Paperwhites are a type of narcissus (daffodil) that are typically grown indoors and forced to bloom in the winter. Their delicate white flowers are held on thin stalks above long slender leaves. You’ll find paperwhite bulbs at your local garden center this time of year, typically in kits that include a pot and stones or planting medium. By planting now, they can be in bloom by Christmas. From planting to bloom is typically about 6 weeks. Paperwhites are popular because the bulbs don’t require a cold period in order to flower, which makes forcing them to bloom much easier. Plant multiple pots a week apart and you’ll have bright cheery flowers to brighten your home all winter long.
Pots Without Drainage
- Fill the pot with small stones two-thirds to three-quarters full.
- Place the paperwhite bulbs with the root end down. The bulbs don’t need any room to expand, so place them in the pot in a bunch with little to no space between them.
- Add enough small stones around the bulbs to hold them upright, but do not cover them. Fill the pot so the water just reaches the bulb’s root-plate. Check the water level each day to Keep the water level right there.
- Place the pot in a cool dark area such as a basement closet until the bulbs begin to show growing stems, usually 2-3 weeks.
- As soon as you see the stem begin to grow move the pot immediately to a bright, sunny window until the flowers open. As soon as the flowers form take the paperwhites out of direct sunlight to prolong the blooming.
Pots With Drainage and Tray
- Fill the pot about three-quarters full with potting soil and firm it up. Add some water to the tray underneath the pot and let it take up some of the water.
- Set the bulbs, with the root end down, on top of the soil in a loose grouping. They can be close together, nearly touching.
- Cover the bulbs with enough soil to hold them in place, but leave the tips showing. Water the bulbs enough to make the soil moist.
- Place the pot in a cool dark area such as a basement closet until the bulbs begin to show growing stems, usually 2-3 weeks. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
- As soon as you see the stem begin to grow move the pot immediately to a bright, sunny window until the flowers open. As soon as the flowers begin to open take the paperwhites out of direct sunlight to prolong the blooming.