Paperwhite Narcissus bulbs are particularly popular in winter. They are sold everywhere this time of year, drug stores, Walmart, garden centers, Home Depot. Their hopeful white flowers need little to bloom indoors, and can be used to create a stunning holiday theme.
These bulbs need little special preparation or care making them an ideal project for children. They grow so quickly, changing everyday, and will be in full bloom in about a month. Start a few bulbs now for holiday decorations or gifts, a Paperwhite Narcissus can be given as bulbs or as blooms.
Use the following simple tips to keep your plants looking sharp all season.
Carefully place a layer of stones or glass 2 inches deep in a small vase or about 4 inches in a larger vase.
Place the Paperwhite Narcissus Bulbs in a layer on top, close to each other with the roots facing down.
Put a few stones or pieces of beach glass around and between to anchor the bulbs. Leaving the top of the bulbs exposed.
Add water until the level reaches just below the base of the bulbs, but no higher. The bulbs shouldn’t sit in water, they will rot.
Keep them Compact and beautiful
Narcissus are notorious for growing tall and toppling over just as their blooms start to open. Stunt their growth with a little shot of alcohol.
Giving the paperwhite narcissus a little diluted alcohol, whiskey, vodka, gin or tequila, stunts the growth of the stem, but doesn’t affect the blossoms.
Wait until the narcissus shoots are several inches high, them pour a diluted solution of 1 part alcohol to 9 parts water into the planter.
Start your hostess gifts for the holiday season around Thanksgiving for a beautiful presentation. Use a nice clear glass bowls or wide mouth glass vases from the dollar store or thrift shops. Use glass pebbles or smooth stones that are in that match your recipients color scheme or style. Put in a sunny place and watch it bloom. Add the diluted alcohol before the blossoms open. Tie a nice ribbon around the bowl and bring to your holiday gathering as a lovely hostess gift.
Hold some of your Paperwhite bulbs in reserve for a staggered display. Store in a cool dark place with the bags open to allow air to circulate.
Since the bulbs grow to maturity in about 4-6 weeks, staggering your display by starting a batch each week, will allow for a procession of fragrant blooms all winter long.