Why Do Amaryllis Leaves Fall Over? Causes and Fixes

If you are an avid gardener, you know how frustrating it can be to see your beloved amaryllis leaves fall over, seemingly for no reason. It can be challenging to pinpoint exactly why it is happening, but there are a few common causes. 

Your amaryllis leaves fall over due to too much or too little water, light, or nutrients. These conditions can cause the leaves to become weak, leading to them drooping down. Disease or pests can also be a factor, as well as temperature changes, compact soil, and incorrect pot size. 

Don’t worry. You’re not alone. I have been there too, and there are solutions to help you get your amaryllis back in tip-top shape. I’ll share some causes and fixes for why amaryllis leaves may fall over, so read on if you want to get your plants flourishing again. 

1. Too Much or Too Little Sunlight

Amaryllis plants need a lot of sunlight to thrive. These plants need sunlight for at least 6 hours daily to ensure they have enough energy to survive. However, too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves and cause them to droop. If the leaves are exposed to too much direct sunlight, they may eventually turn yellow and brown before falling off. The plant is trying to protect itself from the scorching sun by shedding its leaves.

While too much direct sunlight can damage the plant, too little sunlight can also cause the leaves to droop. When the plant is not getting enough light, it will try to reach for the sun and stretch out its leaves to get as much light as possible. The plant will struggle to produce energy causing the leaves to become weak and eventually droop or fall off entirely.

How To Fix

If the leaves on your amaryllis are falling over due to too much sunlight, move your plant to a spot with partial shade or indirect sunlight. This will help prevent sunburn and minimize the chances of wilting leaves, leading to a healthier plant overall.

If the leaves are falling due to too little sunlight, increasing the amount of sunlight it receives is the best way to fix the issue. To do this, move your amaryllis plant to where it will receive indirect sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. 

Placing it on a windowsill in a south-facing window can be a great option, as long as the sun isn’t too direct. Avoid placing the plant in direct sunlight, as this will cause the leaves to become scorched and brittle.

You can supplement with grow lights if you don’t have a south-facing window or natural sunlight isn’t available. Grow lights are a great way to give your amaryllis the light it needs without the risk of sunburn. Place the lights at least 10 to 12 inches (25-30 cm) away from the plant and turn them on for 6-10 hours daily. 

Balance is critical in keeping your amaryllis healthy and preventing its leaves from wilting. Ensure it is not exposed to too much or too little sunlight, so its leaves stay upright all year round. Rotate the plant or move it to different areas in your home depending on the season and light availability. Too much light on one side of the plant can cause it to lean in one direction, so ensure you rotate it.

2. Over-Watering or Under-Watering

Over-watering can also cause the leaves on your amaryllis to droop or fall off. When plants are overwatered, their roots cannot access enough oxygen leading to root rot and stunted growth. This can inhibit the plant’s ability to produce energy for its leaves, causing them to become weak and eventually droop. 

Under-watering is another common cause of wilting amaryllis leaves. When amaryllis plants do not receive enough water, their leaves will begin to droop in an attempt to conserve energy. The roots cannot absorb enough water, making the plant dehydrated and stressed.

How To Fix

To prevent wilting leaves, make sure you are watering your amaryllis correctly. If you think your amaryllis is being overwatered, adjust your watering schedule and allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. The pot should have adequate drainage so that the water can be released quickly and not accumulate at the bottom of the pot.

If it is underwatered, water your amaryllis thoroughly and regularly. Usually, amaryllis plants need to be watered once or twice a week or when the top layer of soil begins to dry. Stick your finger into the soil to check for moisture before watering. If it feels damp, the plant has been recently watered, and you can wait a few days before checking again. Once the top layer of soil begins to feel dry, it is time to water your amaryllis plant. 

3. Lack of Drainage Holes

If the pot you’re using doesn’t have drainage holes, water will pool at the bottom, leading to a whole host of problems like root rot, bugs, and fungal diseases. Amaryllis bulbs are especially susceptible to this because they’re native to tropical climates and need well-drained soil.

