How to Plant Paperwhites Indoors


Many different varieties of narcissus bulbs are called by the name "paperwhites," and any of them can be persuaded to bloom indoors with relative ease. Forcing paperwhites to bloom in the winter can bring a little bit of spring inside during bad weather, especially since the fragrance of paperwhites can carry throughout the house.

Step 1

If you're using potting soil, fill the container with soil deep enough to barely cover a paperwhite bulb. Set the bulbs root-side down in the soil and bury them completely, so that just their tops stick out.

Step 2

If you're using sand, add it to the container to a depth that will cover about half of a paperwhite bulb. Cover half of each bulb, root-side down, with the sand.

Step 3

If you're using pebbles, spread a double layer of them in the container. Set the bulbs root-side down on top of the pebbles.

Step 4

Water the bulbs well. After 15 minutes, drain off any excess water that's standing in the container.

Step 5

Put the container in a cool place, where the temperature will remain between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 6

When the bulbs start to bud out and you can see their color, bring the paperwhites into the house.

Things You'll Need

  • Paperwhite bulbs
  • Container that's twice as wide as it is high
  • Potting soil, horticultural sand or decorative pebbles
  • Water


  • The Gentle Art of Forcing Bulbs; Sunset Magazine
Keywords: forcing bulbs, forcing paperwhites, paperwhite narcissus

About this Author

Cheyenne Cartwright has worked in publishing for more than 25 years. She has served as an editor for several large nonprofit institutions, and her writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including "Professional Bull Rider Magazine." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Oklahoma Christian University and a Master of Arts in English from the University of Tulsa.