Planting Holiday Bulbs

Learn how to brighten up a space for the holidays using spring flowering bulbs.

We love having spring flowering bulbs around to brighten up a space and make things a little more festive for the holidays. They make our house feel like a home, more than just a place decorated with a touch of spring during the cold winter months. Forced flower bulbs are our go-to, and this year we thought it would be fun to plant a few extras to give away as gifts, too.

Before all the decorating begins though, we like to prepare our home by doing a deep cleaning in mid to late fall; making a fresh and clean home to welcome guests, allowing us more “me time” to enjoy every minute of every memory.

Growing up my Mom always had an Electrolux vacuum, so it was only natural for us to partner with Electrolux when it comes down to cleaning – it's a reliable brand that we know we can count on. Electrolux helps take the worry out of cleaning for us, making the process simple and seamless. We love our ProSwivel™ for deep cleaning with its Pro Release Cleaning Wand, perfect for reaching high out-of-the-way places like above doors and ceiling lights. The DustSpotter LED light is a brilliant design, providing increased visibility for detailed cleaning to ensure that not one speck of dust goes unnoticed. The removable parts make it easy to replace the vacuum filters to keep the vacuum running at top quality. For us, having a clean home provides the peace of mind that is essential to enjoying family, friends and our free time. 

kids playing chess

Whenever we're doing a project from DIYs to indoor gardening, our ProSwivel™ isn't far away. And for this project, planting bulbs, having the ProSwivel™ nearby is a must-have.

Starting bulbs can be daunting at first, but once you learn how, you'll be amazed by how simple it really can be using a few holiday favorites such as Paperwhites, Hyacinths and Amaryllis.  Just keep in mind, you'll need to start planting fairly soon to welcome blooms for the holidays. This is a sweet little project to start now to make for yourself or to give as a holiday gift.

 

You will need 

For the Paperwhites and Hyacinth bulbs
Paperwhite bulbs
Hyacinth bulbs
Gravel
Vessels (could be jam jars, pots or hyacinth bulb vases)
Water

For the Amaryllis
Amaryllis bulbs
Pot
Potting soil
Gravel
Water

 

How-To

For Amaryllis and Paperwhites there is no cold period required, so the bulbs can be placed in a warm environment immediately after planting. However, the Hyacinths will require a cold period after planting where they need to be placed in a cool, dark place for a couple of weeks until you see roots starting to form. You can also look out for pre-chilled bulbs to skip the chilling step. See below for the steps to take for each specific bulb.

 Paperwhites

Paperwhite flowers are one of our favorites, with their tall stems and paper thin white blooms. Each bulb produces two to three stems of white flowers that create a stunning arrangement once in full bloom. They are perhaps the easiest to plant with very simple instructions. For Paperwhites, we like seeing the roots through a glass vessel, so a jam jar or deeper glass jar works best. However, you can also plant in soil if you like.

To plant in gravel, pour gravel into your vessel to create a base for setting your bulbs on. Remove the onion skin husks off each bulb before planting to make sure there are no loose pieces. Once prepped, place the bulb base root onto the gravel surface. Pour water into the base, leaving just enough to encourage the bulbs to start rooting, barely touching the bulb bases. Once the root appears, you can drop the level of the water, so that the water doesn't touch the bulbs. Within just a few days you will start to see growth. In about three weeks they should be in full bloom. Perhaps the best timing to plant these is near the end of November, for blooms on the 25th of December.

Hyacinth

Perhaps the most fragrant, Hyacinths are also a favorite with blooms in a variety of colors. There are jars that are specifically made for Hyacinths, which have an hourglass shape, with a pinched-in waist that supports the bulb. Or you can also plant the bulbs just like the Paperwhites, placing them in a gravel base. For the bulb specific vases, pour water just enough to where it's barely touching the base of the bulb and then if not pre-chilled, place in a cool, dark place (like a refrigerator) until roots start to appear (approximately 3 weeks). Then bring them into your space to force them to grow.

Alternatively, if planting on gravel, pour gravel into your vessel to create a base for setting your bulbs on. Place the bulb base root onto the gravel surface. Pour water into the base, leaving just enough to encourage the bulbs to start rooting, barely touching the bulb bases. If the bulbs need to go through a cool period, place in a cool, dark place (like a refrigerator) until roots start to appear (approximately 3 weeks).

Amaryllis

These beautiful red blooms are the most festive, and perhaps the most sought after, bloom for the holidays. Amaryllis need to be planted in soil. Plant the bulbs individually into a pot that is slightly larger than the bulb. Fill the pot with potting soil, then set the bulb on top and then fill in around the bulb so that a third of the bulb is exposed. The flower stocks will appear and the blooms will appear just 4 to six weeks after planting. Keep the bulb moist when you first plant them, and then water regularly as they grow (approximately once a week).

Giving flowering bulbs as gifts during the holidays is like giving a gift of the hope of spring.  To give as gifts, add a festive colored bow and you're set!