Trying Paperwhites This Season - November 2022

For the past few Christmas seasons, we've grown Amaryllis flowers from bulbs with (mostly) good results and have learned a little bit about different bulbs and planting situations with those.  This year, I'm trying (for the first time) to reuse some of my Amaryllis bulbs from last year.  I grew them in containers and had them bloom in the dark of Winter.  Then, I put their pots out in the sun all Summer-long.  And, finally brought them in to try to force them by putting them in the basement and trimming all the foliage off.  They've been in my basement (currently) for ten weeks.  I'll get them out in mid-November.  

Besides, Amaryllis bulbs, another winter-time gardening project that people take on is growing Paperwhites from bulbs.  I found an eight-pack of Ziva bulbs and decided to try these at home.  Here, below, is the packaging from the bulbs from the orange Big Box store:

Interesting that these are 'grown in Israel', no?  

First, though...what are Paperwhites and why grow them?  From Holland Bulb Farms comes this description

Add some fragrance to your home this winter with our Ziva Paperwhites. These flowers love to be in containers and will bloom indoors and give off the sweet smell of the holiday season. Ziva is a no fuss, fast blooming cultivar. Just add water and wait for the lovely fragrance of Paperwhites to fill your home!
Fragrance?  No-fuss?  Love both of those.

But, how do you grow them?  Turns out, you grow them on top of rocks.  Yeah, rocks.  That's what we're doing.  I bought a bag of gravel (technically...called 'soil cover') and filled in the bottom of a large glass jar.  I popped the bulbs on top and filled the jar with water just below the surface of the rocks.  After just 48 hours, little roots shot out the bottom.  And tips emerged from the top. 

Here, below, are some photos of the Paperwhites. First, from the top, then from the side.  Note the tips and roots.  

#8 on my 2022 to-do garden list was to continue to 'find joy in houseplants'.  This experiment with Paperwhites seems to help check that box.  

Also...another cultivation note;  Paperwhites are KNOWN for flopping over, so just like I've done with Amaryllis stalks in the past, I'll begin to poison them with a mix of water and rubbing alcohol in an attempt to stunt their vertical height.  


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