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Paperwhites are simply white narcissus for growing indoors.  Deliciously scented varieties such as Ziva are available that will fill a room with their sweet fragrance.  They are a stalwart decoration for the Christmas period, but displays throughout winter are possible by staggering their planting every couple of weeks from November through to January.  Paperwhites are delightfully easy to grow.  The bulbs will flower around four to six weeks after planting.  The larger the bulbs purchased, the better the results.


Choose a shallow, decorative container. Some kind of planting medium will be required.  This can be bulb fibre, stones or gravel or glass beads. Plant the bulbs densely to provide a better display and to prevent the plants from flopping.  The bulbs should be planted with the pointed end upwards. Do not completely bury the bulb, leaving the top two centimetres or around one inch of the bulb above the planting medium. Moisten the growing medium, but never submerge the bulbs completely as they will rot. If planting in gravel, stones or glass beads in a glass vase or bowl you will be able to see the depth of the water.  It should be just up to the base of the bulbs.

Place the container in a sunny location and continue to add water as necessary.  Soon roots, shoots and buds will begin to form.  The process can then be repeated at around two weekly intervals. With the correct timing, containers can be planted as Christmas gifts for friends and family.

To view Paperwhite bulbs at Dutch Grown click here

Mark Snelling

All images copyright Dutch Grown

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