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How to Grow Paperwhite Narcissus

Paperwhite Narcissus is grown outdoors, as well as indoors. Commonly called "Paperwhites". they are extremely popular grown as indoor forced blooms during the long, dreary winter months. And, because the bulb stores all the energy it needs to grow and bloom, they are often grown in decorative stones, rather than in soil.

Paperwhites are easy to grow. You don't need a green thumb to produce attractive and fragrant white blooms.

Paperwhite, Narcissus, flower, buibs

How to Grow Paperwhite Narcissus Indoors:

Fill a shallow bowl, pot, or container part way with decorative stones. Plain stones, gravel, or soil works. Set paperwhite bulbs on the stones, pushing them down just far enough so the bulbs are supported in an upright position. Put several of them together. They don't mind being a little crowded, and look their best in groups.

Add water just to the bottom of the bulb. If the water covers too much of the bulb, they can rot. Place the pot in a cool, dark place for one to two weeks. Once roots take hold, and the plant has sprung from the bulb, take the pot out into a brightly lit room. After growing for four to six weeks, your Paper Whites will begin to bloom.

Tip: Plant several pots of Paperwhites in succession. You will have pots of Paperwhites growing and blooming all winter long!

After blooming, many people will discard the bulbs.  If you want to keep them, it will take a couple of years for them to bloom again. They need time to store energy in the bulbs. Plant them outdoors.

How to Grow Outdoors:

Paper Whites are grown from bulbs. Plant outdoors in the fall. Select a sunny spot, although they will tolerate partial shade. The bulb stores all the food it needs for next year's bloom. Adding a little fertilizer will help the bulb to absorb energy for next year's bloom. Add mulch around the bed to make it more attractive, and to keep the weeds down.

Paper whites looks attractive planted in bunches. They don't mind a little crowding.

Grown outdoors, they will bloom every year.


Grown outdoors, paperwhites will last for years. New plants are propagated by separating bulbs. After the plant has died back, dig up the bulbs. Separate new bulbs from the mother bulb, and replant.

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