Plant amaryllis bulbs in any well-drained, bagged potting soil. Use a terra cotta or ceramic pot for added weight. Amaryllis are notoriously top heavy. Choose a pot that extends no more than one inch from the edges of the bulb. For proper blooming, amaryllis bulbs require the snug fit. Plant the bulb firmly with 1/4-1/3 of the bulb above the soil line. Water in well and place in a warm location. From this point on, water on the lighter side until the flower stalk is 3-6” tall, after which watering can be increased to the point where the soil never dries out. Move your 3-4” tall amaryllis to a bright location, rotating the pot as needed so the plant doesn’t lean too much.
After flowering, cut off the flower stalk, leaving the foliage. Continue watering as any houseplant, leaving the pot in a bright location.
Come spring, plant your amaryllis into the garden in a fairly sunny location. Your plant should get rather large with firm, deep green foliage. Dig the bulb in early September and allow it to rest in a warm, dry location for 8-10 weeks. The bulb should be large and firm and completely rejuvenated The foliage can be removed once it has yellowed entirely. After the 8 weeks repot your bulb as you did the previous season. The cycle begins anew. Amaryllis bulbs can last for many, many years with proper care.
Klein’s offers about two dozen amaryllis choices in many types and colors. A number of gift box choices are available for easy gift giving for the gardener in your life. Klein’s also carries an assortment of waxed amaryllis (arriving in November)….no planting and no watering! Simply watch it grow and bloom!
These easy-to-bloom bulbs can be successfully grown in either soil or gravel. In either case, your container must be at least deeper than the height of the bulbs. (It can be deeper, if you prefer) Space the bulbs as close as possible without touching each other or the sides of the container.
Planting paperwhites in soil is a little more work but results in a stronger root system. The disadvantage to using soil is that you need a container with drainage, and that would require a saucer indoors.
To plant the bulbs, place an inch or two of a quality potting soil on the bottom of the container. Space out the bulbs and press them lightly into the soil. Add enough soil to come up to the tip of the bulbs and firm. Paper whites planted in soil can be top-dressed with decorative gravel or moss. After potting, thoroughly moisten the soil.
An alternative to soil is to plant paperwhites in gravel (or sand) and water. Choose a container that you are sure is watertight. You will need gravel with small pieces that can easily settle into all the nooks and crannies between the bulbs. Klein’s offers small packages of horticultural stone for this purpose. If you have stone from another source, be sure to rinse it thoroughly before using it with your bulbs.
If you have potted your bulbs in soil, simply keep them evenly moist. If you are growing your paperwhites in gravel, keep the water level just below the bottom of the bulbs. When the water is so deep that the basal plate at the bottom of the bulb stays wet, it may rot.
Paperwhite narcissus like good daylight, but don’t want to be in direct sunlight. Temperatures of 60-65 degrees are ideal, but usually our homes are much warmer. If possible, place the growing bulbs in a cool room at night. It takes an average of 3-4 weeks for paperwhites to bloom. When grown warm, the bulbs tend to be taller and weaker, sometimes leaning over. Continue to provide water as needed until the bulbs have finished blooming. Paper white bulbs cannot be saved for another season of bloom, so you can dispose of them once they are not longer blooming or attractive.
Special Tips to Succeed with Paperwhites
Add a handful of activated charcoal to the bottom of the container before planting to keep your water or soil fresh. This is especially helpful with bulbs grown in water and stones.
Water your paperwhites with a solution of a capful of rubbing alcohol to a quart of water. This acts as a growth regulator and keeps them a little shorter (see below).
For stronger plants, place your newly planted paperwhites somewhere cool and dark for a week immediately after planting to give them a little extra rooting time before growing. If you have extra space in a refrigerator, this works perfectly.
Keep a few extra bulbs in a cool, dark place and you’ll be able to plant them every few weeks to have blooms all winter long.
…and we have nearly a dozen choices from both Seed Savers Exchange and Keene Organics, a local suppler of bulk garlic. Though best planted in mid-October shop now for best selection and highest quality bulbs.
After delays with the harvest in Europe due to heavy rains and then ongoing shipping issues, the majority of our spring bulbs have arrived!
Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, alliums and much more arrive for fall planting. We suggest that you hold off planting spring bulbs until the weather cools in October. But shop early for best selection!
Please note that amaryllis and paperwhites arrive in mid-October.
Now that it’s late summer and your summer annuals are beginning to wane, it’s time to fill those empty spots with colorful fall mums and annuals and in the coming weeks and as crops are ready, selection will be at its peak. Choose from not only mums, but also beautiful grasses, pansies and violas, ornamental kales, cabbages, peppers and so much more.
Klein’s is renowned for our selection of mixed fall containers, whether pre-made grab-and-go or custom designed to suit your taste or decor.
And in the weeks ahead we await the arrival of our large selection on pumpkins and gourds. Fall merchandise is arriving daily!!