How to Grow Paperwhite Narcissus
Paperwhite Narcissus bulbs look fresh and can brighten any home. They are particularly useful during holiday season and they make excellent decoration. However, many people find it difficult to handle and care for Narcissus bulbs. The bulbs often get leggy before blooming and often prove to be difficult to grow. However, there are a few tricks you can use to grow them successfully.
It’s important to select a correct pot for growing Paperwhites. Drainage is crucial or else the plants will rot. If the chosen pot has drainage holes, fill it with a quality potting soil. If there are no drainage holes, use stones or rocks.
To plant the bulbs, press them, nose up into the soil or stones. It should be deep enough to hold the bulbs in place but never too deep. After this, water well without using any fertilizer. Make sure you don’t soak the soil.
Keep your Paperwhites at room temperature. They require well-lighted area. If you keep them on the direct light the leaves will stretch to sun. If you don’t like this, you can prevent it by keeping the plant out of direct sunlight.
Ensuring Shorter Stems: Add Some Alcohol
Believe it or not, alcohol is a secret is you wish to have shorter Paperwhite Narcissus’ stems and keep the same size flowers. This method will shorten stems by 1/3 to 1/2 over their normal size. This method is not advisable for growing your everyday Narcissus, but it’s a good way if you want to use Paperwhite Narcissus for decoration. Shorter, sturdier stems will never flop over. They never seem leggy so they can produce a better visual effect.
Dilute some alcohol with water to prepare the mixture. You can use medical alcohol or alcoholic drinks, such as whiskey, gin, vodka, rum or tequila. Don’t use beer or wine since they contain sugars. To make a correct solution, take the percentage of alcohol on the label and divide by five. This will make the right solution for the plants.
Never water your plants with a solution stronger than 10%. Water your Paperwhites with this solution when the shoots are about 1″ – 2″ above the top of the bulbs.
How to Extend the Bloom Time?
To extend the blooming season, it’s best to keep your Paperwhites in a cool room. Heat, especially a direct heat source and warm rooms will significantly shorten bloom time.