Paperwhites produces clusters of pure white blooms with a strong, spicy fragrance on stems averaging 16-18 inches tall. Paperwhites take 4-8 weeks to bloom. There is nothing quite so addicting as having plants blooming in your home during the winter and nothing is easier to bring into bloom than Paperwhite narcissus. Paperwhite are cultivated varieties of the species Narcissus papyraeus, which is native to the eastern Mediterranean. Not surprisingly, Paperwhite can only be grown in the very warmest areas (zones 8 – 11). However, their popularity comes from the fact that they are the very easiest bulbs to force to bloom indoors. Not only that, they all have wonderful, sometimes intoxicating, fragrances. In addition, all produce multiple blooms; some will have as many as a dozen flowers per bulb. Who wouldn’t want some of these prolific, fragrant flowers blooming inside during the cold dreary winter months?
They make good container plants and can be delightful cut flowers. These easy-to-bloom bulbs can be successfully grown in either soil or gravel. In either case, your container must be at least deeper than the height of the bulbs. An alternative to soil is to plant paperwhite in gravel (or sand) and water. Choose a container that you are sure is watertight. You will need gravel with small pieces that can easily settle into all the nooks and crannies between the bulbs. If you have potted your bulbs in soil, simply keep them evenly moist. If you are growing your paperwhite in gravel, keep the water level just below the bottom of the bulbs.