Growing Narcissus Paperwhites Indoors in Winter
One of my favorites things to do during the winter is to grow forced paperwhite bulbs. Their small, pure white petals remind me of snowflakes. When your garden flowers have quit for the winter, these guys bring some cheer indoors. I start the first batch right around Halloween, for blooms in early December, and continue new bulbs through February. Paperwhites are one of the easiest flowers you can force. You only need water and sunlight for success.
What To Do About Flopping Stems
Sometimes the paperwhite stems grow too long and fall over. If you didn't have enough sunlight, or if your growing conditions were too warm, the stems will grow longer than usual. Even after blooming, the stems keep growing, and will eventually be unable to support the weight of its flowers. I really don't mind when this happens, because there are several things you can do to fix them and they still look wonderful.
Decorating with Paperwhites
I LOVE to decorate with paperwhites! It's fun to be creative and use different natural elements and unusual containers. Here are a few of the things we've done at our house over the years.
- Use something sentimental. Inherited dishware or serving pieces that have sentimental meaning, but rarely get used, are perfect for growing paperwhites. I've used my grandmother's milk glass pieces and my great-aunts compote bowl to grow beautiful paperwhite displays during Christmas.
- Use pinecones to cover the soil instead of moss. Or, use both. Hot glue them to the end of toothpicks and poke the pinecones in the soil.
- Find interesting antique containers at garage sales and flea markets. The possibilities are endless here. If they aren't watertight, line the inside of the container with a sheet of plastic.
- Clementine crates, baskets and other produce crates make fun containers. Again, line the crate with plastic sheeting and fill with potting soil. Add elements like reindeer moss and real fruit to the crate.
- Ivy cuttings from your houseplants add nice greenery, and will probably take root.
- An old mixing bowl filled with paperwhites in the kitchen makes perfect sense.
I hope you enjoyed my page about paperwhite bulbs. If you have any questions, you can contact me. Have fun!