Winter can bloom, too…

Looking for a last minute gift? Maybe you are looking to bring a little spring inside during the winter months (that would be me). One idea is a Narcissus or Amaryllis kit.

Narcissus is the technical name for a group of flowering bulbs that includes the Daffodil and the Paperwhite.  Paperwhites (Narcissus tazetta papyraceous) are early bloomers with white clusters of flowers that are very fragrant. They are also one of the easiest bulbs to force, making them very popular for cut flowers and indoor displays from December to March.

Amaryllis is part of the Hippeastrum family of flowering bulbs. They are native to the tropical and subtropical areas of the Americas.  They look very similar to a lily and are the easiest of all flowering bulbs to bring to bloom. The deep red variety is often very popular during the Christmas season.

Flowerland has Paperwhites and Amaryllis in convenient and fun growing kits. The kits include the bulb/s, the pot, the ‘growing medium’ and step-by-step directions (my favorite part).

It takes about 6 weeks for the Paperwhites to bloom. Once the danger of frost is over, the bulbs can be planted outside and should come back every year.

It takes about 8-12 weeks for the Amaryllis to bloom and you may need to support the plant with a stake if it gets top-heavy (I had that problem with mine). The Amaryllis can stay indoors or if you want, you can bury the pot outside after the danger of frost is over.  Be aware, however, that it will need to be dug up just before the frost hits. (Flowerland also has a detailed ‘tips’ sheet for Amaryllis care.)

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy!