Design · Flowers · Gift Ideas · Holidays · Inspiration

Planting Bulbs for the Holidays

Among my favorite gifts to give and to receive during the holidays are Amaryllis and Paperwhite Narcissus bulbs.  I enjoy watching the bulbs grow into plants and flower in a matter of weeks.

Thanksgiving week is when I traditionally plant bulbs indoors for the holiday season.  I usually plant a mix of amaryllis and paperwhite narcissus bulbs.  The narcissi tend to bloom more quickly than the amaryllises–I expect to see the narcissus flowers within a month. If I want the amaryllises bloom in time for Christmas, than I have to plant them closer to the beginning of November.

This year, I planted only narcissus bulbs, which I purchased at The Home Depot. I like the fragrant and delicate white narcissus flowers, and because they are white they work in every room. I plant the bulbs in pretty bowls. If I am planting bulbs to give as gifts, as I am this year, I visit my favorite resale shops or HomeGoods and find a dish that can be used by the recipient after the flowers have reached the end of their useful lives. This year, I purchased a couple of beautiful silver punch bowls at a thrift shop. After a quick polish, the bowls look quite festive. I also planted some bulbs for myself (rather than as a gift) in one of my favorite blue and white bowls. I filled the bowls with dirt (rocks also work), planted the bulbs with the tops sticking out above the surface of the soil, watered the newly-planted bulbs, and placed the bowls by my bedroom window:


I am hoping that, within a few weeks, the narcissus stems will be tall enough so that I will need to stake them or tie them together with a ribbon. It is so easy to grow these flowers–they just require lots of sunlight and occasional waterings.

Below are some inspiration photos of amaryllis and narcissus plants used as holiday decor, including these narcissi, which look beautiful in the blue and white cachepot surrounded at the base by pinecones:

Nine and Sixteen

Paperwhites are simple and elegant in terra cotta pots:

Carolyne Roehm via Splendid Sass

These antique bowls make lovely containers for the flowering plants:


This gold satin ribbon is festive and practical for keeping the stems upright:

Southern Living

Gorgeous paperwhites in terra cotta urns:

via Pinterest

Aren’t these narcissi spectacular in an indoor window box?

Nora Murphy Country Home

A pretty centerpiece:

House and Home

I love how these bulbs, surrounded by moss, are packaged for a hostess gift or neighbor gift:

Jenny Steffens

A couple of elegant amaryllis arrangements:

via Pinterest
via Pinterest

These red amaryllises are festive next to the blue and white ginger jars:

via Pinterest

Lining the staircase with narcissus plants wrapped in burlap and ribbon brings a dramatic touch to what’s usually a dead space:

via Pinterest

Festive Christmas ornaments surround the base of this paperwhite narcissus plant:

Better Homes and Gardens

Paperwhites and amaryllises make for a beautiful centerpiece:

The Enchanted Home via Pinterest

The burlap wrapping and gorgeous satin ribbon make this a memorable gift:


Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and a lovely beginning to the holiday season!



12 thoughts on “Planting Bulbs for the Holidays

  1. Years ago someone gave me an amaryllis. After it quit blooming, I stuck the bulb in the ground and it has morphed into about a dozen plants that bloom in February. I wish I did as well with all plants!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely love these! It has never dawned on me before to do this indoors but what a lovely idea. I’m going to try it! We have so many serving bowls that are only used a couple times a year.

    Liked by 1 person

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