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Planting Paperwhites

Brighten Your Home with Paperwhites

a group of white flowers

These classic bulbs offer cheerful beauty and spicy floral fragrance for the holidays. Fast growing and easy to care for, great to decorate around the home or to give as holiday gifts. Follow this simple DIY that you can customize to your own preferences and complement your décor.

  • Paperwhites make a wonderful addition to the home or garden; they take about four to six weeks from planting to blooming, so be sure to plant ahead.
  • These bulbs don't need much room to grow, so plan to fill your pots completely, placing bulbs right up against each other.
  • For continuous blooms (indoors or out) plant bulbs in succession about every two weeks.
  • These bulbs grow quickly, so you'll easily notice their development. Kids will delight to see the daily progress, from setting roots, stems, and beautiful flowers.
  • Paperwhites are native to the Mediterranean climate of France and Spain, so they don't require any chill time to grow indoors.
a hand holding a bulb

Beautiful & Easy to Grow

All About Paperwhites

This lovely plant produces clusters of tiny white blooms at the end of its stems for several weeks; a very showy presentation for indoor containers. Paperwhites have beautiful clusters of 20 to 60 fragrant white star-shaped flowers with buttery yellow eyes at the ends of the stems from late winter to mid spring. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its grassy leaves remain grayish green in color throughout the year.

When grown indoors, Paperwhites can be expected to grow to be about 14 inches tall, with a spread of just a few inches. As a houseplant they will do well in a location that gets indirect high light, although it will usually require a more brightly-lit environment than what artificial indoor lighting alone can provide.

Wonderful to grow in soil, decorative stones, or in a bulb vase with just water. It does best in average to evenly moist soil, but will not tolerate standing water. The surface of the soil shouldn't be allowed to dry out completely, and so you should expect to water this plant once and possibly even twice each week. Be aware that your particular watering schedule may vary depending on its location in the room, the pot size, plant size and other conditions; if in doubt, ask one of our experts in the store for advice. It is not particular as to soil type or pH; an average potting soil should work just fine.

a potted plant with white flowers

How to Plant Paperwhites

Make the most of your paperwhite display by following these simple steps

Choosing Your Containers

Paperwhites don't need soil to thrive, just some water, so you have a lot of options to create beautiful arrangements with unique planters. Pick decorative shallow dishes or trays that are at least four inches deep. Deeper containers will likely need less frequent watering, while shallow containers will need to be monitored more closely.

a group of plants in pots

Planting Paperwhites

Enjoy the most impact from your indoor containers by packing bulbs closely together. They don't need much room to grow, so plant to fill your pots completely, placing bulbs right up against each other.

Choose from a wide array of decorative stones, pebbles, or glass marbles in fun colors to complement your décor. For this example we chose white and light blue stones for a clean, happy effect. Fill your containers with 2-3 inches of pebbles then gently place the bulbs pointy side up. Then, top off bulbs with another light layer of pebbles to secure them in place.

Alternatively, you can plant your paperwhite bulbs in all-purpose potting soil, we recommend Dr. Earth 'Pot of Gold.' Fill the container almost to the top, stopping about two inches from the top of the pot. Then gently place the bulbs pointy side up and top off bulbs with another light layer of soil to secure them in place, and preserved moss for a clean presentation.

a group of plants in a container

How to Care for Paperwhites

When planted in pebbles, the roots will reach down into the water; however, if the bulbs sit in water, they will rot. Check the water level each day and top it up so the roots can reach the moisture at all times. Watering will be easier to manage if they're planted in soil, simply keep the soil moist but not soggy.

The bulbs will not need any light when they are freshly planted, but when you start to see green growth it's time to place them in a warm location with indirect high light. Flowers will last the longest when the plants are grown in an environment that averages 65°. The blooms will last for about two weeks, so keep the display going by succession planting weekly or every other week.

a plant in a pot