How to Make Amaryllis Bulb Gifts
No surprise, I suppose, but I like to give plants as gifts, especially a plant that promises beauty in the dead of winter. One of my favorite plants to give as gifts is amaryllis. These native South American bulbs are easy to find at garden centers, especially in winter.
A number of friends have told me they pass them up because they think they are hard to grow. Far from it. Once potted, amaryllis require a little water only when soil goes dry and maybe a stick to hold up the stem once the bud shows up. The flowers are stunning and last 1-2 weeks depending on room temperature.
Part of the fun is watching them grow, the stems can grow an inch or two daily.
To prepare them for gifts, open the amaryllis box to see how far along the bulb is growing. You want a bulb with only the bud tip showing.
If you are gifting this to someone who doesn't think they can grow anything, find a bud that's already growing a few inches. A day or two in a sunny window will turn the blond plant green and it will bloom quickly.
It still amazes me these flowers will start without even being in soil. They store their energy in the bulb so it doesn't take much to get them started:
Look for the bud starts, those will turn into flowers. This bulb doesn't have a bud so it will grow leaves to collect energy in the bulb for the next blooming cycle.
To easily turn them into gifts, write up instructions on how to care for the bulbs. I copied my own published gardening article on amaryllis care and added them to the boxed bulbs:
No need to be fancy with packaging, just add a ribbon to tie the printed detailed instructions to the bulb boxes.
Once gift-wrapped, store them in a cooler spot away from sun so the bulbs aren't tempted to grow before you give them. These are tropical plants so they don't like temperatures below 60F.
Add a little gift card wishing the recipient well and there you have it, a fun and unusual growing gift for all sorts of occasions!
And guess who is happy to keep the left-overs....