FAQs - Indoor Flower Bulbs

Quick Answers to Common Questions

Don’t let the winter months deprive you of home-grown flowers. Amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs are easy to grow indoors. Here are answers to common questions about these winter-blooming bulbs.


What should I do with the amaryllis bulbs when they arrive?

If you are not planting the bulbs right away, they may be stored in a cool (50-60°F), dark, dry place for 4 to 6 weeks.

When will my amaryllis bulb bloom?

Most amaryllis bulbs flower 6 to 8 weeks after planting. Sometimes it takes less time and sometimes it takes longer. Bloom time is determined by variety, temperature, where the bulb was grown and when it is planted. Learn more HERE.


How should I plant my amaryllis bulb?

Select a pot that’s at least 5” deep and about 3” wider than the bulb. Fill it more than half-way with moist, sterile growing mix. Place the bulb on top and add more growing mix around the sides, leaving the top half of the bulb exposed.

How should I care for my amaryllis?

Put the pot somewhere bright, where the temperature is 60 to 70°F. While you are waiting for the bulb to sprout, the soil should be barely moist. Apply no more than about ¼ cup of water per week. Let the soil get dry before you water again. Do not let water collect at the bottom of the pot.

How many flowers should I expect from each amaryllis bulb?

Depending on the variety and size of the bulb, you will get 1, 2 or 3 stems, each with 4 to 6 flowers. All the stems may emerge at the same time or they may come one at a time, so don’t be too quick to assume the show is over. It's hard to predict when the leaves will come out. It may happen before, during or after the bulb blooms.


How can I make amaryllis flowers last?

As with all fresh flowers, an amaryllis that’s in bloom should be kept cool and away from direct sunlight. Consider moving the pot to a cooler place at night and putting it back on display during the day. If you prefer, you can cut the stems and display the flowers in a vase -- they will last just as long.

What should I do when the amaryllis bulb has finished flowering?

After the bulb has finished blooming, you may simply throw it out, as you would a bouquet of flowers. Another option is care for the bulb until it flowers again next winter. For tips about how to do this, visit our website and read: How to Get an Amaryllis Bulb to Rebloom.


To learn more, read: 6 Tips for Growing Amaryllis and Amaryllis for Cut Flowers



What should I do with the paperwhite bulbs when they arrive?

If you are not planting the bulbs right away, store them in a cool (50-60°F), dark, dry place. To enjoy a continuous display of flowers, plant a handful of paperwhite bulbs every few weeks from November through December.

How many paperwhite bulbs should I plant in each pot?

Paperwhites look best when the bulbs are planted less than an inch apart, so they are almost touching. If the bulbs have already sprouted, position them so the sprouts face inward.


How do I grow paperwhites in water?

Choose a watertight container that will be a snug fit for the number of bulbs you want to plant. Put 3” of small stones in the bottom of the container and set the bulbs on top. Add more stones to help hold the bulbs upright, leaving the top half-inch of the bulbs exposed. Add enough water to almost but not quite touch the bottom of the bulbs.

How do I grow paperwhites in soil?

Choose a pot that is at least 4” deep and has a drainage hole. Fill the pot more than half way with moist growing mix and place the bulbs on top. Add more soil, but don’t completely cover the top of the bulbs. Water as needed to keep the soil barely moist.

Where should I put the paperwhite bulbs while they are growing?

Put your newly planted bulbs in a bright, cool spot near a window. Avoid hot sun and heat sources. Cool air temperatures (50-60°F) and lots of light will help keep the stems from getting too tall. If you already garden under grow lights, that’s another good place to grow these bulbs.

How often should paperwhite bulbs be watered?

One the bulbs sprout roots and send up their leaves, they will start needing more water. If you are growing the bulbs in water, continue to keep the water level below the bottom of the bulbs. If the bulbs are in soil, keep the soil lightly moist.


When will my paperwhites bloom?

After planting, it usually takes about 3 weeks for the bulbs to bloom. If the foliage or stems get floppy, you can tie them in with ribbon, yarn or twine.

What should I do with the bulbs after they finish flowering?

Paperwhite bulbs will not rebloom. Simply add the bulbs to your compost pile and purchase fresh ones next fall.


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