Potted Bulbs as Christmas Gifts
Prepare ahead if you want to pot up bulbs as gifts that will flower in time for Christmas: August and September are the latest times to plant hyacinth, narcissi and amaryllis bulbs for December flowering. If you time it just right, some of the bulbs will be beginning to open and just starting to release their fragrant perfume as you give them away.
- selection of bulbs
- broken rocks or pebbles
- organic, peat-free, multi-purpose compost
- coconut matting pots, or other containers
- pot labels
Select the containers and bulbs you would like to use: hyacinths, 'Paper White' narcissi, cyclamen and amaryllis are all good choices.
Lay some crocks in the base of a pot and fill halfway with compost. Shake the pot slightly to settle the soil. Place a bulb, or bulbs, in the pot.
Fill with compost. Plant narcissi at twice their depth, cyclamen and hyacinths with their tips visible and half-cover an amaryllis bulb. Tip: Use peat-free compost: peatlands are a precious habitat to plants, animals and insects. Gardening is one of the greatest threats to peatlands, as most composts are peat-based. Buy "peat-free" or "peat-reduced" compost, or make your own compost.
Firm the earth around the bulbs. Water and label each pot. Keep the potted bulbs cool, and hyacinths in a dark room, until the leaves show.