Amaryllis Care and Decorating Ideas for Christmas
From different ways to decorate with amaryllis to tips for making your amaryllis last, we tell you all you need to know about this bright, festive flower, just in time for the Christmas season.
There are plenty of fun and creative ways to deck the halls -- and the rest of your house -- with festive amaryllis flowers. Get inspiration for different ways to display your amaryllis during the holidays.
Display Amaryllis in a Tall Vase
For a simple way to show off your amaryllis blooms, use a tall, clear cylindrical vase. Cut the flower stems to 5 inches or less (depending on how tall your container is) and place the stem in a few inches of water at an angle. Place cranberries inside and wrap a bright red ribbon around the vase at the waterline to finish this festive decoration.
Editor's Tip: Amaryllis is available at florist's shops from early fall through late winter, but if you want to display your amaryllis at Christmas, purchase your cut stems in mid-December.
Place Amaryllis in a Pineapple Vase
This eye-catching way to display amaryllis makes a great conversation piece. Gather a bouquet of amaryllis flowers and tuck it into a hollowed-out pineapple filled with water. Place the fruit vase on a flat, circular serving dish with raised sides and surround it with cranberries for a festive touch.
Editor's Tip: Set your amaryllis in a short, thin vase and then place it in the pineapple to have a more stable arrangement.
Sugar-Coat Your Amaryllis
Your holiday amaryllis arrangement will sparkle and shine with a light dusting of sugar. Beat egg whites and brush the foam lightly on pieces of fruit and amaryllis blooms, then sprinkle superfine sugar over each piece with a teaspoon. The sugar won't turn white until it dries, which takes about an hour. Once everything is dry, arrange the sugared fruit and amaryllis on a footed glass dish to make a fun Christmas centerpiece.
Editor's Tip: Dark-color fruits show shimmer best, but light-color fruits are nice to mix in for a subtler finish.
Place Amaryllis in a Vase Made from Christmas Cards
Reuse last year's Christmas cards to make a unique and fun container for holiday amaryllis. Choose four Christmas cards of the same size and use double-stick tape to keep them closed. Punch staggered holes down the sides, and stitch the cards together with brightly colored ribbon. Fit the homemade card sleeve over a jelly or pickle jar. Add an inch or two of water to the jar and cut your amaryllis stems so the flowers are just slightly taller than the card sleeve.
Editor's Tip: To help support the stems in the jar (and for a nice accent to the flowers), add clippings of holly with bright red berries.
Display Amaryllis in a Pedestal Vase
The best part about displaying amaryllis is that it looks great in both tall and short flower arrangements. Put your amaryllis in a pedestal vase to create a tall and elegant arrangement of these festive Christmas flowers. Soak florist's foam in water until it is saturated, then cut it to fit the vase. Cover a cardboard tube with holiday wrapping paper (we recommend a plain color so it won't distract from the amaryllis), cutting it 2 inches shorter than the tube. Push the tube 2 inches into the florist's foam. Make sure your amaryllis stems are cut long enough to reach down through the tube and penetrate the florist's foam while the flowers rest at the top of the tube. Add more holiday pizzazz to the arrangement with snippets of evergreen, holly, or ivy around the rim of the vase.
4 Simple Care Instructions for Amaryllis
Follow these no-fuss instructions to nurture your new amaryllis bulb into several bright, blooming flowers just in time for Christmas.
- Water your amaryllis properly. Water your amaryllis bulb sparingly until a flower spike appears. When watering your amaryllis, allow the water to drain through its container and make sure the water stays below the top of the bulb. The soil should be moist but never soggy.
- Place the pot in a just-right place. Finding the best place to put your growing amaryllis is important. The pot needs to be in a sunny spot, but amaryllis flowers are touchy about cool breezes, so put the pot in a place where it won't get a draft.
- Wait patiently. Amaryllis take anywhere from four to six weeks to produce blooms, so patience is key when taking care of your flowers. To produce blooms for a Christmas decoration, plant your bulb in early or mid-November.
- Pay attention to the flowers. Once the amaryllis flowers start to open, move the container to indirect light for best results. To maintain the best look in your arrangement and to keep your amaryllis healthy, snip off flowers as they fade. Cut the stems about an inch from the base after all of the flowers have bloomed.
Once your amaryllis is in full bloom, follow these instructions to maintain its decorative appeal for several weeks after the flowering period ends.
One of the best things about these bold holiday flowers is that you can adjust your amaryllis arrangements to keep them looking fresh for weeks after they're done blooming. If you don't grow your own amaryllis, buy the stems with buds just beginning to open; they'll last the longest. Place the stems in a couple inches of water so they won't turn yellow and lose their strength, and accent the flowers with evergreen and holly in a tall vase. Trim an inch or two off the stem every few days and move it to a smaller vase, making sure to change the water. As you transfer your amaryllis to smaller vases and try different arrangements, simplify the look by using less greenery or taking it out altogether.
Amaryllis bulbs in a pretty pot with a bow make the perfect gift for a friend or family member with a green thumb. It's simple to gift amaryllis, just follow these general guidelines:
- Choose a healthy bulb that's green or covered with a crisp brown skin that has a tuft of roots at the base.
- Select a pot that's slightly larger than the bulb. Any pot with a drainage hole will work, but terra-cotta pots work best because they are porous and their weight helps stabilize the growing plant.
- Put a handful of potting soil in the bottom of the pot and place the amaryllis bulb on top.