Paperwhite Narcissus

November 4, 2011

20111104-060458.jpg A container filled with paperwhite narcissus bulbs just makes me happy. It also is a signal that the Holidays are rapidly approaching for most folks, and if you are a retailer like me, that means they are well underway. The papery white petals and intoxicating scent fill the shops and our home, adding that bit of green I long for in the beginning of these cooler months.

20111104-061436.jpg Not only are they pretty and smell great, they are also one hearty little bulb, and are incredibly easy to grow. This first round I brought home went directly into one of my favorite vintage glass vessels. It is a quite large, quite thick jar that sits on our kitchen counter and has a festive green lid. I lined the bottom of the jar with oyster shells from a prior oyster-fest we had. These help to elevate the bulbs so they are not sitting too deep in the water. I find it best to really crowd the bulbs and have them butting up to one another, as once they start to grow, it helps them from falling over. I then put a few extra oyster shells in any spots where there was still room, as I really like to see a bit of the shell once the bulbs start their magic. You then add just enough water so the bottom of the bulb is touching the water. You will be amazed at how quickly these little guys take root. We are off and running. It is as easy as that. Just make sure the water level remains as it started, and you are good to go.

20111104-062431.jpg Oyster shells are but one filling option. You can use rocks, marbles, whatever you like–as long as it elevates the bulb a bit. I also find having them in a tall necked container is helpful, as once the stems become leggy, they rest on the walls of the container, and don’t fall over, which is a common complaint I hear about these lovelies.

This will be one of several posts in the coming months about paperwhite narcissus, because I just love them, and I just love finding different ways to have them around. Enjoy!

A happy Friday to all. Please stop in this afternoon or tomorrow for the wonderful Dempsey & Carroll trunk show if you can.