Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Amaryllis and Paperwhite Bulbs Bring Holiday Cheer

Amaryllis and Paperwhite bulbs bring holiday cheer. (photo courtesy of Michaela Burschinger)

There’s something magical about holiday flowers, perhaps because they only come out around the holidays and their vibrant colors and wonderful scents remind us of spring and brighter days to come. My favorites are amaryllis and narcissus, commonly known as paperwhites.  Both can be found in nurseries around this time of year and make sophisticated additions to holiday decor.

Michaela Burschinger, resident of Brookside and art instructor at St. Brenda’s School, shared these photos of her amaryllis and paperwhites. The bulbs come in a wide range of colors in addition to the classic red and white. There are also dwarf varieties which can be nice too. If you like something scented, paperwhites are a must. They can be grown in pots with dirt, or rocks or just water in bulb vases. The only drawback is they get tall and tend to flop over, but Burschinger shared a trick she learned from her garden club for keeping the paperwhites from getting too tall:  if you are facing the bulbs in water, simply add one part alcohol, gin or vodka, to seven parts water, once the bulbs start, to send up a green shoot. Otherwise, you can just tie them up with a ribbon. Flopping over is definitely part of the charm!

Bulbs fill this north facing window sill with holiday cheer.

Paperwhite bulbs can be found at Sunset Nursery. They don’t have amaryllis yet but they should be getting some already potted later this month, according to staff.

Sunset is a small family-owned nursery located at 4368 Sunset Blvd. They are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, with in-store shopping and the option to shop online with curbside pick up. If you like to see the plants in person, best to head over during the week and avoid the lines that are now more common on the weekend, since the nursery has to restrict the number of shoppers indoors at one time.

Rollings Greens on Beverly Blvd. is currently out of paperwhites and amaryllis, but is expecting more later this week. The store also has more decor items like wreaths, garlands and topiary. Of course, they, too, are observing safety protocols and must limit the number of shoppers, but staff told the Buzz they’ve been able to keep the lines fairly short.

If you like to plan ahead, you can order bulbs online from Van Englen’s retail catalogue, John, or the Van Engelen wholesale catalogue if you want to buy in bulk, according to Judy Kirschner Gilbert, gardener and Windsor Square resident. Another good option is White Flower Farm.

Classic Christmas red amaryllis will brighten up any window.
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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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