Starting Bulbs for Holiday Gifts

Looking for the great gardening gift? How about some bulbs you start yourself. I grow these every year. A few we give away and some I keep for

Amaryllis with big bud showing

the family to enjoy. Well, not all are appreciated. Better read on.

One great bulb all seem to enjoy is the amaryllis. They have arrived at your local garden centers and are available in starter kits or single bulbs. If you are giving them as gifts you might use the kits but I like the less costly single bulbs. Here is a tip. Open the containers and check the bulbs. Amaryllis seem to be ready to sprout when they arrive at the stores. Some in the kits have well sprouted and too far gone to make good gifts. Put these back on the shelf. Or as we do, buy them for our self but ask for a discount. We have a hard time turning our backs on a struggling bulb.

Starting these bulbs is so simple. Fill the pot with soil. I skip using the peat pellets that come within the kits. I use regular potting soil. Then sink the bulbs down so their very tops are exposed. Then keep them moist but not overly wet.

Now here is the bulb you may or may not appreciate. I like the paper white

Paper white narcissus just starting

narcissus. My wife, Joani, says they are too sweet smelling. So, I do grow them but they have to stay outdoors on the patio. Do you agree with Joani or me? Post a comment to let us know and help settle a family feud.

Start the narcissus by placing three to four bulbs in a 6-inch pot of soil. Again if you use the kits, I fill the pots with soil. Sink the bulbs down so the tops are exposed. Keep them moist and that is it.

Most bulbs should be in bloom in 4 to 6 weeks. I like to give them as gifts while the buds are just opening. It allows the recipient to see some of the growth of the flowers and plant. Bulbs are truly amazing. Why not give them a try?

Now post a comment to settle our family feud. Do you like the paper white narcissus fragrance like I do or are you going to side with Joani and think they should stay outdoors?