Paperwhites aka Narcissus bulbs can be forced indoors to bloom during the gray days of winter providing a little boost and hint of spring’s promise. The small, star-shaped flowers will last for several weeks and are fun to watch grow!
Paperwhites are native to the Mediterranean and will not grow outside in our climate. The most important part when forcing bulbs is to check water level every few days. The water should remain just touching the base of the bulb, not immersed, which could cause the bulb to rot.
Use a container that is at least 4 inches deep. Pour in about 3 inches of pebbles or stones. Nestle the bulbs on top of the stones, tips up. The bulbs can be touching. Add water until it just reaches the base of the bulb. If the bulbs sit in water they will rot. Optional: Add a 1/2 teaspoon of activated charcoal prior to adding pebbles to keep the water clean smelling.
To encourage root growth, set the container in a dark, cool spot (50-60F) for about a week. Check water daily and refill as needed JUST TO BASE OF BULB. Once the roots start growing into the pebbles and shoots are starting, bring container into a bright, warm place in your home out of direct sun. To keep stems straight, rotate the container.
Flowers will last for a few weeks and can be cut for a vase. Discard the bulb. Paperwhites are a fun way to bring the outdoors inside during the chilly season!
Paperwhite kits are available in the Celadon Hill shop with pick up or local delivery! They make the perfect little gift and fun indoor activity.