How do you force paperwhite narcissus?


How do you force paperwhite narcissus?


Paperwhite narcissus are easy to force indoors.   The bulbs can be forced in clear, shallow bowls (no drainage holes) or pots. 


When forcing paperwhite narcissus in bowls, partially fill the container with washed gravel or stones.  Place the bulbs on the gravel or stones.  Then place additional gravel or stones around the bulbs, leaving the tips (noses) of the bulbs exposed.  Add water to the bowl until it touches the bottom of the bulbs.  Maintain the water at this level throughout the forcing period. 

When forcing paperwhites in pots, partially fill the container with potting soil.  Place the bulbs on the soil surface.  Then add additional potting soil.  When potted, the tips of the bulbs should stick above the potting soil.  The level of the soil mix should be ½ to 1 inch below the rim of the container.  After potting, water each container thoroughly.  Keep the potting soil moist throughout the forcing period. 


Place the planted bulbs in a cool (45 to 50 degree Fahrenheit), dark location for 2 to 3 weeks to encourage root growth.  When the shoots reach a height of 3 inches, move the plants to a sunny window with a temperature of 60 to 70 degree Fahrenheit.  To prolong their bloom period, move the paperwhite narcissus from direct sunlight when the plants begin to flower.  Paperwhite narcissus bulbs should be discarded after flowering.  Paperwhites can’t be forced again and are not hardy outdoors. 


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