How to Keep Reblooming Paperwhites

Paperwhite Narcissus image by Alexteve/


Paperwhites are a cheerful welcome to spring with their petite blooms bringing freshness into a room. They're almost always seen as forced blossoms sitting in a vase of marbles or pebbles and water. According to New Mexico State University's College of Agriculture, paperwhites can be made to rebloom by following a certain procedure. This can only be accomplished if the temperature does not go below 10 degrees; otherwise the paperwhites will not survive.

Step 1

Drain the water from the paperwhite vase and remove the flower, bulb and all, being careful not to break the roots. Since the flower was receiving all it nutrients and energy from the bulb, once the flower has wilted, the bulb will need to be re-nourished.

Step 2

Dig a hole 6 to 8 inches deep in your flower bed. Set the bulb in the hole, fanning out the roots a little. Fill in the dirt so that the bulb is covered by about 4 inches of soil; tamp it down gently. The leaves will be protruding, so be careful not to damage them.

Step 3

Cut off the stem of the wilted flower as low as possible without hurting the leaves. Toss it into your compost heap. Water your newly-planted flower only at planting or if you experience drought-like conditions.

Step 4

Allow the paperwhites to grow almost like a weed. You can camouflage the leaves by planting other flowering annuals around them. Do not braid them, tie them together or cut them, as they need to absorb the sunlight as much as possible.

Step 5

Mulch the bed heavily in the winter if a cold season is expected. When spring arrives, you should see the green leaves poking through the soil; hopefully some blossoms will follow. Sometimes it takes a couple of years for the bulbs to collect enough nourishment to reblossom.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand shovel
  • Scissors


  • New Mexico State University
  • Paperwhite Narcissus Fact Sheet
Keywords: paperwhites bulbs, forcing blooming, flowers

About this Author

Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.

Photo by: Alexteve/