Decorating with Amaryllis and Paperwhites

Grow Your Own Winter Blooms

Everyone loves fresh flowers and that's especially true during the winter months. Cold, grey days and more time indoors makes us really appreciate anything that's green.

Decorating your home with winter-blooming bulbs such as amaryllis and paperwhites is such an easy way to surround yourself with fresh flowers all winter long. Their value extends well beyond the holiday season.

Amaryllis and paperwhites can be a lifeline for those of us who spend the winter months counting the days to spring. From December through March, these winter-blooming bulbs provide just the sort of gardening satisfaction we crave.


Decorating with Fresh and Fragrant Paperwhites

Paperwhite narcissus are relatives of the daffodil and just as easy to grow. Plant a handful of bulbs every few weeks and you will have fresh flowers coming into bloom from late fall right through early winter.

You can grow paperwhite bulbs in a shallow dish filled with stones and a little water. But growing them in soil gives you many more decorating options. Fill the pots with about 3" of moist growing mix and position the bulbs on top so they are almost touching. Cover the bulbs up to their necks with more soil and then water to settle them in. For hostess gifts, consider using smaller pots with just enough room for 3 bulbs. 

Once the paperwhites begin to sprout, you can slip the pots into decorative containers. If you wish, you can cover the soil surface with decorative moss or stones. To keep your paperwhites from getting leggy, give the bulbs lots of bright light as soon as they begin to sprout. If they get leggy in spite of your best efforts, simply cut the stems and enjoy them as cut flowers. To learn more about planting and care, read: 6 Tips for Growing Paperwhites.


Decorating With Amaryllis All Winter Long

Today there are dozens of different amaryllis flower styles and color choices. You can choose early-blooming bulbs that will flower for the holidays, or standard amaryllis bulbs for blooms from January through March. Purchase an assortment of bulbs for months of beautiful blooms -- and lots of different looks. To learn when your bulbs will bloom, read: When Will Your Amaryllis Bloom.

As with paperwhites, amaryllis may be grown without soil. But planting the bulbs in pots gives you a wealth of decorating options. As the flowers begin to come into bloom, you can nestle a standard nursery pot into a decorative container. Or repot the bulb into a larger container and add some ferns and ivy to keep it company. Another option is to rinse off the soil and display the flower  in a vase -- with the stem and bulb still attached.

Amaryllis are long-lasting cut flowers, so don't be afraid to cut the stems. Wait until the buds are plump and starting to show color, then cut the stems to any length. Long stems are lovely on their own in a vase and can also be combined with seasonal greens.


The arrangement shown above features three varieties of winter-blooming amaryllis, including Sweet Nymph, Evergreen and Magic Green. To learn more about using amaryllis for cut flowers, read this blog post: How to Use Amaryllis as Cut Flowers.

You can keep your winter bulb display simple and elegant, or jazz it up with interesting containers, moss, stones, branches and other flowers and greenery. We also offer a selection of decorative pots that include growing mix and decorative moss.

Decorating with amaryllis and paperwhites that you have grown yourself is immensely satisfying and a fun way to be creative while the garden is fast asleep. 

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