How To Force Potted Amaryllis or Paperwhites Bulbs Indoors This Winter

You can’t force love or a faulty zipper, but we fully endorse forcing Amaryllis and Paperwhite bulbs this time of year. The very idea that you have a hand in turning this bulb into a gorgeous bloom in 6-8 weeks for Amaryllis and 3-5 weeks for Paperwhites? Well, it’s incredibly gratifying in the smallish winter confines we call home. Plus, it’s really pretty.

They’ve just arrived in the garden center and are a gorgeous gift waiting to happen. What to do next:

  • Plant your plump Amaryllis or Paperwhite bulb in a pot  1/2" to 1" larger than the bulb size so that the top third of the bulb is exposed above the potting soil. You want the bulb to feel a bit crowded, this helps it bloom.
  • Water well, allowing water to drain then Insert a bamboo or wooden support skewer now (so you don’t damage the bulb or roots later when the flowers get top heavy).
  • Place in bright, indirect light and rotate the pot every few days so the flower stalk gets uniform exposure. Keep the soil moist, but not wet.
  • Feed your Amaryllis or Paperwhites with Jacks Bloom Booster every 2 weeks for best results and wait for the magic. If gifting your potted bulb, add a small bag and scoop of fertilizer with simple instructions.
  • Paperwhites are tender bulbs that will not bloom a second time. They can be thrown out after forcing. Amaryllis are best treated as a houseplant after they flower. In late summer or early fall, stop watering, let your plant dry out and cut it back. Place the pot in a cool, dark spot for two months allowing your bulb to rest before starting the forcing process again.


Any questions? Stop in or call anytime. And happy holidays from our family to yours.