If you have never had Paperwhites in your house during the winter, I strongly advise that you try some!
Paperwhites are a bulb that are easily forced indoors, in almost any pot or container.
But as in many gardening endeavors, there is a “recipe” for success!
These paperwhites are from last winter in my house:
You can grow them several different ways.
The most common is to place them in a pot, as the one above, with pebbles. Layer some pebbles, place the bulbs on them, then fill in with more pebbles all around the bulbs. Add water to just below the bulbs i.e. do NOT have water touching the bulbs. When the bulbs start to show some green growth, add some more water, but never have the bulbs soaking in the water….. only the roots should be in water.
You can also simply put a few bulbs in a glass cylinder vase. How easy is that? I use a vase that is 5″ in diameter and which will hold 2 bulbs (3 if the bulbs are small, which mine are not). Then, as the roots develop, you can really see them through the glass!
Or, use a rectangular glass vase. This will definitely hold 3 bulbs and you can watch them grow.
A third way is to use one of these Cocopeat Disks. I bought mine at Southern States here in North Carolina, but you can find them on line.
Soak the entire disk in lukewarm water, then drain.
I found these great zinc lined faux birch containers at HomeGoods last year.
But any water proof container will do.
Look around for pretty ceramic bowls: I saw a gorgeous deep red bowl the other day that I just might buy for this purpose. What better look at Christmas!
One last hint and this one is IMPORTANT!
To keep your flowers from falling over give your bulbs a drink….of alcohol. This was something I just discovered last winter and guess what,
Here is the link to the Horticulture Program at Cornell University.
They call for a 1-7 ratio of alcohol to water. I used vodka. Mix some in a bottle or jar so you have it on hand for watering throughout the growing cycle. Don’t add this mixture until the bulbs have green growth and then only add this water/alcohol mixture. Just do not use wine or beer due to the high sugar content.
I guarantee it will work. Your plants may be a little shorter than otherwise, but the stems and flowers will be upright throughout the growth cycle.
Now, who would ever have thought this would work???
I have found, through the years, that the mail order bulbs are always the best. Some sources:
By the way, all of the above are also great sources for any and all bulbs. I love Asiatic Lilies and these sources never fail to deliver the best.