloom cycle, it may result in limp, yellow leaves. You can prevent this situation and increase your plant’s lifespan by keeping its basic needs in mind.
Water: Amaryllis need frequent watering and excellent drainage. Although some kits are designed for growing amaryllis in a water culture, with this method these plants will always be sickly and short-lived – they simply aren’t designed to sit in stagnant water all day. The bulb or crown may develop fungal rot under constantly wet conditions, causing limp leaves and plant death. Plant amaryllis in a well draining potting soil and water it any time the top inch (2.5 cm.) of soil feels dry to the touch.
Fertilizer: Never fertilize amaryllis as it is beginning to go dormant or you may stimulate new growth that keeps the bulb working when it should be resting. Dormancy is vital to the success of an amaryllis bulb – if it can’t rest, new growth will emerge increasingly weaker until all you’re left with are pale, limp leaves and an exhausted bulb.
Sunlight: If you notice amaryllis leaves drooping despite otherwise ideal care, check the lighting in the room. Once the blooms have faded, amaryllis plants race to store as much energy in their bulbs as they can before they return to dormancy. Prolonged periods of low light can weaken your plant, resulting in signs of stress like yellow or limp leaves. Plan to move your amaryllis onto the patio after bloom, or provide it with supplemental indoor lighting.
Stress: Leaves droop in amaryllis for many reasons, but shock and stress may cause the most dramatic changes. If you’ve just moved your plant or are forgetting to water it regularly, the stress may be too much for the plant. Remember to check your plant every few days and water as needed. When you move it to the patio, start by placing it in a shady spot, then gradually increase its exposure to light over a week or two. Gentle changes and proper watering will usually prevent environmental shock.
Dormancy: If this is your first amaryllis bulb, you may be unaware that they must spend many weeks in dormancy in order to thrive. After the blooms are spent, the plant prepares for this rest period by storing up lots of food, but as it approaches dormancy, its leaves gradually turn yellow or brown and may droop. Let them dry out completely before removing them.