Amaryllis: A gift that keeps on giving

amaryllisSo you don’t want to cook but you feel compelled to bring something to the Thanksgiving dinner you were invited to by the neighbors. Why bring something that will be gobbled up in one day anyway, when you could instead give a gift that keeps on giving?

The amaryllis. They’re cheap, fast and easy to grow. And now is the perfect time to plant them. You’ve seen them boxed and wrapped in 500 different ways at more stores than you thought carried green goods. The reason so many retailers carry them? Because they provide an impeccable bang for your buck and because on a care-giving scale they’re easy as pie.

They’re not so pretty when you buy them–just a bulb, soil and a pot that usually come together as a kit. But once that first glimpse of green appears, the receiver of this gift will find themselves tranced by the pace of this bulb’s growth and then stunned by the enormous, bold blooms this holiday plants carries.

To care for the amaryllis, place the potted bulb in a warm, sunny place in the home. The warmer the temperature, the faster the bulb will sprout and grow! Here’s a helpful hint: try placing the pot on top of the refrigerator where it is extra warm. This may stimulate growth.

Water the amaryllis only after the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. If your kit comes with Spanish moss, just be sure to lift the moss when you water. We don’t want to cause our sweet potted pet to rot at the roots!

There are many varieties of amaryllis. We carry several kit varieties as well as single bulbs. Each variety has a slightly different growth period but in general, you’ll begin to see the bulb transform between two to eight weeks after it’s potted.

Once the amaryllis sprouts, be sure it’s receiving ample sunlight. South-facing windows and sunrooms are perfect! These plants grow quite fast and very tall. If you (or your neighbor) notice the stalk is beginning to lean in one direction, simply rotate it often so that it will begin to grow towards the direction of the light and straighten itself back out. If the amaryllis grows extra tall, it may need a small stake for added support.

So how does this bulb keep giving? With proper care and minimal effort, this beauty will bloom again! After the blossoms die, cut the dried flowers leaving the stalk until it also dies back. Keep watering and fertilizing the plant which may still provide long, elegant green foliage through the winter until the last frost. When spring temperatures are about 50 degrees, begin to transition the plant to the outdoors by bringing the pot out to a shady area. Plants can get sunburn too! So this step is imperative. Slowly, expose the plant to more light until finally planting it in the ground in a sunny area of the yard. Water and fertilize for about six weeks and come summer, you’ll have yet another bloom.

By mid-August, after this bloom fades, leave it alone. No need for water or plant food. Come September, dig up the bulb from outdoors and find that pot from the last Thanksgiving to plant it in. Store it in a cool, dark place and leave it alone for at least two months.

Remember how long it took for the amaryllis to bloom last time? Do a little math and decide when you want your bulb to bloom. When you’re ready, remove it from your closet, pantry or wherever you stored it, and begin to water it just as you did the first time.

Repeat each and every year. Now, that’s a gift worth giving.

For additional tips on amaryllis bulbs or other plant care questions, feel free to drop by Garden Supply Company any time. We’ll be happy to help you.

Success with Succulents

Plant parenthood isn’t always easy but you don’t have to suck at succulents. They’re supposed to be easy-care plants, you know? Easy come, easy go, you say? We’ve all killed a few house plants in our day but let’s earn our green thumbs with these easy tips to care for your succulents successfully.

Tip 1. Water carefully. Root rot is one of the quickest ways to kill your potted pets. Only water your succulents after the soil has dried completely.

Tip 2. When planting your succulent, you can use regular potting soil. Just remember that these soils are meant to hold moisture. So it’s not exactly the ideal environment for these dreamy dessert plants. They want to be dry. So let them be for a while after they’re planted.

Tip 3. Give these babies some light! Succulents don’t need direct sunlight, but they definitely do not do well in the dark corner of your living room.

Tip 4. Remember, these green guys are alive. That means they need food in order to survive. Pick up some succulent food and use every time you water your plants.

