Caring for Paperwhites

Published on
November 8, 2023 at 12:20:00 PM PST November 8, 2023 at 12:20:00 PM PSTth, November 8, 2023 at 12:20:00 PM PST

Paper whites can be grown in shallow bowls with no drainage holes but to create the most impact, use a clear bowl with loose gravel or stones. Paperwhites are also great to show in clear vases!

Forcing paperwhites in bowls:

  • Partially fill the container with washed gravel or stones
  • Place the paperwhite bulb on the gravel or stones
  • Place additional gravel or stones around the bulb, leaving the tip exposed
  • Add water to the bowl until it touches the bottom of the bulbs
  • Maintain water at this level throughout the growing process

Forcing paperwhites in a pot:

  • Fill the pot with potting soil
  • Place bulbs on the soil surface
  • Add additional potting soil
  • The tips of the bulbs should stick out just above the potting soil
  • Water the potting soil thoroughly and keep the soil moist throughout the growing process
  • Place the pot in a cool, dark room (45º to 50 F) for 2 to 3 weeks to encourage root development
  • When the paperwhite stalks reach a heigh of 3 inches, move the pot to a sunny window
  • Because many reach a height of 18 to 20 inches, most requires staking
  • Once they are blooming, prolong the bloom time by moving paperwhites away from direct sunlight

Toss paperwhite bulbs after they flower, they can't be forced again and are not winter hardy.