Paperwhite Care and Re-Blooming

Paperwhite Care and Re-Blooming

Paperwhite bulbs are a traditional indoor holiday garden must. Their bright white, star-like blossoms illuminate any room and bring a heady springtime fragrance in the middle of winter. With proper care they will bloom for two weeks, and if stored properly you can plant them over and over for several years.


Paperwhite Planting

Paperwhites are very easy to grow, and can bring enjoyment to the youngest or most inexperienced gardener. Simply fill a shallow pot (the plastic one in the kits works just fine, or go for a fancier pot to make them even more elegant) with soil about halfway, place the bulb pointed side up so they are close but not touching, and fill the rest of the pot with soil. The tips of the bulbs should still be exposed so they don't rot. Water thoroughly and let any excess water drain out of the pot. Let it drain completely before placing it on a saucer in a warm, sunny location. (Pro tip: Keeping your newly-planted Paperwhites in a cooler room, between 45-55 Fahrenheit, for 3 to 4 weeks will keep the stalks shorter so they don't flop over!).


Paperwhite Care

Care for your growing paperwhites as you would most houseplants. Keep the pot in a warm, sunny location away from drafts, water when the top inch of soil is dry, and rotate your pot every few days to encourage straight stalks. You can fertilize with a regular indoor fertilizer about once every two weeks. Be careful not to give your Paperwhite too much water or too little - The soil should be moist but never wet. In six to ten weeks you'll be rewarded with abundant clusters of multi-flowering blossoms! If the flowers are especially heavy or the stalks very tall you may have to stake your paperwhites to keep them from flopping over.


Paperwhite Re-Blooming

Once the blooms are spent, you can cut the stalks down at the base of the plant and leave the foliage. Maintain your paperwhite greens like you would a houseplant until the foliage dies back, usually around mid-July. Take them out of the soil, put them in a paper bag, and keep them in a cool, dry location until the fall. Then you can re-pot your Paperwhite bulbs all over! This process usually only works for three or four seasons before the bulbs become unviable.