COLORADO, USA — The bright, long-lasting blooms of Amaryllis and Paperwhites add a lovely splash of color and pleasant scents to your holiday décor. Growing indoor blooms is a fun activity to do with children, and are a thoughtful, colorful, live gift.
There are several options for growing an amaryllis…pre-planted (add a bow and a card), wax dipped (just place in a saucer…no water necessary. However, these bulbs will most likely not rebloom), or plant up your own.
Amaryllis work well in a variety of containers. The main thing that you need to remember when choosing your container is that it must have enough weight to hold up a fairly heavy steam and large flowers without tipping over.
Cover the bulb in a good potting soil mix halfway to ¾ of the way up to it neck and pack the soil gently.
At first, only water when the top inch of the soil feels dry.
Once the stem begins to grow you can start watering more frequently.
Amaryllis are content being at room temperature, but still need a well-lit, warm spot.
If you have a stem with multiple blooms, snip off the spent blooms as necessary.
Paperwhites are related to daffodils and are the cilantro of the flower world. I can’t get enough of their fragrance, but to others I’ve heard they smell like dirty socks.
Paperwhites can be grown with or without soil and in a variety of containers.
Without soil, put a layer of glass stones, pebbles or aquarium gravel on the bottom of your container 1-2” deep. Plant paperwhite close together, slightly touching is fine. Groups of 5 or more give you the best show. Add water to the container until it barely touches the base of the bulbs. Put the pot in a cool, bright location. Water sparingly, adding only enough water to maintain the same level. Once the bulbs start growing, you'll need to replenish the water more often, but keep the level below the base of the bulbs.
If you choose to plant paperwhites in soil, do the same as with the amaryllis; cover the bulb in a good potting soil mix halfway to ¾ of the way up to it neck and pack the soil gently. When I plant them in soil, I add some decorative rocks, pebbles or seashells on top.
At first, only water when the top inch of the soil feels dry. Once the stem begins to grow you can start watering more frequently.
Paperwhites prefer a well-lit, cool spot and again, snip off the spent blooms as necessary.
Oh, and if they don’t start to grow right away, don’t panic. Amaryllis and paperwhites can have their own timeline. Rob Proctor once planted paperwhites that didn’t bloom until May!
Continue to take good care of them, talk nicely to them and sit back and watch ‘em bloom!
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