How to Force Paperwhites

Paperwhites and other narcissus plants symbolize rebirth and renewal because they're one of the earliest bulbs to sprout, signaling the arrival of spring. They can bloom even earlier because they are remarkably easy to grow or “force” indoors
how to force paperwhites

How to Force Paperwhites, Step-by-Step

1 | PLANT THE BULBS right side up in soil or among pebbles 4 inches deep.

2 | SUPPORT THE BULBS WITH PEBBLES, but do not bury within them. The roots will be the only element of the bulb below the surface.

3 | IT’S OKAY TO “CROWD” THE BULBS. Paperwhites look better when they blossom en masse.

4 | PLACE IN A COOL ROOM with strong indirect sunlight.

5 | WATER SO THAT only the roots and underside of the bulb get the liquid. Keep the water consistent and do not submerge the bulb, otherwise it will rot.

6 | BLOSSOMS WILL appear in about 4 weeks. You may need to stake the stems to help support the heads, and deadhead flowers that have died for the continued health of the rest of the flowers.


how to force paperwhites
Paperwhite narcissus bulbs starting to sprout in gravel. Photo: Shutterstock