The paperwhite narcissus is a fragrant flowering spring bulb that is popular for a forced bloom during winter. The paperwhite is a subtype of the Tazetta daffodil or narcissus. The flowering bulbs are grown without soil in pots, baskets and vases during the Christmas holiday season. Paperwhite stems can grow 6 to 20 inches high with a large clusters of blooms at the top. They are also a good addition to your spring flower bed or border in zones 3 to 9. You will find that planting paperwhite bulbs will be an easy and rewarding project.
Cover the bottom of a glass or ceramic bowl, vase or shallow dish with soil, pebbles or marbles or a mixture of the three. A tall, clear glass vase is ideal as the paperwhite stems can lean and bend under the weight of the blossoms.
Place paperwhite bulbs on top of the soil, pebbles or marbles. Place more of the growing medium around the bottom of the bulbs leaving the tips of them uncovered.
Gently pour water into the container until it reaches the bottom of the bulbs.
Set the container in a cool, dry place until growth begins. You should see green growth at the tip of the bulb or roots at the base of the bulbs.
Place the container in full sunlight on a table, shelf or windowsill when growth is obvious. Keep the bulbs watered while waiting for them to grow and blossom.
Dig or till the flower bed in an area with well-drained soil, in partial to full sun. Mix in compost, peat moss or well-rotted manure along with bulb booster. Mix very well.
Dig a small hole in the soil for each bulb, with a 3-inch space between small bulbs and a 5- to 7-inch space between large bulbs.
Set the bulb tip up into the hole. Make sure it is in full contact with soil with no air between bulb bottom and soil.
Cover the bulb with soil until the tip is just exposed above the surface.
Water the row of bulbs if the soil is dry.
About this Author
Suzie Faloon is a freelance writer who has written ad copy and online content for Demand Studios and Associated Content. As a professional crafter and floral designer, Faloon owned a florist business for nearly 25 years. She completed the Institute of Chilldren's Literature course in 1988.