Paper white flowers are a type of narcissus. They are similar to daffodils, which are also a form of narcissus, but they are smaller and their flowers are white. They are often brought to bloom in the house since it is easy to do so. They are also very fragrant and bring an air of spring into the home at a time of year when spring is sorely lacking. Fresh cut paper whites lend themselves beautifully to floral arrangements.
Purchase paper white bulbs. Open the plastic bag that the bulbs arrive in right away to get air circulating around the bulbs.
Get a clean bowl or wide short vase. Fill the container with stones or glass marbles to a depth of 2 inches.
Set the paper white bulbs on top of the stones or marbles with the root end down. More than one bulb may be planted per container. Plant as many bulbs as will fit in a single layer into the container. Several bulbs in one container will produce a beautiful display. Add more stones or marbles around and between the bulbs for support. Do not cover the tops of the bulbs.
Fill the container with water up to the bottom of the bulbs. Do not fill the container beyond that point. The bulbs will rot if they are sitting in water.
Put the container and bulbs in an area where the temperature stays around 50 to 60 degrees. Keep the container out of direct sunlight.
Check the water level in the container at least twice a week. Add water when the level drops to 1 inch below the bottom of the paper white bulbs. Do not fill the container so full that the bulbs are sitting in water.
Grasp the bulbs gently with your fingers and give them a light careful tug each week to check for root growth. Do not pull the bulbs out of the stones or marbles. Pull just enough to check for resistance, which will tell you the bulbs have rooted. They should be rooted after about three weeks.
Move the container to a sunny location after the bulbs have rooted. Continue to water only to a level right below the bottom of the bulbs. Check the water level frequently as they will dry out more quickly when they start growing.
Stake the plants when they get to a height of 8 to 10 inches.They tend to fall over from the weight of the growth. Gently tie the plants to bamboo stakes.
Throw the bulbs away after they are done blooming. Paper white bulbs will only bloom once indoors.