Plant amaryllis, daffodils and hyacinths indoors for the winter season
On dark winter days, it’s always nice to have pretty flowers. Even now it is not too late to think about “forcing” the bulbs to enjoy indoor flowers for the winter season.
If you are sensitive to smell, grow amaryllis because it has no smell. To get fragrant indoor flowers, you can grow paperwhites (a type of narcissus). Lilies are another bulb you can grow for a great scent, but they require more preparation than daffodils and amaryllis.
If you want to grow amaryllis or paperwhites, “impacting” is not necessary because these bulbs do not need refrigeration. Plant it now, in a pot with soil. The container may or may not have a drainage hole and is well suited for bulbs. Without a drainage hole, your lights won’t need much water. Place planted bulbs in bright, indirect light.
When choosing amaryllis bulbs, choose larger bulbs. A larger bulb size will have more energy stored and you will see that in the flowering results. Larger bulbs usually produce stronger stems. Make sure the bulb is clean, free of mold, decay or damage, and is stable.
One type of daffodil bulb, ‘Ziva’, is known to cause division. About 50% of people enjoy the smell while 50% do not. If you don’t like ‘Ziva’, go ahead and try another daffodil, such as ‘Avalanche’, ‘Grand Soleil d’Or’, ‘Winter Sun’ or ‘Ariel’.
Cover your planting soil with colored glass, rocks, moss, gravel or fine gravel. When planting tall amaryllis and daffodils, use a stake for your plant. Use a dowel rod painted dark green or even an interesting stick you found in your garden. Decorative stakes can also be purchased online from garden stores or large retail locations. Tie the plant to your stake using pretty ribbon, twine, or coated wire.
Lilies are fun to grow, but they require a chilling period to grow indoors. Refrigerate these bulbs for 12 weeks in a paper bag, away from apples, pears and bananas, then place them in soil or in a vase of water. The water should be below the bulb, not touching the root. Handle hyacinth bulbs with gloves because they contain calcium oxalate, which is a skin irritant. Do not touch your face after handling hyacinth follicles as they may cause a burning or stinging sensation.
If you’re shopping for bulbs online, popular colors may be sold out. Look for deals online and check Box DIY Stores for price cuts on bulbs as stores may be ready for spring. Next year, shop early for your bulbs. Make a note in your phone or calendar to shop for the best selection of bulbs this August. Some bulb sources are Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, John Scheepers, or Van Engelen, Inc. Buy several and share them with friends or make plans to share them as gifts.
Denton County Master Gardeners Association