When most of nature is sleeping and taking a break- those beautiful flowers that bloom during those chilly winter months are such a wonderful thing. Today we are talking about some favorite dainty winter blooms- Paperwhites.
Winter Blooms – Paperwhites
Pretty doesn’t quite describe these beautiful delicate flowers. They grow tall and stately and add so much charm to even the simplest of settings.
Paperwhite Narcissus are commonly referred to as just ‘paperwhites’ and are members of the daffodil family. They are dainty and tall happy blooms. Generally, you might think of them used for Christmas- on a table or sideboard or a sunny windowsill. But I like to enjoy them all winter long. Today we are talking about paperwhites and covering a few basics- where to get them, how to plant them, where to watch them grow.
I ordered a couple of bags of paperwhite bulbs a couple of months ago- believe it or not- I found them on amazon. haha. I mean- amazon does seem to have pretty much everything right? I usually would pick them up at a garden center but this year, I wasn’t out and about at the garden centers when they were in stock. So, I ordered online. I have purchased bulbs from specialty garden websites before-they are growing but as you can see have not bloomed yet so will keep you posted.
We planted them in several clay pots in the greenhouse – simply placed 3-4 bulbs in each pot and watered them and set them on the shelf to soak up some sun. We had a bit of a hiccup when a creature made it’s way into the greenhouse and made off with several bulbs from the pots. Thinking likely a squirrel to be able to take such large bulbs and there are quite a few living in the oak tree just next to the greenhouse. So, we have a few less than we started out with but 8 pots full even so.
How to plant
Basically, I plant them in good soil and create a small hole to pop them into with fingers or a trowel. Then place the bulb into the hole leaving just a bit of the bulb sticking out at the top. You can also plant them in pebbles, or something more fancy and modern- I am a bit more simple and prefer a clay pot- the more moss covered the better.
Water and set in a sunny light filled area- by a window is perfect.
How they Grow
Paperwhites are leggy- Long and lean and leggy. They grow tall before flowering and when they bloom- they flowers almost seem to be dancing at the top of the dainty green stem. They are not wide plants- meaning they will not take over a pot and fill it up. They are very proper in growing just from the top of the bulb- but carrying those pretty blooms on top- they do like to fall over.
Something you may need to do is to tie them with a piece of twine to keep them from falling over. Because they are long and lean- they are often top heavy. Simply wrap a piece of twine around them to keep them upright.
Something you might have heard about paperwhites is about their scent. It is one that some folks do not like at all. They don’t bother me- I don’t actually smell it that strongly and even so, I don’t find it offensive. For example Ziva Narcissus is a strongly scented one- so if you are concerned- you can look for a variety to grow that has less scent like Inbal.
As you can see from photos above, I am waiting for this years paperwhites to bloom just yet- but when they do, I will share some ideas for enjoying them in your home this winter. This table setting centerpiece with narcissus in clay pots was a favorite from 2020. You can see more HERE
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A few Tips
Start with a good potting soil- or choose something unique to plant the bulbs in.
Choose several different varieties of paperwhites for variations on what they blooms look like. Some are larger, some are smaller.
Be mindful in choosing flowers with less scent if the smell of narcissus bothers you.
Plant larger containers for a bigger display or keep it small with little pots.
Find a warm window in the house for your paperwhites to soak up the sun and grow tall.
More coming soon. Happy Monday all.