Bright and beautiful blooms in the midst of a frosty fall or winter is a cheerful sight. As the flowers outside leave us for another season, indoor blooming varieties are a gardener’s delight. There are many popular flowers which can be grown and cared for inside during the colder months. For beginner gardeners, these bulbs are simple to get started and to maintain. Amaryllis, Narcissus Paperwhites and Prepared Hyacinths are all delightful winter blooming bulb varieties.
Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) are one of the most popular bulbs to grow inside. Starting with a large, 26-30 cm bulb, amaryllis can grow to a height of 45 cm (18”). Boasting huge, bright flowers of all sorts of colours and shapes, amaryllis are truly unique flowers to have on display in your home.
A more recent trend is a wax amaryllis. This is when the bulb is delicately cared for and dipped in colourful wax. These make for an appealing focal point in any area of your home. There are many ways to design and present these bulbs on fireplace mantle displays or in table centerpieces. Try using some outdoor greenery, fairy lights or other unique design elements. Dress it up and make a display, or let it sit alone in its natural beauty.
Narcissus - Paperwhites
Narcissus are not only meant for your spring garden! There are two ways of growing beautiful 40 cm (16”) narcissus paperwhites inside. Paperwhites can be grown with or without soil and both methods produce lovely displays of blooms. For growing in soil, choose a pot, use a standard container mix and plant the paperwhite bulbs with just the tips showing above the soil.
The other method of growing paperwhite narcissus is more unique and less well-known. Grow your beautiful bulbs without any soil! Choose a shallow pot or container and place decorative stones, marble beads in the bottom – whatever you think would look lovely to hold the bulbs. Place the bulbs root side down. Bulbs can be touching each other. Pour water into the dish but only just below base of the bulb. Grow in a cool and bright location, and make sure to water to the same level as time goes on.
Bring the sweet scent and bold colours of hyacinths into your home. Prepared hyacinths which grow to 25 cm (10”) tall, require a little bit more effort, but not much! Plant the bulb to half its depth in soil and place your container in a cool and dark place for approximately 8 weeks (at around 9 degrees Celsius). After this time, you will see a 1-2” green sprout from the bulb. Bring your container into an area of regular room temperature and watch your hyacinths grow and bloom!
Like paperwhites, hyacinths can also be grown without soil. Choose a glass container and place the bulbs so the water is below the bulb. A useful container for hyacinths is forcing glass (shaped like half of an hourglass) allowing for the bulbs to sit atop above the neck, and the roots trailing down to the water below.
Enjoy the sweet scents of hyacinths and paperwhites, and the bold beauty of amaryllis into your home this fall and winter. Bring your green thumb from your outdoor garden inside. Plant bulbs year-round with indoor blooming varieties!
Ask about hyacinth, paperwhites and amaryllis and many other items at your local garden centre. Remember to contact them to ask about their shopping options. Looking for a retailer near you? “Request a Retailer”