a winter wonder: paperwhites

As the holidays are quickly approaching, everyone seems to be looking for quick and easy decorating and gift giving ideas. Well look no further!

I present to you the paperwhite cocktail garden. This was originally posted here last year on the blog.  I noticed that it has been getting some pinterest action lately so I thought I’d break down the ins and outs of paperwhites.

paperwhite cocktail

First of all, paperwhites are a bulb.  Most commonly they are forced indoors in the winter and that is why they are typically associated with the holidays. Paperwhites are the cousin of spring blooming daffodils.  You may notice some family resemblance in their flowers although paperwhites are, well, white as the name implies.

paperwhite bulbs

Optimal bloom temperatures are 65 degrees.  A warmer home will have them blooming in less time.  On the other hand, if you have a cool home, they will take longer to bloom.  It is like putting them in the refrigerator to preserve the flowers.

So let’s get onto planting them, shall we?

I like to use vintage glassware and compotes like these ice cream sundae glasses.  They are sized just right for one bulb.

vintage ice cream sundae glasses

When planting the bulb, be sure the flat, basal side is down and the pointy, fleshy side is up.  The foliage and flower will grow from there.

paperwhite bulbs

Now you may have seen paperwhites planted in stones in the past.  This is very common however I am not a fan of that method.  Most people plant them in stones or pebbles to give the bulb support because the plant becomes top heavy as it quickly grows.  When paperwhites are planted in stones, you usually see the bulb sitting on top of the stones.  But because I like to plant them in small compotes, I use soil.  The moist soil and tight container help to give support.  I plant the bulb just under the soil with the point sticking out.

planting paperwhite bulbs in vintage glasses

Once the bulbs are in the glasses, I cover them with soil and make sure there is some underneath for the roots too.  You will be able to see the roots grow in just a few days if you use clear glasses like these – fun for kids!  You’ll all see the bulbs push themselves up.  There is really some instant gratification that comes with planting paperwhites.  The grow so quickly.

planting paperwhites

Don’t forget to water and garnish how ever you like!  Cranberries optional.

paperwhite cocktail

With all of the paperwhite planting I’ve done, you would think I’d have a picture of the blooms but I don’t!  You’ll have to plant some of your own to experience the visual and fragrant flowers.  We have some for sale in the shop and we’re open this weekend…

Linking to Funky Junk Interiors

Holiday

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