Do you think that plants have feelings? Then you might not want to read any further. On the other hand, if watching a bulb bloom its heart out for you shortly before it breathes its last makes your day, do I have the perfect holiday present for you! An amaryllis bulb coated in colorful wax!
Why do this? Two reasons. First, waxed amaryllis bulbs for Christmas are all the rage in Europe and anything Europeans do is sophisticated and desirable. Second, with a normal bulb, you have to plant it in a pot, add soil, water it, then wonder how to care for it after it finishes blooming. In other words, you have to learn about gardening. Boooo!
Not so with a waxed amaryllis. You don't have to water it ever. It doesn't need sun, so you can put it anywhere. It doesn't need a pot or soil. There's even a little metal stand on the bottom so it will sit up straight. You'll probably get two bloom stalks from a single bulb, meaning weeks of bloom. And you can choose from different wax colors.
And here's the best part. After it finishes blooming, you don't have to worry about taking care of it. Just throw it away. The grower has already killed it for you by cutting off the roots, so there's no reason to feel guilty. Hey, you just bought the thing. You don't try to root your Christmas tree after Christmas, do you? No. You do not.
Of course, not everyone agrees with this latest fad. They feel for their plants and can't imagine treating them so shabbily. I think this painting by Edvard Munch expresses their reaction every time another amaryllis bulb is dipped in wax.
Fortunately for Western economies, such bleeding-heart, cry-baby, plant-lovers are not the norm. Waxed amaryllis bulbs are here to stay, just like blue and purple, glittered poinsettias. So look for waxed bulbs at your garden center right now. There's no better garden gift for the person who hates to garden!