Paperwhites- Forcing Bulbs

Paperwhites are one of my favorite holiday traditions. I love the fragrance they impart when you walk in the door. I love their light and simple appearance. I also love their long life even after they bloom. You can get them store bought or in a kit. You can also start them at home and watch them grow.  This is a fun and simple project to do with kids too. Who knows, you may have just started a new holiday tradition. I like to start them right after Thanksgiving so they are in full bloom for the Holidays.

First get a nice glass container.


Then fill the container with rocks of your choosing. This year we choose natural color rocks. Some years we use black. Both look stunning.


Next, place the bulbs on the layer of rocks.


Place rocks around the bulbs to hold them in place. Place them in a sunny location, south side windows work best. Water and watch them grow.


Initially it will be slow.


It will soon take off.




They should be ready to enjoy for the holidays.

Version 2

If you want to enjoy the bulbs again simply follow the steps below.  After flowers have stopped blooming, stop watering them. Eventually the flowers will dry out, but the stalks remain green. Carefully remove them from the bowl and pull away any rock in the root. If any of the bulbs are soft, mushy, or exhibit decay discard the affected bulbs.


The roots should look healthy as below.


After danger of frost has past in late Spring, plant outdoors. Place the bulb in the dirt three times deeper than the bulb is wide with the root end down. Water weekly.

Getting Started…

If you would like to try this at home and if you are interested in a particular item, there is an embedded link in each picture below to make it convenient for you to click on the item to get.


I have both kinds of rocks at home. After the flowers have finished blooming, depending on your climate you can plant them outdoors if your area is warm enough, unfortunately ours is not. You can then wash and dry the rocks in a colander and use next year.



Bulbs, I usually cannot fit more than 10 in a bowl so would recommend starting with that many first.


If you want an all in one kit to use or give as a gift, you could try…






2 comments on “Paperwhites- Forcing Bulbs

  1. Kelly

    What an awesome idea, and they are beautiful!

  2. Cheryl

    I have been wanting to do something like this for a very long time. You have made it super easy to follow! I love how you describe as well as show photos. That makes it so much easier for me to understand. Thank you! Please keep doing this blog. It is my favorite– and I follow a lot of blogs.