Flower Bulb FAQs
IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT THE BULB SHOP
Are you paying attention? This is IMPORTANT. Please place orders from BULB SHOP separately from any and all other Restoration Rose products. Essentially bulbs are a separate shop for us. Any orders combining bulbs and other Restoration Rose products will have to be cancelled and we don’t want to do that to you.
WE EXPECT ALL FLOWER BULB ORDERS WILL SHIP IN OCTOBER OR AS SOON AS THEY ARE RECEIVED FROM HOLLAND. POSSIBLE SHIPPING DELAYS MAY OCCUR. YOUR BULBS SHOULD ARRIVE IN PLENTY OF TIME FOR STARTING AND CHILLING.
We will gladly chill your bulbs for an additional charge of $5.00 per type of bulb (tulip, hyacinth, daffodil etc) as some varieties will need less chill and ship before others.
BASICS: HOW TO GROW PAPERWHITE NARCISSUS
Though the bulbs may be grown outdoors in warm climates (zones 8-11), they are incredibly easy to grow indoors, requiring nothing more than a little water and a bright window.
1. Plant paperwhites in groups of 5 to 7 bulbs. Big clumps look more balanced than just two or three bulbs. Use pots (without drainage holes) that are 6 to 8” wide.
2. Extend the show by planting several batches of bulbs. You can do all the planting in one day and then store the pre-planted pots in a cool, dark place. When you are ready to start a new batch of bulbs, just bring out one of the pots and add water. We like potting them up for cuts as well as they make simple and cheerful bouquets during the winter.
3. You may grow paperwhites in water rather than soil. It works just as well, and weighing the bulbs down with stones helps keep the flowers from tipping over. Washed gravel works fine, as do marble chips, polished river stones, tumbled glass or even marbles. Only the bottom half of the bulb needs to be covered. The roots will anchor themselves by growing around and under the stones.
4. Set the bulbs in moist (not soggy) fluffy potting soil. OR place on gravel just above water line. The bulbs will seek water, but will rot if they sit in it. They must sit over it.
After planting, add water to the container until it almost, but not quite touches the bottoms of the bulbs. When the roots sprout, they will reach down into the water.
5. Paperwhites get leggy for two reasons. Either they were grown in a room that’s too warm (above 65°F) or they didn’t get enough light. For stocky plants, grow the bulbs in a cool room (50-60°F) and make sure they get lots of bright, indirect light. Once you see buds, move the pot into your living area. Keep the bulbs away from hot sun and heat to extend the bloom time. If they do grow too tall, use a piece of twine or ribbon to “corral” them.
6. Researchers at Cornell University found they could keep paperwhites about 30% shorter than normal by watering them with a 4% to 6% alcohol solution. If you want to give it a try, you can use any “hard” liquor (not beer or wine). Mix 1 part 40% distilled spirit with 7 parts water to get a 5% solution (too much alcohol will damage the foliage). When the shoots are about 2" tall, pour off the water and replace it with the alcohol solution. Cornell Research is available HERE.
Once your paperwhites have finished blooming, you can snip off the spent flowers and continue enjoying the foliage. Eventually the bulbs can be tossed as they will not bloom again.
In warm climates (growing zones 8-11) paperwhites may be planted outdoors in fall for late winter flowers. Plant the bulbs about 6" deep and 4" apart. There are only a few areas in the country (S. California and parts of Texas) that have the hot, dry weather conditions that paperwhites require for long-term outdoor success. In other areas where paperwhites are hardy (zones 8-11), the bulbs are treated as annuals.
BASICS: HOW TO GROW AMARYLLIS
From The University of Iowa Horticulture Extension
When planting an amaryllis bulb, select a pot which is approximately 1 to 2 inches wider than the diameter of the bulb. The container may be clay, ceramic or plastic, but should have drainage holes in the bottom. Plant the bulb in good, well-drained potting mix. Place a small amount of potting mix in the bottom of the pot. Center the bulb in the middle of the pot. Then add additional potting mix, firming it around the roots and bulb. When finished potting, the upper one-half of the bulb should remain above the soil surface. Also, leave about one inch between the soil surface and the pot’s rim. Then water well and place in a warm (70 to 75°F) location.
