Force Paperwhites

Forcing Tazetta-type narcissus like paperwhites is a holiday tradition among gardeners who like the flowers’ strong perfume and spring-time personality. For a blooming bunch by Thanksgiving, start them on Oct. 4. Pick fat, firm bulbs because they will deliver the most flowers. Fill a container about halfway with potting soil, pebbles, gravel or even marbles then add the bulbs, packing them into an attractive pattern for the best display. Add more of your chosen medium so that only the tips of the bulbs protrude. Water to keep them moist but not soggy. If growing them with no soil, add water to touch the bottoms of the bulbs, until the roots appear. Then keep water off the base of the bulbs. Place in a cool, bright spot. Flowers should appear in about 5-6 weeks, with the bloom continuing for a month. When the flowers fade, discard the bulbs.

 

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