Forcing Paperwhites and Amaryllis

Monday, November 21, 2005

Today I started my annual Paperwhite and Amaryllis bulb forcing - it's one of my very favorite things, because it really lightens up the inside of our home when nothing else is blooming, and the paperwhites make whatever room they're in smell *amazing*!

Here's my setup:
I bought one amaryllis and 18 paperwhites - today I started the forcing the amaryllis and four of the paperwhites. I'll force another three or four paperwhite bulbs each Monday until I run out (or decide to buy more and keep going ) so that we'll have paperwhites blooming for a couple of months.
I use a bigger pot (the green/pink one) for the amaryllis, and canning jars and carafes for the paperwhites.
I also use a variety of stones and marbles to set the paperwhite bulbs in:

This is the pot for the amaryllis - you can use either water (like I do) or pro-mix to pot the amaryllis in. I've put some glass pieces in the bottom so that the bulb is stable:

Then I just pop the amaryllis bulb in, and fill the pot with water just to the base of the bulb (not any further, because then you might have to deal with bulb-rot (ick)) - but always covering every bit of the roots:

With that done, I took a quart canning jar, put marbles in to a depth of about three inches, and then just popped a paperwhite bulb on top:

...same for this paperwhite bulb. This one has a pretty turquoise stones at the bottom:

This paperwhite I did differently - I have some carafes, and I just place the paperwhite bulb in the mouth of the bottle, and fill with water to the bottom 1/3 of the bulb. These are *really* neat because since the bottle is clear, you'll get to see the roots growing.

Here are the paperwhites I started forcing today. I'll just put them in a nice sunny window (they even do okay without a lot of sun - I've had them all over the house and no matter what, they always turn out really well, it seems). The only upkeep they need is to make certain that the roots always have water. They'll start blooming between four-six weeks from now, and after they're all done, you can save them and plant them in the yard to bloom for next year.

I'll take more pictures once they start growing...

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