Like many gardeners, I love to pot up amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs during the winter. It satisfies my itch to make things bloom while the ground is frozen outside. Luckily, they’re very easy to grow: You can plant them in soil or in water. To showcase these uplifting winter flowers, grow them in beautiful handmade containers. Here is a selection from some of my favorite artisans.
If you want to plant in soil, use a vessel that has a drainage hole. Pot up your amaryllis, roots down, in a container with well-drained potting mix, so that the bottom three-fourths of the bulb is covered. Water immediately after potting, then wait until it starts to sprout. Place it in a sunny window. Once it has sprouted keep the soil consistently watered, moist but not sopping. (The bulb will rot if it stays too wet.) Paperwhites can be grown the same way; but leave the top third of the bulb exposed. Look for amaryllis and paperwhite varieties at shops like John Scheepers, White Flower Farm, and Terrain.
To grow paperwhites in water, fill a water-tight container with a few inches of pebbles or pea gravel. Nestle the bulbs into the stones, roots down, tops up. Add water so that only the roots are submerged; bulbs will rot if they soak. Place the pot in a sunny window and wait a few weeks until they flower. You can also grow amaryllis this way, though I prefer the soil method. Just make sure to cover its larger bulb with enough pebbles to keep it firmly in place as it grows.