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December 2011 Newsletter from Mary's Garden Patch

December 2011 Newsletter - Christmas Bulbs


It just wouldn't seem like Christmas without the large gorgeous blooms of the Amaryllis. Likewise, there is nothing like the intoxicating fragrance and blooming white or yellow flowers of Paperwhite daffodils to cheer up the winter doldrums.
I'll bet you think it's too late to order bulbs for Christmas bloom! Not to worry! Our Amaryllis Bulbs are pre-chilled. That means they should start to grow as soon as you receive them. Amaryllis and Paperwhite bulbs are very popular for forcing into bloom this time of year and are among the easiest to grow. By following our simple instructions at the bottom of this page, you can enjoy beautiful flowers indoors for the holidays and year-round. See also our March 2011 Newsletter for hints on Afterbloom Care for Amaryllis and Paperwhites.

We make it easy for you to grow Amaryllis with our Amaryllis Gift Kit.Amaryllis Gift Kit
It's shipped 'ready to grow' with your choice of our jumbo sized Amaryllis bulbs. We select only the largest bulbs from grower's stock and pre-chill them for early blooming. Each bulb is a hand-selected jumbo (34 cm and up), guaranteed to please.
It's already potted in a green 8" pot, well wrapped to keep the bulb and soil in place during shipment and enclosed in a 10x10x10 box with packing peanuts for extra protection. Once the bulb is unpacked you only need to water. Amaryllis for Christmas gifts will be shipped the first week in December, unless otherwise specified. We can ship directly to your gift list!

Instructions for planting Paperwhites and Amaryllis:
  • Select a container about 3-4 inches deep and as wide around as the number of Paperwhite bulbs you have. You can use a bowl, a plastic or clay pot or even a casserole dish as long as it doesn't have a drainage hole in the bottom.
  • Put 1" of stones or gravel in the bottom of the pot and put your Paperwhite bulbs, pointed end up, on the stones. It's best if you crowd them in, just barely touching.
  • Add more stones to fill in, and cover the bulbs up to their shoulders, leaving the tips showing. Alternatively, you can use a hyacinth vase or other narrow-necked jar or vase for single bulbs.
  • Fill the bowl with water so it's just touching the bottom of the bulb - not too much, or they will rot. They don't need light right now and should in fact be kept on the cool side.
  • Check them daily to see if they need more water. When you see roots developing, move them to a sunny location, but not overly warm. Once they start blooming, if you move them out of direct sunlight the flowers will last longer.
  • After they're done blooming you can cut off the dead flowers and stems and discard, or if you live in a warm climate (zones 7 and higher) you can plant them outside in the Spring. They will come back in a year or two. Since they're tender, they can only grow outside in the South. In fact, mine are blooming outside right now! (early December)
  • For Amaryllis, plant one bulb per pot in potting soil with the pointed end of the bulb sticking out of the dirt. Plant up to its neck and firm the soil around bulb.
  • Place in a warm area and water sparingly until the leaves and bud appear and then gradually water more. At this time growth will occur rapidly and the flowers will develop after it's reached its full height. You can plant at 2-week intervals for continuous bloom through the Winter.
  • After the flower fades, cut it off and fertilize the plant through the summer.
  • In early fall the leaves will begin to yellow. Cut them back, remove from the soil and store in a cool dark place for 6 to 8 weeks, after which you can pot up again.
  • Alternatively, in warmer regions (zones 8 and higher) you can plant outside in the fall.

New this year - Gift Certificates! Not sure what to get for your favorite gardener? Our Gift Certificates are good on the purchase of any product on our website and are available in denominations of $10, $25, $50 and $100.

Blessings to you and your families this wonderous Christmas season.

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