Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Paperwhites: The Perfect Holiday Flowers

I've always loved the look of paperwhites, but I've never been able to get my act together to plant them for the holidays. After drooling over the images below, I finally managed to plant some that should bloom right around the same time that I usually begin overdosing on Christmas music and eggnog (which sadly is about December 2...)

Bottom right photo via. All other images via.

More after the jump...

Paperwhites-a species of dafodils-could not be easier to grow. For the most part they don't even require sunlight. All they need is a container that encourages root support and a little water every week. I bought mine in a kit that came with an ugly plastic pot, so I transferred them into little ball jars along with the special soil the kit came with. But they really don't even need soil. You can place them in a container in between rocks that keep the bulbs upright, and they'll be fine.

The act of growing paperwhites inside is often referred to as "forcing" bulbs, but I really don't get the impression that I'm forcing anything. These guys are just so happy to be in my warm house (which they think means it's springtime...) and are growing like weeds despite my neglect. They take about 2-6 weeks to bloom, so plant some now, and then maybe even plant more two weeks from now, since you really don't know when they'll bloom! But don't leave them in a window like they are in my photo. They actually grow better away from direct light. 

Happy planting!