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Easily Grow Paperwhites – Getting Holiday Ready

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Easily grow paperwhites in preparation of having your home ready for the holidays.

Annually we love to force bulbs so that they bloom in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Paperwhites, also called narcissus, are the quickest and easiest way to have blooming flowers in the fall and wintertime. Here is our foolproof method to easily grow paperwhites so that you have blooms throughout the holiday season.

Typically you will find bulbs in the garden center of most stores. They with either be boxed or sometimes sold loose in bins.

Paperwhites are very easy to force in either moist potting soil or water.

Soil Planting Method

  • use good potting soil
  • shallow garden containers
  • water
  1. Fill garden container with soil.
  2. Generously add water to soil until it is very wet. Add more soil to fill container and gently add a bit of more water.
  3. Place paperwhite bulb(s) root end on top of moist soil. Do NOT plant the root as it may rot. The root loves the moisture.
  4. Within a couple of days you will see new growth.
  5. Keep soil moist.
  6. After the blooming is complete, compost or toss the used bulbs.


The water trick is our preferred method. This is super easy and fun to do.

Water Planting Method

  • Container
  • Gravel, rocks, stones, shells or beads for the bottom of container
  • Water
  1. Add rocks to the bottom of garden container
  2. Place paperwhite bulbs root-side down on top of rocks.
  3. Add just enough water to reach the bottom of the root base of the bulbs.
  4. Check every few days to replace whatever is used by the bulbs or evaporates in the dryness of indoors.
  5. Within a few days you should have strong white roots showing.
  6. Within three to four weeks you should have beautiful, fragrant flowers.
  7. After the blooming is complete, compost or toss the used bulbs.

Use a variety of containers – in fact you can read our post Growing Paperwhites in Unique Containers. Glass containers are great because you can see the roots growing and know when you need to add water to your bulbs.  Stagger Your Planting

We highly suggest staggering the planting of your paperwhite bulbs.

If you have a container that will hold three (3) or more bulbs, simply add one bulb every two days.

This way you will have constant growth and blooms instead of all of your paperwhites blooming at the same time.

You will have beautiful, fragrant blooms throughout Thanksgiving and Christmas.

We even purchase extra bulbs to grow in January and February as well. You can easily grow paperwhites indoors for your holiday home. Please give it a try!

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  1. Paperwhites are some of my favorite flowers especially this time of year. I love how delicate yet strong they are all at the same time. I’m hoping to force some myself using these methods so I’ll let you know how they turn out. FIngers crossed they’re as fabulous as yours. Hugs, CoCo

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