Paperwhites are a staple in my home in winter. I buy a big bag of bulbs in fall and pot a few up every week between Thanksgiving and Christmas so that I will have continuous blooms from December through February.
I store paperwhites in my refrigerator until I’m ready to plant them, taking care to keep them separate from fruits such as apples, which emit gases that damage the bulbs.
You can find paperwhite bulbs in almost any garden center. They are pre-cooled so they don’t need the usual chilling time that many of the bulbs you plant outdoors require. Anyone can grow paperwhites because they are so easy; they’ll thrive in just gravel and water!
One thing you should know about paperwhites is that when they bloom they can become top heavy & need a little support. This can be done with decorative stakes or by planting the bulbs in a tall clear glass container. The flowers are held upright and the fragrance floats out of the top.
Choose a clear glass vase that is 24-inches or taller.
Add just enough decorative stones to anchor the paperwhite bulbs and give the roots room to grow. I used polished river rock, but any stones will work. Glass beads are nice too.
Nestle 4 to 5 paperwhite bulbs among the stones. The pointed end of the bulb is the top; the flat end is where the roots develop.
Add just enough water to the vase so that it touches the bottom of the bulbs; do not submerge the bulbs. The moisture will tell the bulb it’s time to grow. Check the water level every week.