forcing paperwhites

Is your house looking a little bare now that you’ve (hopefully) put away your holiday decorations? Mine was, so I decided to force some paperwhites indoors. If you’re not familiar with growing bulbs, they spend the cold winter weather dormant, and then when spring comes around, they sprout. But you can trick them into flowering by growing them indoors, either in regular soil or in water. I decided to give it a try with some paperwhite bulbs I had bought a while back. Thanks to the slow start to the winter, they had already started sprouting in my garage, so they had a head start.

forcing paperwhites

Materials:
Paperwhite bulbs – They don’t need to be already sprouted, like mine.
Shallow bowl or dish – This one is similar to the one I used, though slightly smaller.
Decorative pebbles, marbles, or gravel – Michaels has a good selection.
Water

forcing paperwhites

Steps:
1. Put a couple inches of pebbles in your container.

forcing paperwhites
2. Nestle your bulbs into the pebbles, pointed end up. Cover with  more pebbles, to anchor them in the container.
forcing paperwhites
3. Add water so it just covers the very bottom of the bulbs.
forcing paperwhites

Now wait for them to grow and flower! According to the internet, it’ll take two to six weeks for these to bloom, and to keep them from getting too floppy, you can switch out the plain water for 5% alcohol (a clear alcohol like vodka is recommended). You can also grow amaryllis or grape hyacinth bulbs indoors. If, like me, you can’t wait to get started on your spring gardening, this is a good stopgap. And I imagine it’d make a nice hostess gift, too.

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One Response to Growing Paperwhites Indoors

  1. Ann Jacks says:

    Thanks for posting about the bulbs. So awesome to watch the daily progress of the beautiful flowers. Look fwd to your update pictures.

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