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How to Grow Holiday Paperwhites

Every year with the oncoming holiday season paperwhites adorn my windowsill. I love how they fill my kitchen entrance with a sweet fragrance similar to Jasmine and Gardenia.

It was decades ago when I first discovered the miracle of growing paperwhites. With the smell of fall leaves signaling the winding down process for all the beautiful foliage and most flowers are long gone, my soul yearns to see new life right about now. Paperwhites, also known as Narcissus are the easiest flower I have ever grown. What is even better is you can watch the entire miracle in a class jar from your windowsill. Once they have grown to maturity these potent little flowers will fill your home with the most divine fragrance.

Paperwhites which also belong to the daffodil family can be forced to flower indoors any time of year but you will only see them available in stores just before Thanksgiving until just after Christmas. These bulbs don't even need soil to grow! They will need support as they grow tall and bloom, therefore it is best to choose a tall jar or vase. I like the look of lining the jar with colored blue glass but you can be creative and eco-friendly by re-purposing broken dishes, or even using some beautiful small stones or shells collected from your travels.

What you need:

Paperwhite bulbs

tall mason jar or strait wall vase

enough glass, stones or seashells to line a 1-1/2 " bottom of jar


I like to plant about 3-4 bulbs at the bottom of a glass jar every 2 weeks. By doing it this way I will have 3 jars at any given time on my windowsill in various stages of growth from bulb to full bloom.

All you have to do is place the bulbs, root side down, pointy side up on your stones. Sprinkle some more stones on top of the bulbs to give more support for the roots. Place in a sunny warm spot. Add enough water to cover halfway up the bulb and keep that water level up everyday. Watch the miracle of life before your eyes. It usually takes 3 weeks to fully bloom. Bulbs will only boom for one season but are so worth it.

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