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Forcing Paperwhites

Enjoying the scent and beauty of paperwhites during the winter is one of the simplest ways to bring your garden indoors. Not only does it smell and look beautiful, it also adds a growing/living element to your home. For young and old alike, it is fun to watch them grow.

It can be nice to plan for paperwhites to bloom during the Christmas Holidays when families are together and we enjoy entertaining in our homes. Paperwhites make great gifts. They are simply enough that children could plant them as gifts for grandparents or special teachers.

However you decide to grow them I'm sure you will enjoy their beauty and lovely scent.

You will need:

  • A shallow bowl or pot about 6 inches across. Clear, glass bowls are both beautiful and allow you to enjoy the novelty of seeing the roots grow.
  • Enough pebbles to fill the pot. You can also use other materials to plant your bulbs into such as marbles or glass beads.
  • 5 paperwhite bulbs (or more if you choose a larger container.)

Plant your paperwhites in pebbles in shallow containers (or shallow in deeper containers). The bulbs should be deep enough to be anchored down but do not completely cover them. You can plant larger containers with more bulbs and the bulbs look best planted close together. Add water to your container but be sure that the level of the water is below the bottom of the bulbs.

Once your bulbs are planted keep them in a cool (45-50F) room that is dark or place them in a box or cupboard within the cool room for about 3 weeks or until the roots are well developed. Check on them occasionally to see if they need more water and to see how quickly they are growing. Bulbs need a good healthy root system to perform well. After this cooling time bring your bulbs into your living area preferably a sunny but still cool area, close to a window is great. They will grow quickly from this point on and bloom within about 7-14 days.


...Experience the Joy of Gardening!