Botanical Name: Narcissus jonquilla
Paperwhite narcissus bursts into snowy white clusters of blossoms. Discover how to make these beauties bloom indoors -- and last for weeks.
Paperwhite narcissus is easy to force into bloom indoors. The bulbs do NOT need to be placed in cold storage to bloom. Paperwhite bulbs begin to grow as soon as they are planted, with fragrant flowers appearing in 4-6 weeks.
Each tall flower stem produces several small, snowy-white flowers. Make your flowers last longer by keeping the plant in a cool location. Blooms will look fresh for 3-4 weeks if kept at a maximum of 65°F/18°C.
Looking to buy paperwhite bulbs? Choose paperwhite bulbs that are firm, not soft or mushy. There are a couple popular varieties I recommend: 'Ziva' is a prolific bloomer... and 'Ariel' is especially fragrant.
Paperwhites are also sold as kits for the holidays. They're foolproof -- just add water.
The clusters of small, white flowers last about 3-4 weeks.
Paperwhites can be grown without potting mix. Here's how:
Origin: Asia and Southern Europe
Height: 12-15 in (30-37.5 cm). Plants often need staking to stay upright.
Light: Low to bright, indirect light.
Water: Keep soil evenly moist, but not soggy because the bulbs may rot.
Humidity: Average room (around 40% relative humidity).
Temperature: Cool to average 50-65°F/10-18°C. Too-warm temperatures will shorten the life of flowers and may cause flower buds to shrivel and turn brown.
Soil: Peat moss based potting mix (or use pebbles as described above).
Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks with high-phosphorus water-soluble fertilizer at half-strength from planting until blooming. Do not fertilize while in bloom.
Propagation: Paperwhite narcissus bulbs cannot be forced into bloom again and can be discarded.