Friday, January 8, 2016

Blooming Bulbs in the New Year



We so enjoyed watching our amaryllis and paper white bulbs grow and bloom over the holidays that we've decided to grow more. Holiday bulbs are often discounted along with the Christmas merchandise, so check with your local nursery or florist. 

After some discussion with readers on previous bulb posts, I do believe that the quality of nursery and florist bulbs are well worth the trip and extra cost (although buying paper whites in a grocery store kit are actually more expensive). 

Our paper whites had very minimal flopping and in fact, stood so long that the flowers dried, which was quite lovely. It allowed us to enjoy them much longer than previous years. 

Happy blooms in the New Year! 



13 comments :

  1. I completely agree!! I have read your blog for quite awhile now, but I have never commented. I just purchased a new amaryllis from our local nursery who is selling them for half off the original price. My paperwhites are now blooming, and I anticipate I will have more blooms as the winter progresses. Are you able to save your amaryllis for forcing next Christmas? My Grammie could, but I have never been able to, so I plant mine outside in the shade after it warms up in the spring, and I have amaryllis blooms after the daffodils and tulips bloom.

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    1. You know I became so attached to my beautiful bulbs that I inquired into how to store them for next year. Unfortunately, it's more complicated than I realized. I think the best bet is to do as you are - plant them outside. And yes, ours were 50% off too! My red flowering amaryllis will hopefully be blooming on Valentine's Day! Best wishes, Catherine

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    2. I work in a greenhouse. After the bulb flowers cut off the flower stem and let the bulb make leaves. In May up can plant outside in the sun. Mine go into the vegetable garden bed with the garlic and onions. In august pull the bulb out of the ground and let it dry out in a cool, dry spot--the garage--on newspaper or on a rack of some sort. (to delay mold) In October, repot in fresh indoor soil mix and water lightly. Most not wet. then wait. As soon as new growth is visible, start watering. the best part of this--the summer outdoors cause significant growth of the bulb--meaning bigger and more flowers in future. So--keep the bulbs and give it a try!! I trim the flowers from the paperwhites and keep watering the bulbs for a continued lush green leafy display into March. I add artificial blooms if I want to keep it interesting. Happy Gardening

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  2. I'm attempting to bloom an amaryllis bulb for a second year but I'm not sure how successful it will be. I forgot to move it to a cool location until around Thanksgiving, and then forgot about it again until this last weekend. I see some tips of green growth so it's not dead! Perhaps in a month or so I'll have a new flower stalk. Although even if it only grows leaves I found those a nice addition to standard house plants and stayed green with very minimal water all spring/summer/fall.

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  3. I'm so glad you shared this, Catherine! I commented to your earlier post about "pickling" the paperwhite bulbs with alcohol per the link below. When I was posting earlier, I noted I didn't think it was working. Well, it did make a difference. I had 3 sets of bulbs. Once they reached 6-8 inches, I "pickled" 2 of them. They continued to grow and so I assumed the pickling didn't work. But you know that sudden growth spurt they get about a week before blooming? The pickled bulbs did not grow but they still bloomed as much as the non-pickled. So they ended up several inches shorter at bloom time and did not flop over. I'm back to claim that pickling did indeed work on my experiment.

    Here's the link from which I based my experiment. I don't know much about whiskey but I used 1 part whiskey to 7 parts water during the immediate pre-blooming time when they seem to really want the extra watering.
    http://www.hort.cornell.edu/miller/bulb/Pickling_your_Paperwhites.pdf

    I'm sure more information than you wanted to know but I was determined to get through this mystery this year because I adore my paperwhites.

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    1. So good to know! The only reason I didn't use the alcohol was because we didn't have any and they don't sell it at our grocery store. Maybe I'll experiment on this second round...However, I had very minimal flopping without. I'll report back with my results! Best, Catherine

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  4. I was curious about over wintering as well. I never have but I think I am going to try this year. My husband has a wine cellar. By the way the alcohol thing does work! I tried it last year. This year I didn not and they flopped!!

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  5. My question to you all. How do you keep those pesty little nat like flies away from the blubs? I finally could not stand them anymore and ended up tossing them in the trash. It killed me because I could see some new growth, but they were seriously all over the blubs. I had a nice group of flowers going too. I started some for Christmas and started a couple after those and then after those. I would have had flowers into spring maybe even summer but those flies. Couldn't take it anymore.

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    1. Oh dear, I have never had any problems with flies. Perhaps because I live in a colder climate? Where do you live? Also, perhaps your bulbs had flies on them when purchased? Sorry to hear, I can imagine it to be very frustrating indeed! Best, Catherine

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  6. I kept my amaryllis in the utility room until after Christmas so the first one just bloomed this morning! My paperwhites were a gift and just peeking up over the soil - I can't wait until they bloom, the scent is so heavenly!

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Thank you for leaving your thoughts. Kind regards, Catherine

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