What’s a Santaryllis? Dress up a terra cotta pot


What do you get when you plant an amaryllis bulb in a Santa-themed pot? A Santaryllis, of course, according to the bulb educational website Dig.Drop.Done — digdropdone.com.

“A potted amaryllis makes a wonderful gift for friends, family and hostesses during the holidays,” says spokeswoman Mary Leigh Howell.

“And although any old pot will do, a decorated container gives the recipient something to enjoy while waiting for the amaryllis to produce its striking blooms.”

Materials:

Amaryllis bulb

Terra cotta pot and saucer, 7 inches wide, 6 inches tall

Red paint

White faux fur (2-by-24 inches)

Black ribbon (1-by-22 inches)

Scissors

Belt buckle

Glue

Potting soil

To make the Santa pot:

Paint pot and saucer red. Let dry.

Dot glue onto center of ribbon and adhere ribbon to middle of pot.

With scissors, cut small slits every 3 inches along the bottom of ribbon to help keep it flat.

Continue to glue ribbon around circumference of pot.

Adhere buckle to ribbon with glue.

Glue fur along top rim of pot.

To plant the amaryllis bulb:

Fill pot two-thirds full with potting soil.

Place bulb on top and add a little more soil — two-thirds of bulb should be exposed.

Add 1 cup water to soil.

Place pot in sunny area, indoors.

Add water every few days to keep soil moist — not soaking wet.

Watch it grow. It takes approximately six weeks to bloom.

Plant pretty paperwhites, too

For no-fuss forcing, encourage paperwhites to bloom in a bowl of water. They look elegant lined on a mantel or table with evergreens and miniature white lights tucked among them.

Forcing bloom paperwhites:

c Fill a shallow bowl or pot two-thirds with gravel, stones or fun items such as colored beads or marbles you find in craft or consignment shops.

c Arrange as many bulbs as you can on the gravel’s surface, pointed side up on each bulb. Fill in gravel around them, leaving the top halves exposed.

c Add water up to the base of the bulbs and maintain water at this level.

c Place container in a cool place.

c Within days, strong roots appear. As they grow, they sometimes push the bulbs forward. When green shoots appear, move the container to a cool, sunny spot. The shoots will develop rapidly, giving you masses of sweetly scented white flowers in three or more weeks.

•••

Amaryllis bulbs pack a lot of flower power into your holiday decorating. Place a few of these potted beauties in reds, pinks and whites around the house and you instantly have a festive decor.

If you haven’t started amaryllis bulbs, don’t worry because garden centers, grocery stores and home-improvement centers feature the flowers in various stages of bloom.

The bulbs also make great holiday gifts because the flowers are just as enjoyable after the holidays as they are during the season.