Creative Ways to Gift Amaryllis
Gifting amaryllis bulbs is a holiday tradition that brightens cold winter months with spectacular blooms. Watching the bulbs come into bloom is half the fun and will have you running down the stairs each morning to see how many inches they have grown. Anticipation will turn to excitement as the buds open to a glorious display of flowers in full festive bloom.
While there’s no denying amaryllis make wonderful gifts, receiving a dormant bulb can be a little underwhelming. Thankfully, with a bit of innovation and a dash of holiday cheer, you can turn those bulbs from drab to fab. Read on for 5 creative ways to gift amaryllis.
Amaryllis in a Wrapped Flowerpot
Imagine the joy on your recipient’s face when they “unwrap” this ready-to-bloom gift! Paint a 6” terracotta rose pot and matching 7” saucer a festive holiday color. Allow plenty of time for them to dry. Fill the pot halfway with dry potting mix and place a dormant amaryllis bulb in the center. Use additional soil to fill in around the bulb leaving the top third of the bulb exposed. Top dress the soil with Spanish moss.
Now, invert the saucer and place it on top of the flowerpot. Crisscross two strong rubber bands around the saucer and pot for security and cover the rubber bands with ribbon of your choice. Keep the pot cool and dry until gift-giving time so that the amaryllis does not break dormancy inside its wrapping. When it’s time to get growing, simply remove the rubber bands, flip the saucer to the bottom of the pot, add water and retie the bow. (The first photo on this blog post shows the pot, wrapped and ready to gift.)
Amaryllis Houseplant Garden
A single amaryllis bulb in a pot can look a bit bare until growth emerges. Give it some green companions by planting the bulb with some easy-care houseplants. Your recipient can enjoy the immediate look of new houseplants until the amaryllis emerges and joins the party.
Since amaryllis need less than 1/2 cup of water per week, pair them with plants that have similar low water needs such as pothos, sansevieria, and philodendron. If you prefer to add heavy drinkers to your bulb garden, leave the houseplants in their original nursery pots so they can be removed and watered separately. You could even sink a moth orchid or cyclamen into the display to create a blooming design right from the start!
Fresh Greens and Berries Bulb Garden
Give the gift of a fresh evergreen arrangement that will yield a surprise in the weeks to come! Plant an amaryllis bulb in a beautiful container and then insert fresh evergreen boughs, winterberry and red twig dogwood branches into the soil around the perimeter of the bulb. The greens will stay fresh for a month or more while the amaryllis begins growing. If you want flowers during the holiday, purchase an “early blooming” amaryllis bulb from the southern hemisphere.
Moss-Wrapped Amaryllis Bulb
No potting soil? No problem! Use the Japanese art of kokedama to create a moss wrapped amaryllis bulb that will grow almost anywhere! Wrap a large piece of sheet moss around the bulb so it is fully enclosed. Then use twine to secure the moss by wrapping it in different directions. Finish with a knot. Leave long tails of twine for hanging or cut them short to display your kokedama in a bowl or on a table.
Water once a week by submerging only the base of the moss ball in a shallow bowl of water. Allow it to thoroughly drip dry before placing it back on display.
While this method of growing amaryllis can result in shorter stems and slightly smaller flowers, the scale is well suited for the size of the display. Moss-wrapped amaryllis bulbs look beautiful placed on candle stick holders, in low crystal dishes, and can even be suspended as part of a holiday display!
Winter Survival Amaryllis Basket
Give the gardener in your life a basket brimming with delights! Fill a harvest basket with a terracotta pot, plant tags, new snips, twine, and of course a big, beautiful amaryllis bulb! Fill in around the basket with different top dressings for their amaryllis such as preserved moss, pinecones, or pebbles, and a bundle of red twig dogwood branches to use as plant supports. Tuck in a book on growing amaryllis such as “Amaryllis” by Starr Ockenga and add some botanical notecards so you can keep in touch during the cold winter months.
Don’t hesitate to gift amaryllis to people who don’t consider themselves gardeners. These bulbs require no special care and virtually guarantee great results. Here are a few tips. When planting, be sure to keep a third of the bulb above the soil line. Water minimally and only around the perimeter of the bulb. Providing good light will help keep the stems from stretching and getting too tall. Once the flowers start opening, move the plant to a cool location so the flowers last as long as possible.
For planning purposes, you’ll want to know where your amaryllis bulbs were grown. Bulbs that come from the southern hemisphere (usually identified as early bloomers) flower in November or December, 4-6 weeks after planting. Most amaryllis bulbs come from Holland, and it takes these bulbs longer to break dormancy. You can expect them to bloom in early winter, 6-12 weeks after planting.
No matter how you choose to gift amaryllis this holiday season, you can be sure you’re giving a present that will bring joy with each passing day as the bulbs grow and bloom.
To learn more about amaryllis, you may be interested in reading these articles on our website: