Here's where you can add your
special touch by choosing a glass dish, large saucer or pot to
plant these types of bulbs. Just fill with soil; each bulb will
come with planting instructions. Or just grow them in a shallow
bowl and use pebbles to hold the bulbs in place. They'll usually
bloom just four weeks after "planting." To help keep
stems short and sturdy, provide indirect light and temperatures
of about 50 degrees F for the first two weeks, and then warmer,
brighter conditions after that. If you're growing your bulbs
in water, it should cover no more than the bottom one-fourth
to one-third of the bulb.
Amaryllis are available in many
interesting colors and forms: There are bright reds, but you
can also have white, lilac or peach, with single or double blossoms.
Try the smashing new and striking amaryllis called Charisma.
It took years for the Dutch Amaryllis breeders to produce this
unique variety that displays a sumptuous color combination of
"raspberries and cream." For a long lasting flowering
extravaganza of dazzling amaryllis blooms, try growing three
amaryllis in one pot. This grand sight will stop any flower lovers
in their tracks!
Paperwhites offer beauty and
a strong scent. Buy a couple dozen of these no-chill bulbs and
store them in a cool, dry place. Start some every few weeks for
blooms right through January.
Want Absolute Fool-proof Color?
Try Pre-Chilled Plantings
Bulbs that need pre-chilling
require cool temperatures to stimulate a biochemical response
inside the bulb, which "turns on" the embryonic flower
so it starts developing. Most bulbs need 16 to 18 weeks of cold
before the flower is fully formed. At that point they're ready
for light and warmth. If you cut the time short, the flowers
will emerge, but they will not be fully formed.
To force these bulbs yourself,
you need to plan about 16 to18 weeks ahead of time. Fortunately,
Dutch Gardens has already done this work for you. All their bulb
plantings are pre-chilled; so all you have to do is add water,
place the planted bulb basket in a bright spot, and experience
an early spring as it unfolds on your windowsill.
To help chase away the gray
days of winter and enjoy the full bounty of spring, try the Deluxe
Mixed Dutch Garden. With this planting, you will be treated to
the beautiful colors and delicate fragrances of spring with pink,
white and cheery yellow daffodils; sunny yellow, strawberry and
cream colored tulips; regal purple hyacinths, with their heady
fragrance; and the earliest harbingers of spring, striped crocus.
If you want to give the ultimate
gift to a plant-loving friend (or to yourself), consider three
or six months of blooming Flower Bulb Baskets. They make spring
last even longer with an array of bright, fragrant bulbs in bloom
in your home from December through May.
Why make a choice between amaryllis
and spring bulbs? Combine the pleasures of both with holiday
red amaryllis and pristine white tulips and fragrant hyacinths
in Dutch Gardens' Red and White Holiday Basket.