August 18, 2013

Choosing Bulbs for Christmas Bloom

Christmas Bloom is a term used loosely here. Last year they didn't bloom at Christmas. One Amaryllis bloomed early. I used it, in bud, as a Hostess gift on Thanksgiving. They reported that it bloomed the next day.

The rest of the bulbs mostly waited until after Christmas to bloom. I gave away potted hyacinths in the cold and drear of January, cheerful little unexpected treasures. Start earlier this year.

Appleblossom with white Kalanchoe, a red begonia and a Bromeliad.
These were blooming in early March this year. I brought the Amaryllis to
bloom for the second year, proud that it bloomed even late.
I think the pot to the right holds Nymph, which bloomed 3 times in 2013.
Nymph is lovely but has a big blossom on a short stem, awkward.
 
Nymph
 
Benfica. How red is too red?
It bloomed in time for Christmas last year.
 
I lean toward the coral shades of Hippeastrum.
 
 
 
My winter notes for 2013 said to use pale shades. I tend to forget these notions.
Okay, pale shades it will be. How many is too many?
 
 
Blue hyacinths bloomed early February, here with a Tilliandsia.
Blue Jacket here; I think this fall I'll force pink and white.
 
 
Delft Blue, 2011
 
Gypsy Queen, February, 2013.
I'm torn between this pale apricot again or true pink.
 
 
Gypsy!
 
 
 
In 2012, I used two pink shades, Jan Bos and China Pink.
 
According to my notes, those in water and
those in soil forced equally well.
 
I decided that soil was the better choice as those will plant out into the garden with ease.
Most who receive them as gifts want to know how to keep them forever. Slip them from the pot into the edge of a rich flower bed up to the bottom of the leaves. Expect them back every spring.
 
 
 
Easily rooted Begonias are a given as
companions to Winter Bulbs indoors.
 
 
Here's my list to order soonest:
  • 3 miniature white Hippeastrums.
  • 3 palest apricot Amaryllis.
  • 25 pink Hyacinths,
  • 25 white Hyacinths.
Plans for Companions
  • Root red and white Pentas starting now.
  • Root white Kalanchoes. Some already in pots need best pieces broken and rooted.
  • Root red Begonias.
  • White Begonias are already potted.
  • Christmas cactuses are already rooted. Some need bigger pots.
  • Look for a Bird of Paradise not too big for coarse background foliage.
  • Root more Persian Shield and Purple Heart. Purple Heart all in one oblong container.
 
Will you force bulbs for winter bloom? Have you ordered fall planted bulbs? Bulbs will be in the stores in another month or two. I'll find it hard to resist a big bag or two of King Alfred type daffodils, or some Thalia despite how a certain bulb vendor disparaged the big box bulbs on their blog.
 

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