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No Force Necessary to Force Paperwhites

PaperwhitesNeed a little nature indoors this time of year? Paperwhites, or Narcissus, just might do the trick.

Paperwhites fill your holiday home with their beautiful pristine white blossoms and their power perfume. Transitionally planted outdoors, they bloom in the spring, but you can force them to bloom inside. "Force" is the technical term, but you really won't use any force. Paperwhites are extremely easy to grow.

To begin, you'll need a container that is a minimum of 3 to 4 inches deep and has no drainage holes, a few smooth rocks or marbles, and a few Paperwhite bulbs. In the bottom of the container spread about 2 inches of rocks. Then place your Paperwhite bulbs on top of the rocks with the pointy side up. Note: the more Paperwhites the bigger "wow" you'll get when they bloom.

Now add another layer of rock to cover about half of the bulb. Make sure they are still pointed up. Next, gently add water so the level just reaches the bottom of the bulbs. This will stimulate the roots to begin growing.

At this point, bulbs don't require light, and prefer to be kept cool (around 65°F). You will want to check your container daily to make sure that the water level is maintained. Add more water if needed. Once you see roots developing, move your container over to a sunny spot.

That's it. It's that easy. A little trick, if your flowers start flopping over, add a "nip" or "shot" of vodka to the water. Miraculously they'll stand straight up. And if you don't have vodka around the house, a stick and some twine will do the trick, too.

If you are really enjoying the Paperwhites, plant another batch of bulbs every couple of weeks and you'll keep your home in the blooms and fragrance all winter!


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