1. Forced Paperwhites

Asked by Anonymous - December 26, 2010

Two of the four paperwhite bulbs I planted several weeks back are pushing themselves out of the soil. I placed them all so that 3/4 of the bulb was under the lightweight growing mixture that came with them. Yet, the two that are uprooting themselves are now so high that half an inch of root is exposed under the bulb; yet, they continue to grow and are setting buds. Any explanation for this behavior? Should I try to cover them with soil again?

  • I would suspect that the bulbs roots are pushing at the bulbs around them and this is what is causing them to heave. Just try mounding a little soil around them. Do not push them down, as this could damage the roots. As long as the roots stay in soil/water, the plant will grow fine.

2. Paperwhites

Asked by Anonymous - February 20, 2011

I purchased blooming paperwhites before Christmas. The blooms have died, but the plant is still green. What do I need to do to save the plant/bulb? I live in central Florida, but still get some freezing temps. My yard is mostly shady with a lot of oak trees. Can I plant them outside after the danger of freeze, or can they stay in a pot like I do my amaryllis?

  • Leave it in the pot for now and do not trim the green leaves. They need them to build up energy for next year’s blossoms. When it is warmer, you can plant them outside, but in order for them to rebloom, they must get 6+ weeks of temps below 45F. If they will not get that outside, you will need to dig them up each year and store them in places where they will get that, like a fridge.

  • If I want to save them to force next year, can I put them in the refrigerator until next winter?

    Above answer by: aoshell

3. Transplanting Paper White Narcissus Bulbs

Asked by Anonymous - May 8, 2011

My husband and I dug up some Paper White Narcissus bulbs a few days ago (early March) from his grandmother’s house and want to keep quite a few, but give some away. How do we care for them until we decide where to plant them?

4. What Do You Do With Spent Paperwhites

Asked by katesgarden - December 12, 2013

Do you save paperwhites after they have bloomed?


5. Planting Bulbs

Asked by Anonymous - January 7, 2014

Can you plant a paperwhite bulb after a forced bloom?

6. My Paperwhites Don’t Bloom Anymore

Asked by Nancy Parrott - February 7, 2014

My paperwhites have bloomed forever, yet for the last two years have come up beautifully but don’t bloom anymore. Why?

  • Given where you live, I suspect that they are not getting enough chilling hours (though this year they will given the exceptionally cold weather we have had).

    Paper whites need about 6 weeks minimum, 12 week ideal of cold weather to properly for buds. Likely you planted prechilled bulbs the first year that that carried them through blooming the first two years. After that, without chilling, they will only produce foliage.

    You will likely see blooms from them this year because of the cold weather the South has seen this winter. And that may last you through the next spring as well. But, if the South returns to normal weather patterns, you will likely need to dig your paper whites up each year and chill them in order to see blooms. This article will explain more:

7. Forcing Bulbs in Water

Asked by Anonymous - November 21, 2014

Help. All my bulbs. (paperwhites, tulips and daffodils) got tossed together in a bag in the fridge and now I can’t tell one from another. I have a large dish I want to put pebbles in with water to force them. What to do?

  • While there is no hard and fast way to tell them apart, tulip bulbs tend to be larger and smother than the other two, and paperwhite bulbs tend to be noticeably smaller than the other two. All can be forced in water, so if you don’t mind a mixed look, they should be fine.

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