How Do Paperwhite Bulbs Normally Grow?

How Do Paperwhite Bulbs Normally Grow? image by Juni/

Paperwhite Narcissus Bulbs

Paperwhite narcissus are spring flowering bulbs that are a relation of the daffodil. They are commonly forced into bloom indoors out of season, to bring life and a sweet scent into winter interiors. When forced, the bulbs are set in either water and stones or into potting soil. Paperwhites are one of the few spring bulbs that do not require a cold period to trigger bloom.

Spring & Fall Garden Planting

Plant paperwhites in the soil in fall or in early spring depending on your climate. They are hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9b and must be dug up in winter and stored in cooler climates. Like many spring-blooming bulbs, they must be grown in well-drained soil that is nutrient-rich and in full sun to partial daily shade exposure. Paperwhite bulbs are planted with the sloping side pointing up towards the sun and the root plate facing down. Bury them at least 3 inches deep in the soil and space multiple bulbs at intervals of 3 to 9 inches depending on the effect you are seeking to achieve.

Harvest, Deadheading & Bulb Storage

Harvest bloom stalks for cut flower arrangements just as one or two of the flowers begin to open by cutting off the bottom of the stem. Deadhead fading flowers left on the plant but leave the green foliage to completely die back in place which will feed energy back into the bulb for next year's bloom. Dig and divide the paperwhite bulbs in the late summer or fall to spread them over a larger area. In climate where they are not winter hardy, dig up and store the bulbs in fall after the first frost. Bury the bulbs in clean sand or peat moss and place in a cool but frost-free location.

Keywords: paperwhite narcissus, plant grow, flower bulbs

About this Author

A communications professional, D.C. Winston has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals and film/broadcast media. Winston studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.

Photo by: Juni/