Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Plant 'em now

I usually plant Amaryllis bulbs too late.

I get beautiful blooms, but almost always a week or two after Christmas instead of during Christmas. I'm hoping I'll have better timing this year.

While you can purchase Amaryllis bulbs individually from your local garden center and plant them in your own pots with regular potting soil, I really like the convenience of a bulb kit. I purchased this kit at Target. It's by Smith & Hawken.

The kit includes everything you need to plant your Christmas Amaryllis, except perfect timing. -just sayin'-

A pretty pot, one Amaryllis bulb, and a hockey puck!!

Drop that hockey puck in a bucket. OK it's not really a hockey puck. It's a dirt puck. 

Add water according to the kit instructions.

Now watch that hockey dirt puck soak up all that water and VOILA! You now have the perfect amount of soil in which to plant your Amaryllis bulb. Easy Peasy!

Place 3/4 of the soil in the pretty pot. Set in the bulb. Add the rest of the soil. Be careful to leave the top 1/3 of the bulb above the soil.

Water the bulb well then don't water it again until you see that it has begun to grow and the soil is dry.

Boom! Done - in only 15 minutes! Thank you Smith & Hawken!! 

Now anywhere from 3 to 12 weeks I should get a beautiful bloom. I'm really hoping for 5 weeks!! Please please please!

Since I was in the planting mood...

I started Paperwhites too.

Now these I do purchase individually at my local garden center, Bachman's to be exact. At 89 cents each, you can't go wrong. They too will bloom in several weeks, usually 8 to 10. Perfect timing to enjoy some blooms in the winter months!

Paperwhites do not need soil. Simply fill a vase, pot, or even a jar with marbles or stones. I found this little planter at a garage sale. Cute isn't it? And perfect for Paperwhites!

Set the bulbs on top of the marbles.

Add water until the bottom only of the bulb is submerged. Set the bulbs in a cool dark place for about a week or until the roots begin to grow. 

Once the roots begin to grow into the stones, set the pot in a sunny room.

Paperwhites have lovely white flowers that have the most divine smell. Good for getting one through a long cold winter! Course with the temps in the 60s in Minnesota right now it's hard to believe we'll have a long cold winter, but it will come, when we least expect it, and it will be cold. -bah-

It's a nice idea to plant second set of Paperwhites in a couple of weeks, then you'll have more blooms when the first ones are spent.

This one already has some nice root growth!

Unfortunately Paperwhites can grow too tall sometimes and begin to tip over. Don't fret! Just clip the stems and place them in a vase with water. They'll last a good while and still smell A - MAZING!!

So if you haven't done it already, hop to it! You don't want your Christmas Amaryllis to be late!! Like mine, for the last 5 years. -sigh-


P.S. I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

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