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From Bulbs to Holiday Blooms


Looking for an easy way to add color and fragrance to your holiday decorating? Look no further than Amaryllis or Paperwhites.

Of all flowering bulbs, Amaryllis are the easiest to bring to bloom. The large, striking flowers and bold colors make this a must-have, holiday classic! Amaryllis bulbs are available in so many beautiful varieties including various shades of red, white, pink, salmon and even orange. There are also striped and multicolored varieties, usually combining shades of pink or red with white.

Another favorite holiday bulb is a member of the daffodil family, but looks much more delicate than the big yellow trumpet daffodils you see in spring. These are the most fragrant of the daffodil family, with a distinctive sweet smell that will permeate your home throughout the season.

To get started, you’ll need:

  • 3 to 4 Bulbs (either Paperwhites or Amaryllis)
  • Nutritious potting compost or stones/pebbles
  • Decorative Container

Planting Instructions:

  • Amaryllis:Plant bulbs in potting compost. Plant the bulb up to its neck in the potting compost, being careful not to damage the roots. Press the soil down firmly to set the bulb securely in place after planting.
  • Paperwhite: You do not need any soil; just set them in a shallow dish with some pebbles, or even some nicely-colored marbles. Let the bulbs stand, flat side down, in the pebbles, so the pebbles cover about half the bulb.

Place your potted bulbs in a warm place with direct light since heat is necessary for the development of the stems. The ideal temperature is 68 to 70 degrees F. Water sparingly until the stem appears, then, as the bud and leaves appear, gradually water more. At this point, the stem will grow rapidly and flowers will develop after it has reached full growth. Bulbs will flower in 7-10 weeks as a general rule.

If you're left wondering when to plant these bulbs in order to have them holiday-ready, we've got you covered. Use these handy bloom calendars as a guide:

Amaryllis Bloom Calendar >>
Paperwhite Bloom Calendar >>

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Plant of the Week: Yuletide Camellia

Here come the holidays and with that comes the beautiful blooms of the beloved Yuletide Camellia. This beautiful cool weather bloomer is a Hampton Roads must-have with its warm, red flowers and glossy evergreen foliage. This shrub is a beautiful addition to the garden year-round, giving blooms at a time of year when not much else is blooming. Yuletide's red flowers stand out in high contrast against glossy, dark green foliage making quite the statement in your landscape. A moderate grower, this evergreen shrub will grow to approximately 8-10 feet tall and with an upright growth habit. This beauty is an excellent choice for a colorful hedge or screen, a border shrub, or use along fence lines to add vivid color to outdoor living spaces, porches and patios. We also love planting this camellia in a container surrounded by other cool weather plants like pansies, ornamental cabbages and dusty miller. Yuletide makes an excellent thriller plant in any cool weather container. And, if your planning any holiday gatherings, cut a few blossoms from your plant and float them around your home in small bowls or water. Your guests will love it!

Check out more of our favorite plants! OUR PLANTS OF THE WEEK >>

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Plant of the Week: ShiShi Gashira Camellia

There's a good reason camellias have been a part of the southern landscape for more than 200 years - simply put, they're just amazing.

Native to the Orient, these graceful beauties were introduced into the U.S. near Charleston, South Carolina in 1786. Camellias come in so many varieties, flowering October through March depending on the type you choose. Flowers range in color from pure white to dark red, while some cultivars offer multi-colored or variegated blooms. Flowers can be saucer-shaped single or double blooms and even ruffled like the Peony camellia. For the remainder of the year, their evergreen foliage is an attractive glossy green providing year-round beauty. Most camellias are shrub-sized and compact and can serve several functions in the landscape. Whether they are planted as a hedge line, mixed with other shrubs, planted in a container, or situated as a standalone bush, camellias don't ask for much and yet give so much beauty in return.

Try one of our very favorite camellias, ShiShi Gashira - a versatile performer displaying profuse, hot pink, semi-double blooms with golden yellow stamens in the center and glossy, dark green foliage. Their flowers are perfect for cutting. We love snipping the blooms and simply floating them in a bowl of water around the home. These evergreen shrubs are an ideal choice for a colorful low hedge, espalier or high profile groundcover. ShiShi starts flowering in October and continues through December, yet you'll enjoy it's evergreen foliage all year long. Let's hear it for ShiShi Gashira!

overview: Prefers filtered sun; water regularly when top 3 inches of soil is dry; moderate growing 4-5 feet tall and 6-8 feet wide; blooms fall through winter

Check out more of our favorite plants! OUR PLANTS OF THE WEEK >>

photos from Monrovia



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