I realize that the paperwhite is a controversial flower. It is, however, one of my favorites.
I love its delicate petals. I love that it heralds spring. Most of all, though, of course, I love its smell. I bury my nose in paperwhite bouquets whenever I spot them at the florist. Bunches of them in a corner fill an entire room with their fragrance. On top of all this, they are ridiculously easy to grow indoors – all you need is a glass and some water.
Here is what you do:
1. Fill a clean glass or jar with water.
2. Place the bulb in the glass or jar, roots down, so that the roots hover just above the water (if too much of the bulb touches water, it will rot). If the bulb is not wider than the mouth of the jar, you can prop it up using toothpicks, or fill the glass with pebbles, and nestle the bulb in.
3. Place the bulb in a cool dark place, away from direct sunlight.
4. Once the root structure begins to form, move the bulb to a sunny location.
5. Enjoy blooms within 4-6 weeks!
Paperwhite bulbs usually appear in nurseries between the end of September and the end of November. They were on sale at my favorite local nursery today, and I bought a handful for $2.45.
Check back in a few weeks, and hopefully I will have some blooms to share – just in time to brighten dreary weather!