Try Something New:  Forcing Paperwhites

paperwhites2At this time of year we seek fresh decorating ideas for our homes that will take us into spring. Forcing bulbs is the perfect way to bring the promise of spring to a dreary winter day.  Forcing bulbs simply manipulates a plant’s cycle to allow bulb blooming any time of year that you’d like. Narcissus flowers, better known as Paperwhites,  are one of our personal favorites  here at Didriks.  They also are one of the easiest flower bulbs for homeowners to force, as they need only a shallow container of water and use pebbles fro support instead of soil. They also require no “cooling period.” Below are some simple steps to forcing Paperwhites using Match Pewter’s Large Beaded Footed Oval Basin as a container.

Step 1: Choose Your Container

After you’ve purchased your Paperwhite bulbs, the fun really begins! This is where you’ll get to choose what type of container you’d like. Have fun with this and choose something that you think will spruce up that plain window crook or maybe than empty kitchen island. Today we’re using a pewter basin, but if your taste skews to the more contemporary, try our iittala glass vases.  Almost any container can be used, but for Paperwhites, try to keep it 3 to 4 inches deep.

Step 2: Prepare Container and Water

Place 1 to 2 inches of washed gravel or stones in the bottom of the container then carefully, place the bulbs on the gravel or stones; bulbs don’t need to be spaced as far apart as they would if you were gardening outdoors. Next, place enough gravel or stones over or around the bulbs to hold them in place. Add just enough water to bring it to the bulbs’ roots and subsequently maintain it at this level. Do not immerse the bulbs in water.

Step 3: Watch Your Paperwhites Bloom!

For the brightest bouquet, keep Paperwhites in a cool area until they bloom. When the plants begin to flower, move them to the warmest, sunniest area of your home in order to prolong the flowering of the plants. Continue to keep plants moist daily but be sure not to over-water them.

And viola! Enjoy your sweet Paperwhites!