Growing Paperwhites is an easy holiday craft that is also an act of faith like all gardening.

A flock of Paper Whites waiting to grow into great gifts “planted 11/24”

Each year  the weekend after thanksgiving a friend and I start about a dozen Narcissus bulbs or (paperwhites).  Our hope is that they will have sprouted into sturdy plants by the middle of December to be sold at our churches Christmas Crafts fundraiser,

You need to start this with narcissus bulbs we buy at a local nursery. Some years we shop for interesting containers for  at thrift  stores. We support our local nursery Flowerland on shop locally Saturday, where we get a chance to examine beautiful examples of what we can expect from our efforts in just a few weeks.

Watering bulb nestled in a bed of stones

According to the Paperwhite handout: “They may be grown in a dish of pebbles. Select a shallow dish with no drain holes  fill it with pebbles or colored stones . Nestle the bulbs into the pebbles. Then add water keeping the water level below the bulbs. Place dish in dark place for a week or two until roosts begin to grow.”


“When the roots begin to grow move the dish in to bright light and watch for foliage and flowers to emerge. Remember to add water periodically. Cool temperatures keep the flowers fresh longer.” I like to add colored ribbons and sprigs of holly to make the gifts even more festive.  Folk lore about paperwhites says to add vodka to the water to keep them from growing too tall! ?

January 2nd 2012 I posted this image of  Paperwhites started last Thanksgiving

Oh my that seems so long ago!

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