Growing up I always remember my mother putting together amaryllis and paper white bulbs around late October/early November to display around our house for the holiday season. When I moved out into my first place in San Francisco, my mother sent me care package filled with bulbs and all the supplies needed to plant some for my new home. Every year since then, she sends along all the supplies for what has grown to become a long time holiday tradition. Today I wanted to share with you the very simple yet rewarding process of planting these bulbs for the upcoming holidays. The cost of these bulbs is low and you should be able to find them at your local garden supply or Home Depot- I have also spotted them in "kits" at Target or Trader Joes. The ease of putting these together makes them a great hostess gift throughout the holiday season as well!
The process for planting either paper white or amaryllis bulbs is basically the same. You can use practically any ceramic pot or glass vase you might have around so long as the bulb/bulbs can fit their width in it. The key with bulb success is making sure not to completely submerge the bulb in water or dirt, but to plant it so that the majority of the bulb is visible above the moss in your container. If need be place rocks or pebbles in the bottom of your container to get the bulb as high as you would like. Use moss to anchor the bulb in your container. Fill the entire container with water, let it sit for a few minutes and then drain all the water out by holding the bulb/moss/pebbles while tipping the container to its side. This should be the extent of watering your bulb will require. These potted bulbs can be placed anywhere in your home- they do not require a specific amount of sunlight! You may want to add water and drain it once more in a few weeks if your home is very dry from air conditioning or weather.
Paperwhites and amaryllis make for great hostess gifts since they are pretty and require little effort on the part of the person you are gifting them to! Simply plant the bulb into a nice ceramic container following the directions above and attach a cute tag like this sticker tag from Rifle Paper I recently picked up on a trip to Paper Source:
While normally I would show you the end result of planting these bulbs, if I waited that long to share it with you then you wouldn't have time to plant some for yourself! So here are some photos of what you can hope to achieve. While the amaryllis is my favorite because it is so dramatically beautiful, I also thoroughly enjoy the strong scent that paperwhites will fill your rooms with: