Plant Paperwhites

It is so easy to enjoy the 'Scent of the Season'; containers of fragrant, flowering narcissus are a wonderful preview of spring. These hardy, blooming bulbs herald springtime indoors with their delicate white blooms and unmistakable fragrance. Keep them going all winter with successive plantings!

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Paperwhites are easy to plant and you can almost be assured of 100% success if you follow a few easy instructions. There are a few things to note in growing paperwhites:

  • The bulbs will begin to bloom two to six weeks after you have planted them
  • Bulbs do not need any preparation - they are ready to go
  • Paperwhites can be grown in soil, pebbles or forced in water
  • These tender bulbs flower once - therefore you need successive planting if you want the 'scent of the season' all season
  • If the stems get too long, they are quite easy to stake

Planting Guide:

1. Paperwhites require only 2-3" of root room, so a shallow container works well. Planted in soil, they will do fine in any depth planter you may have available.

2. Plant paperwhites in soil, pebbles, tumbled beach glass or glass marbles. The planting medium needs to provide support for the plants and must be suitable for roots to grow through. The bulb's life is relatively short, so the planting medium does not need to provide nutrients.

3. Plant the bulbs with their wide bottoms down and the top inch of each bulb above the soil/pebble line. Plant close together, almost touching, for the best display results.

4. Add water so the soil is moist. If you are planting in pebbles or marbles, add enough water to come within 3/4" of the top of the pebbles. This will keep the base of the bulb moist, but will not soak the bulb and avoids rot.

5. Place the container in a sunny or bright location. Lots of light will keep the stems from growing too tall and becoming floppy. Rotate the container every few days so that the stems will not begin to lean into the light source.

6. Cool temperatures are best for longer lasting bulbs. Within a week or so, the roots will appear with top sprouts following shortly thereafter. Buds and blooms develop quickly.