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Growing Paperwhite Narcissus Flowering Bulbs

Heavy scented, white trumpeted flowers, the Paperwhite Narcissus is a joy to grow. And, it's oh so easy to grow, too!

A native to Europe and Asia, it is now grown around the world. Paperwhites are a small member of the Narcissus family (Daffodils and Jonquils are larger family members). What Paperwhites lack in size, they make up for in fragrance and charm. For little flowers, they are big in the popularity department. These spring blooming flowers are equally popular, grown as an indoor houseplant. Growing these plants indoors adds bright, cheery blooms, and a sweet scent, to an otherwise dreary winter's day.

As their name suggests, Paperwhites are white. But, you can find these trumpet shaped flowers in yellow too.

Did you know? Narcissus were named after the legendary Greek youth Narcissus, who was strikingly handsome.


How to Grow Paperwhites Indoors:

Here's where the fun comes in. Forcing Paperwhites to grow and bloom indoors in the winter, is a popular and fun activity. Fill a shallow bowl, pot, or container part way with decorative stones. Plain stones, gravel, and even soil works too. The decorative stones allows you to display your personal creativity, and is much more fun. Set Paperwhite bulbs onto the stones, pushing them down just far enough so the bulbs are supported in an upright position. Put several of them together. Don't worry about crowding.

Add water to just reach the bottom of the bulb. If the water covers too much of the bulb, the bulbs can rot. Now put them in a cool, dark place for one to two weeks. When the roots have begin to take hold, and the plant has sprung from the bulb, take the pot out into a brightly lit room. Four to six weeks later, your Paperwhites will be in bloom.

Tip: Plant several pots in succession. You will have Paperwhites blooming all winter long!

After blooming, cut the flower and stem off. Do not cut back the leaves. Put them in a sunny window and transplant them outdoors when the weather permits. It will take two or three years before they will bloom again. They need to "re-charge" their bulbs with energy.


How to Grow Paperwhite Narcissus Outdoors:

Paperwhites are grown from bulbs. Plant outdoors in the fall. Select a sunny spot , although they will tolerate partial shade. The bulb stores all the food it needs for next year's bloom. Adding a little fertilizer will help the bulb to absorb energy for next year's bloom. Add mulch around the bed to make it more attractive, and to keep the weeds down.

Paperwhites looks attractive planted in bunches. They don't mind a little crowding.


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