After the initial watering, allow the potting mix to dry somewhat before watering again. Keep the mix moist, but not wet. When growth appears, move the plant to a sunny window and apply a water soluble fertilizer every 2 to 4 weeks. During flower stalk elongation, turn the pot each day to keep the flower stalk growing straight. Flower stalks that lean badly will need to be staked.
Flowering usually occurs about 6 to 8 weeks after potting. When the amaryllis begins to bloom, move the plant to a slightly cooler (65 to 70°F) location that doesn’t receive direct sun to prolong the life of the flowers.
SAVING YOUR AMARYLLIS FOR NEXT SEASON
Some individuals discard the amaryllis after flowering. However, it is possible to save the amaryllis and force it to flower on an annual basis. The key to successful re-flowering is proper care.
After the flowers fade, cut off the flower stalk with a sharp knife. Make the cut 1 to 2 inches above the bulb. Don’t damage the foliage. In order for the bulb to bloom again next season, the plant must replenish its depleted food reserves. The strap-like leaves manufacture food for the plant. Place the plant in a sunny window and water when the soil surface is nearly dry. Fertilize every two to four 4 weeks with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer.
The amaryllis can be moved outdoors in late May. Harden or acclimate the plant to the outdoors by initially placing it in a shady, protected area. After two or three days, gradually expose the amaryllis to longer periods of direct sun. Once hardened, select a site in partial to full sun. Dig a hole and set the pot into the ground. Outdoors, continue to water the plant during dry weather. Also, continue to fertilize the amaryllis once or twice a month through July. Bring the plant indoors in mid-September. Plants left indoors should be kept in a sunny window.
In order to bloom, amaryllis bulbs must be exposed to temperatures of 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum of eight to 10 weeks. This can be accomplished by inducing the plant to go dormant and then storing the dormant bulb at a temperature of 50 to 55 F. To induce dormancy, place the plant in a cool, semi-dark location in late September and withhold water. Cut off the foliage when the leaves turn brown. Then place the dormant bulb in a 50 to 55 F location for at least eight to 10 weeks. After the cool requirement has been met, start the growth cycle again by watering the bulb and placing it in a well-lit, 70 to 75 F location. Keep the potting soil moist, but not wet, until growth appears. The other option is to place the plant in a well-lit, 50 to 55 F location in fall.
Maintain the amaryllis as a green plant from fall to mid-winter. After the cool requirement has been met, move the plant to a warmer (70 to 75 F) location.
BULB ORDER OF BLOOM (Also see Chill Chart below)
South American Amaryllis and Paperwhites do not require chill and will bloom within 4-6 weeks of starting from dormant bulbs. Dutch Amaryllis do not require chill but take 6-12 weeks to get started from dormant bulbs. Crocus and Reticulated iris will bloom in January for most folks, depending upon when chill begins. The earliest Daffodils are followed by Muscari, Hyacinth, later blooming Daffodils and Tulips. On each bulb variety page you will find its class and you may refer to the information below to chill length/bloom time. Blooms will usually arrive 2-4 weeks after chilling period when pots have been exposed to sun.
CHILL CHART—BELOW 45 DEGREES you may chill for longer but do not chill for less.
Crocus (Spring-blooming Crocus), 8-10 weeks
Galanthus (Snowdrops), 10-12 weeks
Hyacinthus (Hyacinth), 12-14 weeks
Dwarf Iris (Iris reticulata and other spring-blooming bulbous species), 10-12 weeks
Leucojum (Summer Snowflake), 8-10 weeks
Muscari (Grape Hyacinth, to keep the leaves shorter, store cool and dry for 6-8 weeks, then give 2 weeks of cool rooting time)
Trumpet Daffodils, 14-16 weeks
Large-Cupped Daffodils, 15-17 weeks
Small-Cupped Daffodils, 16-18 weeks
Double-Flowered Daffodils, 16-18 weeks
Split-Corona Daffodils, 14-16 weeks
Narcissus (Triandrus), 16-17 weeks
Narcissus (Cyclamineus), 14-15 weeks
Narcissus (Jonquilla), 15-16 weeks
Narcissus (Tazetta), 14-15 weeks
Narcissus (Miniature), 14-16 weeks
Tulipa (Tulip), 14-16 weeks