When to Plant Indoor Bulbs
Amaryllis bulbs are a classic winter bloom perfect for gifts or for adding color to your home. While red and white varieties are popular, we also offer shades of coral and creamy green tones. Pot in mid-November for bloom during the Christmas holidays. When blooms fade, cut off the tubular flower stem near the top of the bulb, leaving the foliage to continue growing. Water as usual and apply a water-soluble fertilizer every four weeks. Once the danger of frost is past you may move bulbs outdoors to your garden where they can enjoy the summer sun. Be sure to continue your fertilizer program every four weeks as this is necessary for the next round of indoor forcing. In early Autumn, bring your bulbs inside to completely dry out. Cut off the dry leaves and let them "rest" for 6 weeks. Now repot your Amaryllis bulbs in new soil and start the process all over again.
Paperwhite bulbs are fragrant winter-blooming daffodils in bright yellow, white and cream hues. Their flowers are much smaller than the amaryllis, but because they're grouped together in bunches, they make an impactful display. If you want your bulbs to bloom around Christmas, plant them between the 1st and 2nd week of November. You may store unplanted bulbs in an open bag or box in a dark and cool place and schedule plantings at 10 day intervals—this way, you may enjoy blooms all winter long!
Where to Plant Indoor Bulbs
Amaryllis bulbs should be planted in pots which are approximately 1 to 2 inches wider than the diameter of the bulb. Containers may be plastic or clay, but should have drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. For paperwhites, a shallow bowl, low pot or tall clear vase is great. A drainage hole is not required but still a good idea. Either way, get creative with the wide rage of decorative options found in garden stores, craft stores or from your own collection.
How to Plant Indoor Bulbs
Amaryllis Bulbs: add a small amount of potting soil to the bottom of your pot. Center the bulb in the middle of the pot, then add additional potting soil, firming it around the roots and bulb. Allow 2 inches between the bulb and the edge of the pot. The upper 1/2 of the bulb should be above the surface of the soil. Tamp the potted bulb gently to settle it into the pot and to firm the soil. Mature amaryllis are heavy and will topple if not properly seated in the soil. Then water well and place in a cool (60 F) location. Water sparingly until growth appears. When growth begins, water more frequently, move the plant to a warm, sunny window and apply a water-soluble fertilizer every to 2 to 4 weeks. Flowering normally occurs about 6 to 9 weeks after potting. When the flower bud appears, turn the pot daily so that the flower-bearing stalk grows straight. The individual flowers can reach up to 8 inches in diameter.
Paperwhite Bulbs: Add a shallow layer of sand, gravel, stones, or soil at the bottom of the pot and place the bulbs on top, pointing upward. Put a few stones or gravel around and between the bulbs. Leave the tops of the bulbs exposed. Add water until the level reaches just below the base of the bulbs, but no higher (if the bases of the bulbs sit in water, they will rot). Soil or rocks in the bottom of your container will keep the bulbs from staying too damp. While your bulbs are rooting, keep your pot in a cool place, away from direct sunlight. Water thoroughly when the planting medium at the bottom is dry but make sure that the water never touches the bulb’s base. If your bulbs are in a pot without a drainage hole, water with extra care. Bulbs sitting in soggy potting mix will rot quickly. Regularly check on the rooting by tugging gently on the bulbs. About 3 weeks after potting, when your tug meets with firm resistance, move the container to a sunny spot.
How to Care for Indoor Flowers
In the earlier stages of growth, it's best to place your containers in an area with indirect sunlight. Once your beautiful blooms have matured, move your containers to a cool, sunny window in your house, and enjoy!