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How to Save Paperwhite Bulbs

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017

Paperwhites are members of the Narcissus genus (Narcissus papyraceus). Easy to grow, they are abundantly available in gardening centers and even grocery stores during the fall and winter. A popular method of growing paperwhite is forcing them into bloom in the winter. With highly fragrant white flowers, paperwhites add a stunning touch of spring in the winter. Paperwhites grow from tender bulbs and should be grown indoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones below 8.

Continue to water the paperwhite, as you normally do, after the blooming period. This will help restore the bulb’s food supply that was depleted during blooming.

Stop watering the paperwhite when the leaves begin to brown. This will force the bulbs to go dormant.

Cut the foliage back to within 1 inch of the soil when it dies.

Place the potted paperwhite bulbs in a dry, dark area until fall when they can be planted again. Discard any bulbs that feel soft.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears or sharp scissors

About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.