Blooming Paperwhites at Christmas
Forcing Paperwhites!

Yes, you can, and it’s easy. It just takes a little planning.


1. Decide when you want the Paperwhites to be in full bloom.

2. Then count back 4 weeks, if you keep your house warmer than 68 degrees or 6 weeks if you keep your house cooler than 68 degrees.

3. Next, choose the container and medium in which you will be forcing the bulbs. You can use play sand (not garden dirt), potting soil, rocks, or marbles.

Paperwhites are very elegant when forced with decorative rocks or marbles in a glass container! The shape just needs to be wide enough to fit at least 3 paperwhite bulbs next to each other without touching. It also needs to be able to hold water.

4. Fill the container with the media. Place the bulbs on top of the media, just nestling in enough, so they don’t move. You don’t need to bury them as you would if you were planting them.

5. Add water, so it just touches the bottom of the bulbs. Now place them in a dark place for 1 week. Be sure to check them to make sure they don’t need more water!

6. After 1 week, remove them from their dark place and drain the extra water out so that it is touching the roots, not the bulbs. Put them in a warm, bright room or window.

7. Keep watered and rotate the container and stake if necessary. Within 4 weeks or so, you should have fragrant, blooming paperwhites!

8. Enjoy!

white petaled flowers during daytime

For printable instructions, click here.

As a side note, if you planted Paperwhites outside in the ground, they will bloom early spring on their own – every year! Forced paperwhites should be tossed. They typically won’t regrow and bloom again because they are literally SPENT! (Pun intended).

Happy Forcing!



November 5, 2012

These Narcissus look very pretty. During springtime you usually find the mini yellow narcissus in pots, baskets etc here so the paperwhites are a refreshing change. Will have a look out for them for next year. I can imagine them sitting on the window sill of my new house!

November 5, 2012

Thanks Benita! Same to you!

@ Laila congrats on your new house! So exciting!

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