How to Grow Paperwhites At Home and In the Garden

Depending on the variety, paperwhites from the Amaryllidaceae family are perennial bulbs that bloom in the winter and have variable degrees of scent. Paperwhites are prized for their lovely, two-week-long white blossoms.

The plant forms stout, strong, densely foliated shoots, growing to a height of up to 90 centimeters. The hollow leaves are oak-like and dark green. The chrysanthemum is one of the most abundant late-flowering plants in all gardens.

Thus, from September until the first frosty snow, the chrysanthemum Paperwhite stands sprinkled with medium-sized, 4-7 centimeters in diameter flowers resembling daisies. Their petals are colored pure white, and the center of the flower contrasts with the dark green color.

The luxuriant flowering gives off a bitterly wormwood-like scent. It is unmistakable and has long been associated with autumn and, for many, with the smell of childhood. In the right conditions, chrysanthemums can be planted all year round. Chrysanthemums need a sunny location.

Chrysanthemums can also overwinter in the open air but should be pruned and covered with fleece before putting them out in the winter. Alternatively, you can make a netting out of chain-link fencing and fill the space between the net and the plant with dry leaves in the agro-fiber fleece. It is advisable to prune and trim the shrubs. Ideally, 1 to 3 buds should be left on one stem. It is a magnificent flower with infinite floral possibilities. There's no better way to enjoy your efforts than with a vase of freshly cut chrysanthemum stems taking pride in place in the home.

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What to Do With Paperwhites After They Bloom

You can save the plant to blossom the following year once the flower clusters and delicious aroma of paperwhites have gone. Paperwhites will bloom again for around two more years, except for bulbs forced indoors in water or a pebble mixture. Paperwhites typically grow in U.S. hardiness zones 8 through 11. They are available in several hues and color combinations, including white, cream, yellow, and orange.


If your plant blooms indoors in a pot or your garden, some general criteria apply to saving paperwhites. After the plant has flowered, cut off the wasted blooms to prevent the plant from losing more vitality. Leave the foliage in place until you can easily pull it out by hand, and it starts to turn yellow. Even after the plant has finished blooming, the leaves keep absorbing solar energy and turning it into food stored in the bulb.

With a bit of extra care, you may preserve a potted paperwhite in its original pot. A few teaspoons of bulb fertilizer should be added to the container after keeping it in the sun until the foliage dies. Turn the pot on its side and put it somewhere that won't freeze, such as in a garage or basement, around six weeks after the paperwhite blooms. Turn the pot upright in the fall, put it in the sun, water the bulb well, and keep watering it until the paperwhite blooms in spring.

Until the foliage starts to wilt, water your paperwhite houseplant and keep it in the light. Then, select one of two techniques to plant the bulb:

Stop watering the pot and keep it in your basement or garage until summer. After that, remove the bulb and plant it in your garden, wetting it the same as the other plants.

Wait until the last danger of frost has passed in late winter before planting the paperwhite directly into the ground if it blooms throughout the winter. The bulb will remain dormant until the spring rains come or you start watering your garden again, but even then, it's important to avoid letting the soil completely dry.

Garden Plants

Because paperwhites can withstand summertime irrigation, you can leave the bulbs in your garden as-is. Alternatively, you can dig the bulbs up when the foliage withers, wash them and let them dry completely for at least a week away from the sun to ensure that they won't receive too much water. After that, until you're prepared to plant them again in late fall, hang the bulbs in a mesh bag with plenty of airflows.

How to Care For Paperwhites

Keep in mind that bulbs can take anywhere from four to six weeks to blossom after planting if you are growing them yourself and want them to bloom in the middle of December. Keep the potting soil for paperwhites planted in a bulb pan or pot constantly moist but not saturated to avoid bulb rot. Choose a pot with a drainage hole to ensure the bulbs are never accidentally sitting in water.

How to Care For Paperwhites Planted in Water

Make sure that only the base of the bulbs, where the roots are, are in contact with the water if you've planted your paperwhites in a glass container with pebbles and water, and that the entire bulb isn't getting a bath. As a result, the bulb doesn't decay. Growing in a glass container has the advantage that the water level can be seen. Watch the water levels and top them off as necessary to ensure that only the roots ever touch the water.

How to Plant Paperwhites in Containers

Paperwhites are often grown in containers indoors without any soil. Select a shallow container that is watertight, and add two to three inches of small stones to the bottom. Workable alternatives include marble chips, polished rocks, glass beads, and washed gravel. Plant your bulbs in groupings of five or more for the finest display. Place the bulbs with their pointed ends facing up and close enough to touch. The bulbs' tops ought to be level with or just slightly above the pot's rim.

Add a little water when the bulbs have settled in the container. The bulbs' bases should just barely be submerged in water. Place the pot in a cool, well-lit area. Water sparingly throughout the following two weeks, only adding what is necessary to keep the level the same. You'll need to replenish the moisture more frequently after the bulbs start to grow, but keep the level at or just below the base of the bulbs.

Choose a container with a drainage hole if you like to grow your paperwhites in a pot with soil. The top quarter of each bulb should remain above the soil surface when you add several inches of growing mix and set the bulbs in place.

Before placing the growing mix in the container, wet it for the best results. Then, water sparingly until the bulbs have formed roots and are flourishing.

Grow Your Own Paperwhite Bulbs at Home

You might think that you have to settle with store-bought, expensive cut flower bunches shipped from who knows where to adorn your dinner table for the holidays just as your flower garden starts to die back for the year. However, did you realize that you also have a choice? Imagine raising miniature narcissus in the comfort of your own home.

Paperwhites are one of the simpler flowers to grow. A type of Narcissus known as a "paperwhite" is typically grown inside for its fragrant winter blossoms. In warm areas, such as hardiness zones 8 through 11, paperwhite bulbs can be planted outside in the fall for winter flowering. In all other zones, gardeners should cultivate paperwhites indoors.


Paperwhites can grow up to 16 inches tall, making them the ideal flower for countertops and other small
areas. To grow paperwhites indoors, insert paperwhite bulbs, pointed tip up, on top of a few inches of gravel in a vase or other container. The bulbs may touch, but ensure that water doesn't accumulate at their bases, or the paperwhites may rot.

To prevent the bulbs from sliding, you can place gravel around and between them, but make sure to leave the tops of the bulbs exposed. The paperwhites bloom when you relocate the pot to a sunny area after the bulbs have rooted plant bulbs in a few weeks to ensure continual flowering throughout the winter.


Will paperwhites come back every year?

Yes! After blooming in the spring, paperwhite plants develop flower buds inside the bulb throughout the summer. When the bulb is dormant, the flower buds remain there until the following year, when they emerge on the stem.

What is a paperwhite flower?

The low-maintenance Mediterranean daffodil known as the paperwhite flower (Narcissus papyraceus) has white blossoms. They are indoor houseplants that are typically sown in the cooler seasons.

Do paperwhites like sun or shade?

Move your paperwhites to a sunny windowsill or under a plant light once they have sprouted to encourage photosynthesis. You can promote longer-lasting flowers by keeping them out of direct sunshine after they bloom.