Planting Paperwhites Outdoors


Paperwhites (Narcissus tazetta) are members of the daffodil family that are often grown indoors on a bed of rocks and water. They can also be planted in outdoor gardens in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 10. Paperwhites are smaller than most other daffodils and bloom delicate white flowers. They are bulbous plants that are best planted in the fall or early winter.

Step 1

Prepare you sunny planting bed by turning over the top foot of soil. Use a hoe, garden rake or tiller. Mix in several inches of organic matter, such as compost, peat moss or decomposed manure.

Step 2

Dig holes deep enough so that when planted, the tips of the paperwhite bulbs are 3 to 4 inches below the soil. Space multiple bulbs about 3 inches apart.

Step 3

Set one bulb in each hole with the tip facing up and backfill the soil and pack it down lightly.

Step 4

Soak the soil with a 1 to 2 inches of water; however, don't water too fast that the water puddles on top.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe, garden rake or tiller
  • Organic matter
  • Trowel
  • Water


  • Paperwhite (and their cousins) Growing Information
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About this Author

Melissa Lewis graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has written over 20 episodes for the radio drama entitled "A Work in Progress." She also writes for several online outlets, including Gardenguides, Travels and Examiner, and is currently finalizing a movie script to be filmed in 2010.