Flowers are a wonderful way to brighten a house but when it’s winter-time fresh flowers are few and far between, not to mention expensive considering how long they last. Bulbs on the other hand, last weeks; amaryllis will bloom for six to eight weeks, paperwhites two to four weeks. Plus, the price is right. You can purchase paperwhites for $1 a bulb and amaryllis for about $10. Check them out at your local florist or supermarket, or buy them on-line wholesale at Van Engelen.Once you’ve purchased your bulbs, it’s time to choose a container. The lovely thing about bulbs is you can feel free to use either a container that has drainage, or one that doesn’t. Choose a traditional clay pot or try something creative. Some of the paperwhites here were planted by my mother in a vintage gravy server. Just make sure your container should be about the size of your bulb(s) so that it/they fit comfortably. (Update: while paroozing pinterest, I stumbled into a fabulous use of a cake pan as a bulb planter.)
If your container has drainage, feel free to use soil or gravel as your potting medium. If your container does not have drainage, you can either use only gravel, or you can use soil as long as you fill the first third of the container with gravel.
1 Amaryllis or 3-5 Paperwhites
Enough potting medium to fill container: soil or decorative gravel
Fill container with potting medium. Place bulbs (pointy end up) solidly on top so that the bulb is not planted, simply shown. Tuck a little of the soil or gravel around the bulb to give it stability.
Your bulb will set out roots immediately if the potting medium is moist. Make sure to water, sparingly, once a week. Bulbs don’t need a lot of water as they retain moisture, so make sure not to over-water, but don’t let your bulbs dry out, your potting medium should stay moist to the touch.