Although Christmas may seem like weeks and weeks away, there are a few things that take time to get ready, including amaryllis, narcissus and other bulbs. Last year, I planted my bulbs at the beginning of November and I had gorgeous blooms starting mid-December lasting past Christmas Day. This timing worked perfectly since we spent Christmas with our families and were able to enjoy the blooms before we went away.
If you’ve been following this year’s Holiday Countdown, planting bulbs was already part of the homework. Last week, I mentioned I was going to try something new this year and plant a few bulbs with water and no soil. I was definitely convinced after seeing these beautiful paperwhites on Real Simple.
After doing some research, I discovered that as long as the bulb roots are immersed in water (not the bulb), paperwhites (narcissus) will thrive. To create my own, I placed about 2″ of river rock at the bottom of a square glass vase and added water until it was just below the rock surface (bulbs will rot if submerged in water). Next, I placed ready-to-go paperwhite bulbs on top of the rocks with the roots facing down.
As suggested, bulbs do best in a cool spot out of direct sunlight for 4-10 days. I placed mine on my kitchen counter. Apparently the roots will search out the water and begin to grow through the rock. Crossing fingers!
To prevent the plant from getting too leggy, it’s suggested to add a mixture of 1 part alcohol to 10-12 parts water once the green shoots arrive, and top it up only as needed. At this time they can be moved to a sunny warm location to speed up blooming.
Just in case this all goes horribly wrong, I decided to also plant a few pots using the soil method. I simply planted the bulbs with the roots down in soil and covered them so the top portion of the bulb popped out. Then, I lightly watered each pot and placed them on my kitchen counter out of direct sunlight as well. I will move these to a brighter spot when I decorate for Christmas.
Because I’m no expert when it comes to planting bulbs, be sure to check out Garden Answer’s tutorial before tackling your own. Love those aged pots she selected!
Planting Bulbs for Christmas
In the past, I’ve seen blooms in as early as 4 weeks, but typically it takes longer. Once they bloom, it’s sometimes necessary to stake or tie them with something to keep them upright. Pretty ribbon usually does the trick.
Here are a few beautiful inspiration pics using bulbs to decorate for Christmas.
And these paperwhites in clay pots are gorgeous too!
I hope I’ve convinced you to try your own hand at planting bulbs for Christmas. Let me know how it goes! See you tomorrow for week 3 of the Holiday Countdown.