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Growing Christmas bulbs inside

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Melodie McDanal from Pike Nurseries joined Good Day Atlanta with some tips on how to grow Christmas bulbs, Paperwhites and Amaryllis, inside your home!


Growing Paperwhites an Amaryllis -- now is the time!

  • Once planted, they will take 4-6 weeks to bloom, so if you want them for a Christmas party, plan accordingly
  • They also make great hostess gifts

Paperwhites -- Paperwhites earned their botanical name, Narcissus, based on Greek mythology.   Narcissus, infatuated by his own reflection in a pool, stared at himself until the gods turned him into a flower

  • Paperwhites have a lovely, sweet fragrance


  • Amaryllis have a big, bold flower with a thick stem
  • Great for a centerpiece since the flower sits higher, still allowing you to visit with guests across the table

Forcing Paperwhites & Amaryllis

  • In order for your Paperwhites and Amaryllis to bloom during the Christmas season, plant in November
  • Use a shallow dish, glass bowl, or bulb vase and fill with three-quarters of gravel - make sure you rinse the gravel first
  • Place the bulbs in the gravel and add more gravel between the bulbs to anchor them in place
  • Fill your container with water to the bottom of the bulbs and place them in a well lit room; window sills are a great location
  • To keep your bloom stalks from falling over, when the bud has emerged, replace water with a mixture of half water and half drinking alcohol (gin or vodka work best)


  • The most important thing for paperwhites, whether you are tending to them indoors or outdoors, is to never let them dry out

If you have a question for the experts from Pike Nurseries the Good Day Atlanta crew at Include your name, your city, your question, and a picture if you can. We may use your question on a future segment.

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