In their natural environment, the soil is usually loose and light. This ensures that water can drain quickly, so the roots of amaryllis plants don’t become waterlogged. The best way to ensure this happens is by using a pot with drainage holes. Otherwise, your amaryllis may struggle to survive. 

How To Fix

When planting your amaryllis, use a pot with drainage holes at the bottom. This will prevent the water from pooling at the base and ensure that your amaryllis has enough oxygen for its roots.

If your existing pot does not have drainage holes, you can add some by drilling some into the bottom of the pot. This will allow water to escape quickly and prevent standing water from accumulating at the bottom of the pot. 

Alternatively, you can add a layer of pebbles or stones to the bottom of the pot to provide a space for the excess water to drain into and away from the roots of your amaryllis plant. Ensure you leave a few inches of free space between the stones and the soil so water can still reach the roots. 

You can also try using a different pot with better drainage. Look for pots made from a porous material like terracotta that will allow excess water to escape quickly. Additionally, ensure the pot is wider than tall, as this will also make it easier for water to drain out. 

4. The Soil is Too Compact or Has a Lot of Clay

Compacted soil can also cause wilted amaryllis leaves. When the soil around your plant is too compact, it prevents water from reaching the roots and can leave them dehydrated. Over time, this can cause the leaves to droop or even fall off due to lack of hydration.

Clay soil can also be a problem for amaryllis plants. Clay soil has very poor drainage and can cause water to pool at the bottom of the pot. This can lead to a host of problems like root rot and fungal diseases, which can stunt the growth of your amaryllis leading to wilted leaves. 

How To Fix

You’ll need to loosen up the soil around your amaryllis to fix these problems. Use a trowel or shovel to break up any large clumps of soil and mix them with compost or other organic materials. This will create a better soil structure that is more aerated and allows water to move freely through the soil. 

Remember always to use potting soil that is well-draining and airy. Avoid using soil that is too compact or has a lot of clay, which will prevent the water from draining away quickly. You can also add materials like sand or pumice to the mix, which will help improve drainage and prevent water from pooling at the bottom of the pot. The pot should have drainage holes so that excess water can escape quickly and not accumulate at the bottom. 

5. Too Little Fertilizer

Fertilizer is essential for amaryllis plants to grow and remain healthy. If you’re not feeding your amaryllis plant enough, it will start to show signs of stress, and one of those signs is that the leaves become weak and begin to fall over. 

Additionally, the plant may not have enough energy to bloom, and its stems may not grow as tall or strong as they should. It will start to pull nutrients from the leaves to keep the bulb alive, causing the leaves to turn yellow and eventually drop off, leading to wilted leaves. 

How To Fix

If you think this might be the problem, the solution is simple: fertilize your amaryllis plant more frequently. I like to use a balanced fertilizer that I mix into the watering can once every two weeks. This will give the plant enough nutrients to stay healthy and keep its leaves strong. 

Phosphorous is especially important for amaryllis plants, so look for a fertilizer containing phosphorus. This will help your plant bloom and encourage strong stem and leaf growth. 

You don’t want to overfertilize, though, as this can also be bad for your amaryllis. Too much fertilizer can lead to a buildup of salts in the soil, and this can cause the leaves to droop and become discolored. Stick to fertilizing every two weeks, and your amaryllis should be happy and healthy. 

The fertilizer can also help the plants bloom and grow strong, tall stems. If your amaryllis isn’t blooming, this could be a sign that it needs more fertilizer. However, ensure that the plant gets enough light and water first before adding more fertilizer. 

6. Temperature Changes

Temperature changes can also cause the leaves of your amaryllis to fall over. Moving your plant from a warm area to a cooler one can cause the leaves to droop and turn yellow. Similarly, if you move your plant from a cool spot to a warmer place, the leaves will wilt as they adjust to the new temperatures. 

If you live in an area with cold winters, it’s best to grow your amaryllis indoors. But even then, you need to be careful about the temperature. Amaryllis bulbs need to be kept in temperatures between 55 and 65 °F (12 to 18 °C). If the temperature dips below this, the leaves will start to turn brown and fall off. 

