1. Home
  2. Advice
  3. Gardening A-Z
  4. Paperwhites: A Fragrant Holiday Classic
  • Paperwhites: A Fragrant Holiday Classic

    Paperwhites are some of the simplest bulbs you’ll ever grow. They’re members of the daffodil family and share many of the same growth habits as their yellow cousin. If you’ve never planting a bulb now is the time. 

    Paperwhite bulbs can be “forced” to grow and bloom in a very short span of time. Romantically fragrant flowers usually arrive 6 to 8 weeks after planting. Plant bulbs now (in the first few weeks of November) for Christmas blooms. 


    Forcing Paperwhites

    Paperwhites can be planted with soil or without. Here’s how: 

    Purchase a pot, about 4-inches deep. (if it has drainage holes you’ll want to plant into potting soil. Without holes you’ll use gravel to hold the bulbs in place.) 

    Place an inch of soil or gravel at the bottom of the pot. 
    Crowd as many paperwhite bulbs into the pot as is comfortable, roots facing down. Allow a pinky finger to fit between the bulbs. (the more bulbs, the prettier it’ll look) 

    Now fill the pot with soil or gravel until just the “noses” of the bulbs are poking out. 

    Water. With gravel add just enough water to reach the roots – water covering the bulb itself can cause rot. With soil, simply keep moist. 

    Keep in a cool, dry and indirectly lit location until the leaves begin to emerge. Then move to a sunnier location. Check water daily. 

    Flowers should arrive in 6-8 weeks.

     

    Check out our video on working with Paperwhites >

    Get tips and ideas for every season in our Garden Living Blog >


    See more articles about: Bulbs, Christmas