Dutch Amaryllis... Unpack your Amaryllis bulb(s) immediately upon arrival, but don't plant them right away. They should be placed in a cool location (55-60 degrees F [13-16 degrees C]) until late October (with packaging removed). When planting time arrives, fill a 10" diameter clay pot or other container with commercial potting mix and place the pot on a saucer to help retain water. (Avoid lightweight pots which may become top-heavy when your Amaryllis is in full bloom.)
Hold your Amaryllis bulb at the correct planting level, keeping 1/3 of the bulb above soil level. Spread the roots out carefully. Fill in around the roots and bulb with the potting mixture. Firm the soil and water sufficiently to thoroughly moisten the mix. Water sparingly thereafter until the flower bud is well out of the bulb. Then water is needed. First apply water at the top of the soil, keeping the upper, exposed part of the bulb dry. Then add water to the saucer on which your pot sits.
If the bulb doesn't show a bud when planted, place it in a warm location to encourage growth. When growth begins, move your Amaryllis to a brightly lit area, turning the pot one-quarter turn each day for even growth. Blooms should appear within six to eight weeks.
Remove blooms as they fade. After all flowers have finished blooming, cut away the flower stem. This will stimulate the growth of a second and possibly a third flower stem. Broad swordlike leaves usually appear after the plant has flowered.
To save your Amaryllis for future seasons, move the container to a sunny outdoor spot after danger of frost is past, or plant the bulb directly in your garden. Water regularly and feed the bulb monthly with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer. Gradually discontinue watering before the first frost, and place your bulb in a garage or basement until the leaves yellow. Then cut them off above the neck of the bulb and clean most of the soil from the roots. Store the bulb in a paper bag for six to eight weeks at 65-70 degrees F (18-21 degrees C). Pot the bulb as explained above in December to begin the cycle again.
Paper White Narcissus... Paper White Narcissus have long been a favorite of Brecks customers to force into bloom in their homes. The many sparkling white flowers are a cheerful reminder of spring and brighten any room. They also make a wonderful gift.
Unpack your bulbs upon arrival, but do not pot them immediately. Store them in a cool place (40-50 degrees F [5-10 degrees C] until approximately six weeks before you want them to flower.
To plant, fill a 3-4" deep container half full of pebbles or marble chips, and set the bulbs about 1/2" apart on this surface. Then add more pebbles around the bulbs until one-third of each bulb shows above the pebbles.
Pour water into the bowl until it nearly touches the bottoms of the bulbs and set in a cool, dark place. As soon as root growth is active and top growth begins (in about 2-3 weeks), bring the planter into a bright, sunny place. Maintain the water level at all times. Placing the container in a cool location during flowering will extend the life of the blooms.
If you wish, you can also "plant" your Brecks Paper White Narcissus in a commercial potting soil. Plant them firmly, so that the top of the bulb is just above soil level. Water enough to moisten the potting mix and place pot in a moderately cool (45-55 degrees F [7-13 degrees C]) location out of direct sunlight until growth begins. During this time, keep the soil damp but not wet. As soon as the green tips emerge, you should bring your potted Paper White Narcissus bulbs for future seasons is generally unsuccessful and is not recommended.