If you notice that your amaryllis leaves are falling over and the temperature has been cold lately, this is probably why.

The only time that amaryllis bulbs need to be kept in the cold is when they are dormant. During this period, the temperature should drop between 40 and 45 °F (4 to 7 °C) to force the plant into dormancy and prepare it for the next blooming season.

When the dormancy period is over, the temperatures should be raised back up to between 55 and 65 °F (12 to 18 °C). This is the optimal temperature range for amaryllis plants and will help the leaves stay strong and upright. 

How To Fix

The best way to fix this is to keep your amaryllis at a consistently warm temperature. Aim for temperatures between 55 and 65 °F (12 to 18 °C). If you live in a cooler area, keeping your plant indoors will help keep temperatures more consistent and ensure the leaves stay strong. 

If you’re forcing your plant into dormancy, keep the temperatures between 40 and 45 °F (4 to 7 °C). This will ensure that the dormancy period is successful and your amaryllis is ready to bloom when it’s time. But even then, your amaryllis bulb will have stored enough energy to get through the dormancy period without any leaves. 

7. Pests and Diseases

Another possible cause of drooping leaves is pests and diseases. Some common pests affecting amaryllis plants include aphids, spider mites, thrips, and mealybugs. These pests can weaken the plant and cause its leaves to droop. If you suspect this is the problem, look for signs of pests on the leaves, such as discoloration or webbing. 

In addition to pests, several diseases can affect amaryllis plants. Common fungal and bacterial infections include black rot, leaf spot, and crown rot. These diseases can cause the leaves to become discolored and fall off.  

How To Fix

You can treat diseases with fungicides or bactericides. If you catch the disease early, treating it should be enough to save your amaryllis plant. This will help the leaves stay upright and healthy. 

However, if the disease has spread throughout the plant, it may be best to discard the amaryllis and start over with a new one. You may also want to discard the potting soil and container you were using if they are contaminated with the disease. 

For pests, you can use insecticidal soap to treat the plant. This will help get rid of any pests and keep your amaryllis healthy. Check your amaryllis periodically for signs of pests and disease, so you can catch them early and treat the plant before it becomes too weak. 

8. Maybe the Plant is Too Young

If your amaryllis plant is young, it might not be able to support its leaves. It takes time for the stem and leaves to develop enough strength to stay upright. Your amaryllis might just need more time to grow. In most cases, the leaves should strengthen and stand upright as the plant matures, although it might take several weeks or even months.

How To Fix

In this case, the best thing you can do is keep an eye on your amaryllis and give it some extra support. You can use a stake or trellis to help the leaves stay upright until they’re strong enough to stand independently. You can also try tying the leaves together with string or twine to keep them from drooping. 

9. Maybe the Pot is Too Small

Finally, it’s possible that the pot you’re using to grow your amaryllis is too small for the size of the plant. If this is the case, the leaves may be too heavy for the stem to support. The pot might also be restricting the plant’s root growth, making it difficult to get enough nutrients and water. 

Generally, the right pot size for your amaryllis should be two to three times the diameter of the bulb. This will give the plant enough room to grow and develop strong, healthy leaves. 

How To Fix

If you think the pot is too small, it’s best to repot your amaryllis in a larger container. This will give the plant more room to grow and provide the leaves with enough support. The new pot should have plenty of drainage holes at its base, so any excess water can escape. The soil you use should be light and well-draining so that the roots can get enough air and moisture without becoming waterlogged. 


Understanding the causes of drooping leaves and taking the right steps to fix them can help keep your amaryllis plant healthy and beautiful. The most common causes of drooping leaves include too much or too little light, water, or nutrients. Other potential causes include pests and diseases, temperature changes, compact soil, etc.

Each of these issues can be addressed with the right measures. Follow the tips outlined above to identify and fix the underlying problem. With proper care, you can help your amaryllis thrive!

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of TheGrowingLeaf.com, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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