Amaryllis and Paperwhites: Indoor Color for Winter and Early Spring
by High Country Gardens
Amaryllis are easy to grow and can become a household "pet plant" for years of enjoyment. After they are finished blooming this winter, they can be grown outside for the summer months before being brought inside to re-bloom next winter. But to get them started this year, pot them in a 6-inch diameter pot using a good quality soil and less potting mix. Amaryllis bulbs like a snug pot, so resist the urge to plant them in something too large. The bulb needs only an inch of space around the widest part of the bulb where the neck of the bulb is even with the top edge of the pot. Place the pot in a warm, sunny window, and in only 6 to 8 weeks you'll have a gorgeous living bouquet.
New Amaryllis and Paperwhite Varieties for 2015-16
The 'Butterfly' (Papilio is Latin for "butterfly") has striking blooms of maroon, bronze, and cream. This rare Amaryllis is slow-growing and evergreen, producing 2-3 dramatic blooms per stem. But while the bulb may not bloom the first growing season, it will multiply in the pot and bloom the following winter with multiple flower stalks. Definitely worth the wait, Papilio is long lived and easy to grow year after year.
This variety has spectacular double blossoms—a striking combination of deep pink centers surrounded by pure white. Elvas almost doesn't look real with its intricate petals and striped markings, which you can enjoy even in the darkest part of winter.
If you are giving gifts this year for any occasion, the gardeners in your life will appreciate our Amaryllis Gift Kits. Kits come with a choice of bulb color, (Christmas Gift (white), Red Lion (deep red) or Minerva (red and white), a copper-colored pot, soil, and instructions, all enclosed in a burlap gift bag with a satin bow. These easy-to-grow bulbs are a perfect gift for anyone, from the novice to the experienced gardener.
Paperwhites: Indoor Daffodils for Forcing
If you have a sunny windowsill, you can enjoy forcing paperwhite bulbs over the winter months. Plant a group of bulbs in a wider-than-deep bulb pot and keep the soil moist, but not soggy. In 2 1/2 to 3 months, you'll enjoy a fragrant flowering bouquet to brighten your home in the depths of winter.
Chinese Sacred Lilies (Narcissus tazetta) have fragrant white blooms with golden yellow cups. (Blooms in just 10-12 weeks after planting indoors.)
Erlicheer Paperwhites (Narcissus tazetta) are renowned for their fragrant, double lemon-yellow blooms. (Flowers in 10-12 weeks after planting indoors.)