Paperwhite Narcissus, or Narcissus Tarzetta, are the flowering bulbs that make even the most enthusiastic outdoors gardener long for winter. Paperwhite Narcissus are unbelievably easy to grow and care for requiring just a pot, rocks, and water. Soil is not required, because inside the bulbs is contained all the nutrients and materials the young flowers will need to grow. This makes Paperwhite Narcissus truly unique in the plant world. These lovely, fragrant, white blooming bulbs are too tender and fragile to survive outdoors in most climates except those that are warm, but will bloom almost immediately and very happily when grown indoors during any season. Paperwhite Narcissus require no incubation period, and no waiting period before blooms begin to appear. Here are the simple steps to take if you want to experience the fragrant beauty of Paperwhite Narcissus in your own home or office environment.
To prepare to plant Paperwhite Narcissus, all you will need is a vase, shallow bowl, or pot, preferably made of clear glass if the container is not shallow, a selection of decorative rocks or stones, water, and several Paperwhite Narcissus bulbs. Soil can be used but is not necessary. A bit of fertilizer can be helpful but is not necessary.
To begin, fill the bowl, pot, or vase with the decorative stones. For a low vase, fill up with the stones to a depth of approximately two inches for a shorter container and four inches for a taller container. Next, place as many Paperwhite Narcissus bulbs amongst the stones as can fit, and position them just so that they are lightly supported to stand upwards by the surrounding stones. Paperwhite Narcissus bulbs enjoy being crowded and will grow quite happily without any personal growing space at all. Next, fill the container with water up to the point where the water just begins to touch the base of the Paperwhite Narcissus bulbs. It can be helpful to place the bulbs at an even surface level so each will have access to the right water level to grow from. Move Paperwhite Narcissus to a cooler, shadier area as they begin to sprout. This should take approximately two weeks to occur.
As Paperwhite Narcissus bulbs began to sprout and grow, they may need extra support from staking. Maintain the water level so ensure bulbs do not become immersed in water as this can cause them to rot. Once Paperwhite Narcissus has bloomed, they can be moved to a sunny location for the duration of their bloom cycle. Once the bloom cycle has commenced, bulbs can be recycled by planting them outdoors in the ground. It will take approximately two years before the bulbs have once again absorbed enough nutrients to produce new blossoms, so care must be taken not to forget where the bulbs are planted. If Paperwhite Narcissus bulbs are being grown outdoors in a warm climate, bulbs will rebloom annually.