Tip 5. Like all living things, succulents are small when they’re young. Usually, when we purchase succulents, they’re so cute and tiny! We love them that way. But remember that most plants will eventually need to be repotted after a year or so in order to lead healthy, long lives.

Questions? Concerns? Never fear. Garden Supply Company can help. Visit us with any questions you might have about succulents or any other plants.

DIY: How to make your own terrarium in seven easy steps

Terrariums are so in right now! But they can cost a pretty penny if you decide to purchase a pre-made terrarium off of the shelf. So why not save a few bucks and create something that’s truly your own?

TerrariumWhat you’ll need:
-Glass container
-Potting soil
-Stones or glass
-Decorative pieces*
-Small plants

* = Optional

Here’s how it’s done.

Step 1. Select your glass container. You can use anything so let your imagination grow wild! Search your attic. Find an old mason jar. Or come see us at Garden Supply Company. We have a wide assortment of glass containers to choose from.

Step 2. Once you’ve selected your container, create your first drainage layer by pouring the stones or glass pieces you purchased into the bottom of it. Pour so that the depth of this layer is about 1” to 2” from the bottom. This will provide a place for any water not absorbed by the plants to settle.

Step 3. Adding activated charcoal is the secret step in keeping bacteria, odors and fungus out of your terrarium. It can be a bit messy so this is where your gloves may come in handy. Scoop a handful into your glass container. Just enough to cover the rocks is perfect.

Step 4. Keep your gloves on! Now it’s time to add your soil. Select a soil that’s appropriate for the type of plants you’ve picked. Succulents require a different composition than your other smaller house plants. Try not to mix the two in your container. Add 1” to 3” of soil just on top of the charcoal, depending on your container size. Just be sure there’s enough room for the roots of your plants.

Step 5. Remove plants from the plastic containers they came in and break up the root ball with your fingers. If the roots are especially long, you can trim them back with the scissors slightly to fit the container. Use your fingers to create room for your plants. Place them accordingly.

Step 6. Now it’s time to rock your little world! Add miniature accessories like moss, figurines or marbles. Want to make it festive? This is where it gets fun! It’s getting close to the holidays, so why not add mini holiday knick-knacks to your terrarium that you can replace after the holidays?

Step 7. Chances are, your terrarium is still a little bit of a mess. So dust it off and wipe any dirt from the sides of your container. Water your cute little indoor garden with just a little bit of water. Your new terrarium doesn’t need as much water as most house plants so water sparingly!

Still think you need a little help? No worries! We have the perfect DIY event for you. Join us Sunday, November 15 for our Holiday Terrariums workshop. Want to find out more? Click here.

Pumped for Pumpkins: DIY Decor Ideas for Fall

We’re getting pumped for fall! Are you? Check out our top five unique pumpkin DIY decorating ideas! 
Fall is here. Halloween is just around the corner. And the orange, yellow, green and white hues of pumpkins glows from every corner. Although decorating with pumpkins stems from a seasoned ritual, Garden Supply Company has a few ideas that put a spin on the fall decorating tradition. Let’s get creative!

Our Top Five Unique Pumpkin Decorating Ideas:

1. Pumpkin Container Garden – Ceramic pots come in all shapes, sizes and colors these days. But if you’re really in the fall fest spirit, why not make your own pot? No need for clay and kiln here! We’re talking about using your pumpkin as a pot. For this pumpkin project, all you’ll need is a kitchen knife and serving spoon. Cut the top off of the pumpkin just like you would if you were carving a jack-o-lantern, scoop the seeds out from the inside, add potting soil and your choice of fall plants.

2. Seasonal Succulent Garden – No need for a knife here! Creating a succulent container garden actually requires gluing, not cutting. For this project you’ll need spray adhesive, a hot glue gun, moss and succulent cuttings. Rather than cutting the top from the pumpkin, simply spray the bottom of your moss and adhere to the area near the stem in small sections. Once the top is covered, gather your succulent cuttings and begin to hot glue them to the moss beginning with the center first.

