Finding the Sparkle in Your Amaryllis

Posted on November 6, 2017 in House + Home, Holiday Ideas, Indoor & Tropical Plant Care

Written by West Coast Gardens

This time of the year we tend to gravitate towards things that sparkle. Glittery pinecones, candlelight, a shiny ribbon or gold bow just make the season a bit more merry and bright. While you’re stocking up on glittering ornaments and a new shiny holiday collar for the pooch, don’t forget to pick out a bulb or two! Nope, we’re not talking about a lightbulb or a string of coloured Christmas bulbs. We’re talking about Amaryllis bulbs!

But, you ask, since when do flower bulbs sparkle? Is there a secret stash of solid gold Amaryllis bulbs hidden somewhere that you don’t know about? No, no, nothing like that.

What you probably didn’t realize is that “Amaryllis” is a Greek word that means “to sparkle”. The myth is actually a bit dramatic (as most Greek mythology is) and involves a love stricken maiden who pierces her heart with a golden arrow in order to prove her love (assuming the love notes and chocolates didn’t do the trick) and where the drops of blood fell, Amaryllis sprung up out of the ground. Luckily, the happy couple got together in the end and her heart was healed. (Whew!)

Decorating your Amaryllis for Christmas

Creating a Mythical Amaryllis Display

Your Amaryllis is so gorgeous when it blooms that you may be tempted not to worry about its display. While a simple and natural approach to showing off your Christmas bulb can be effective, there are so many options that can really accentuate the bloom and also match your home decor for the season.

Decorating your Amaryllis for Christmas

Will you plant your Amaryllis in a pot with soil, or would you rather display it in a vessel with only water? The Greek gods Poseidon (water) and Demeter (soil) could probably fight about it all day, but really it comes down to your preference. A pot is generally opaque and feels more permanent and rustic. A vase can be clear and light, often working well when an elegant or sophisticated design is wanted. There’s also the option of getting a waxed Amaryllis bulb, which requires no work at all!

Planting Amaryllis in Soil – Use well draining soil (so the bulb doesn’t get too wet and rot) bury it with the pointed side up, ¾ of the way to the top of the bulb. Let the soil dry out between waterings. The upside of this idea is that you can simply keep watering your Amaryllis after Christmas without having to repot it and have a lovely houseplant the rest of the year. You can still decorate the pot and top of the soil at Christmas to create a festive look, take a gander at our ideas further down.

Planting Amaryllis in Water Choose a vessel that isn’t top heavy, and won’t topple easily once the Amaryllis’ large blooms have arrived. Fill the vessel (glass or ceramic works well) with at least a three inch layer of stones, rocks, glass pebbles or another filler. Settle the Amaryllis bulb into the substrate, leaving at least half the bulb showing above. When you add water to this design, make sure the water level is just below the bulb, not actually touching it, or the bulb will rot and die. The roots from the bulb will absorb the water and keep the bulb hydrated. After Christmas, if you want to keep your plant, you will need to repot it in soil. (Sorry Poseidon.)

Waxed Amaryllis Bulbs A new option that we love, is purchasing a waxed Amaryllis bulb! Most of the bulb has been covered in coloured wax, so you can choose between rose golds, silvers, reds, greens and more. The wax seals in all the nutrients needed for the bulb to grow and bloom for the season, so you don’t even have to add water! Just keep it in a well lit spot (not direct sunlight) and turn it so that it grows evenly. These are also fantastic gifts for hostesses, as they’re easy to decorate and the receiver doesn’t have to deal with another plant to water or care for during and after the season.

Decorating your Amaryllis for Christmas
Play Video

This design uses waxed Amaryllis bulbs for a natural woodland design that creates a wintery forest walk feeling. Use natural accents such as pinecones, birch bark, twigs, branches, juniper cuts and moss. You can pick up interesting stones and leaves as well for your design!

Decorating your Amaryllis for Christmas
Decorating your Amaryllis for Christmas

Appeasing Aphrodite – Adding a touch of originality

With 10 million Amaryllis bulbs imported yearly from Holland, you are likely not to be the only one on your block with one of these beauties in your home. It’s time to get creative and turn your Amaryllis into a 1 in 10 million beauty with some additions and accents.

  • Use moss (dried or real) on the top of your pot or glass vessel.
  • Layer the colour of rocks, beads etc. that you use in your transparent vessel.
  • Wrap the whole thing in burlap and tie it up with matching ribbon for a rustic style.
  • Use sticks, birch, curly willow or long berry stakes to accentuate the tall flower.
  • Plant the bulbs (in water or soil) in mason jars, and then decorate as gifts.
  • Add branches of eucalyptus (regular or seeded)
  • Wrap your masterpiece in brown paper, and accent with holly for an old fashioned gift.
Christmas Wreaths

We get super sparkly in this Gold Amaryllis Globe video! We use a sparkly golden cage accent, white pebbles and a display tray. The wax bulbs are perfect for simple displays that really shine. 

When accenting your bulb, keep in mind the colour of your Amaryllis bloom, as they come in anything from reds, pinks, whites and stripes. Hinting at the flower colour in your design will pay off when it blooms closer to Christmas!