Giving gifts of flowering bulbs can brighten the holidays

newspaperFlower bulbs are beautiful gifts for the holidays. Purchased from local greenhouses and nurseries, bulbs will bloom indoors, providing a bright accent on bleak winter days.

“We think bulbs like paperwhites and amaryllis are perfect gifts for the holidays,” said Becky Heath, owner of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs in Gloucester County. “They bring such joy as the recipient watches it grow as it brings living color indoors.”

If bulbs are kept near a window and watered to keep the leaves green during the winter, they can be planted outside in a sunny garden area once the danger of frost passes, Heath added.

In some cases, “they just keep on giving and bloom during the summer,” she explained.

Bulb operations are part of Virginia’s green industry, which includes nursery and greenhouse products. The industry is an important part of Virginia agriculture, noted Tony Banks, a commodity marketing specialist for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

“Flower bulbs bloom a profusion of bright color and make great Christmas gifts,” Banks noted.

If you want amaryllis to flower for Christmas, you need to plan ahead. It takes six to eight weeks for them to bloom. They can be planted in glass containers with pebbles and water.

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