What we love about this pumpkin piece is that the succulents will begin to grow into the moss if they are cared for properly. Just mist once a week with a small spray bottle. Once your pumpkin begins to age, simply cut the top off and plant the succulents elsewhere!

3. Glitzy Table Arrangements – There are many ways to make your miniature to medium-sized pumpkins and gourds fit for a feast. The easiest way to do this is to douse them in gold! Simply purchase a can of gold (white and silver work too!) spray paint and paint an assortment of our traditionally orange pumpkins. Wait for them to dry and then spread them across your dinner table runner or pile them in a large white or wooden serving dish for display. These center-pieces are sure to dazzle your guests!

4. Festive Table Toppers – Tiny pumpkins and gourds are oh, so cute! Why not buy a few or enough to adorn your dinner table or another place in the house that could use a little light? Take the tops off of each pumpkin and carve them so that there’s room for a votive candle in each one. Just before your guests arrive or the kids sit down for dinner, light the votives for your special occasion.

5. Halloween-Themed Terrarium – With the cooler air coming our way, terrariums are a beautiful way to bring the outdoors in. Dress up your terrarium with miniature pumpkins and gourds or small spooky gravestones and skulls from our gift shop.

Interested in creating your own? Learn more about how to build and spruce your terrarium up for halloween on Sunday, October 25, from 3:00-4:30pm. All building materials such as gravel, activated charcoal, moss and dirt will be supplied. Find out more here. Cost: $25 *Does not include plants and spooky accessories. 

Last Minute Valentine Ideas

This is it. Just one more day until Valentine’s Day. And for those of you looking for something a bit unique and special for your sweeties this year, we have tons of fabulous last minute gift ideas for you!


Now we all know that flowers are the number one gift for Valentine’s Day, and at Garden Supply Co., we have flowers! This year, why not give your loved ones flowers that last?

angel with indoor flowers2

Our Greenhouse is literally bursting with beautiful live plants in every shape, size, and color. We have all your favorites like Cyclamen, Hyacinths, Daisies, and Violets, to more rare and exotic beauties, like Orchids.


And of course everyone loves roses for Valentine’s Day.

mini roses

Here’s more peeks at just a few of our stunning blooming plants.


February flowers

And for that extra added touch, we have lots of fun metal flower stakes to dress up your pots. Like this little charmer.

frog pick

Or these…

ivy with heart pick


Besides flowers, we have many unique and beautiful gift items in the Greenhouse, including these sweet frames.


And canvases.

bird canvas

This is truly just a small sampling of the beautiful Valentine ideas you will find in the Garden Center. And don’t forget that we offer free gift wrapping and gift cards, too!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you from all of us at Garden Supply Co!

A Change of Season

At this point in time, all the kids have once again returned to school in Wake County, and if you’re anything like me, your thoughts are starting to turn to the change in season. Seems like hints of fall are definitely making an appearance. I’ve noticed a few leaves starting to turn, a slight crisp feeling to the air, and darkness coming a little bit earlier each evening.

Fall is one of our favorite times of year at the garden center. This is a great time of year to plant new plants, or transplant crowded older plants in the landscape. We have lots of fresh plant materials in stock now for all your fall planting needs, with more arriving weekly. Now is a great time to put in new trees and shrubs, as well as perennials and ornamental grasses. We also have cool season veggies in stock, plus a fresh supply of herbs that will get you through until winter. Planting now will help your tender new plants get firmly established before the heat of next summer sets in.

Besides lots of new plant materials, we also have plenty of exciting new home decor and gift items in the Greenhouse for the upcoming change of season. Halloween, one of my all-time favorite holidays of the year, has hit the shop. Here’s a peek at just a few of the new goodies we have for you down at Garden Supply Co.

This is truly just a peek of what’s in store for you! Come on over to visit us, and see for yourself!