Paperwhite Narcissus add color and fragrance to your cottage home.

Brighten up those dull winter days with Paperwhite narcissus...
one of the easiest bulbs to force for cut flowers or ornamental displays in your home.

Anyone wishing to fill their cottage or home with fresh flowers through the dark, dreary days of winter need only consider Paperwhite narcissus. These elegant and highly fragrant floral delights are a great way to add color and fragrance to your cottage this winter.

Easily grown indoors in a bowl or vase filled with water, these delicate white blooms are an inexpensive way to add a touch of crisp fragrance to your holiday décor.

Hardly any other flower does so much to combat the winter doldrums during the dark, dreary days of winter.  Soon after they are planted, Paperwhites will provide clusters of sweet, musky-scented white flowers in a cheerful display lasting about five weeks.

If you plan the timing of your plantings at staggered two to four-week intervals, it is possible to produce blooms that will brighten your home from Thanksgiving until spring.

Following a procedure originated by the Chinese, Paperwhites can be “forced” in a bowl of water and gravel, and, in fact, growing them is virtually foolproof. 

Plant the first bulbs in early December and expect to see the first blooms in 4 to 6 weeks. Bulbs may be held for weeks in a warm, dark closet, which allows plenty of flexibility in orchestrating displays for holidays or other special occasions.

Planting requires nothing more than carefully placing your bulbs atop a two inch layer of stones in a small vase, or four inches if using a larger vase.  The Paperwhite bulbs should be close to each other, roots facing down. Put a few stones or pieces of beach glass around and between the bulbs to anchor them in the vase. Leave the tops of the bulbs exposed.

Finally, add water until the level reaches just below the base of the bulbs, but no higher (if the bases of the bulbs sit in water, they will rot).

Set your container or vase in a cool (50-60°F is ideal) place away from direct sunlight. Check the bulbs frequently and water when the water level is more than an inch below the stones or glass in your vase but not more than once a week until the bulbs begin active growth.

When Paperwhites are forced to bloom indoors, they have a tendency to topple when in flower. Hold them upright with the bulb supports supplied with our bulb kits or with bamboo stakes and twine (available at garden centers).

After Paperwhites finish blooming, throw the bulbs out or toss them on the compost pile. They won't bloom again indoors.

These bulbs are usually readily available at local garden centers and are relatively inexpensive.  Or they can be ordered from a number of catalog and online suppliers, such as White Flower Farm, which offers several varieties.


To learn more about growing Paperwhites, you might want to visit these sites…

How To Force Paperwhites Indoors

Gardners Network - Growing Paperwhite Narcissus

Northern Shade Gardening – Paperwhites Brighten Winter



paperwhites are a great flower for winter color and fragrance in your cottage home