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How to Grow Paperwhites

Paperwhites-Love them or Hate them?

People often ask me how to grow paperwhites. We sell them in the shop from October through March or until the bulbs are gone. Our shop is located in Northern New England so we have to order our bulbs early. We take delivery in September or October before the below freezing temperatures happen and the companies won’t ship them to us. Are you in need of paperwhites for the fall/holiday season? We have found Van Engelen Inc. wholesale bulbs to be the best place for New Englanders to buy quality paperwhite bulbs.

how to grow paperwhites

About Paperwhites

Paperwhites have a very fragrant flower which some people find to strong but I love the citrus-scent. If you want paperwhites in bloom in your house for the Christmas season, you will want to plant them soon. They look great even before they bloom with the green stems and buds so I plant them every two weeks all winter, calling them my winter gardening. Paperwhites will bloom in 4-6 weeks depending on the growing conditions.

What you need to plant Paperwhites

  • Paperwhite bulbs
  • Non-porous container without a whole in it at least 3″ deep
  • shells, pebbles, marbles or dirt for planting the bulbs into
  • water

That’s it! Easy Peasy! Here are the full directions and the full blog post so you should be able to teach everyone you know how to grow paperwhites.

How to grow paperwhites

We have a different kind of paperwhite this year called Nir. This cultivar is said to have a more mild fragrance and a more compact growth habit that won’t grow so tall [falling over] and sure to have at least 4 stems of flowers.


  1. Select a container and fill it with pebbles, rocks, shells or marbles
  2. Bury the bulbs in the pebbles and maintain a layer of water just below the bottom of the bulbs.
  3. Or select a container at least twice as tall [with a drainage hole] as the bulbs and plant in potting soil with the tops exposed
  4. Water whenever the soil feels dry to the touchimg_2303
  5. When you first plant the bulbs place them in a cool dark spot
  6. When the bulbs develop roots and leaves move them to a warm sunny window
  7. Paperwhites will bloom and fill the house with fragrance for 3-4 weeks
  8. For regular blossoms, plant more every two weekshow to grow paperwhites

Paperwhites are favorites for the holidays

I love paperwhites blooming in the house, beautiful little white flower on tall green stalks blooming in the cold of winter when nothing is growing anywhere.

Paperwhites for holidays decor

The fragrant flowers are perfect for holiday decor and add a beautiful contrast when mixed with Amaryllis and other winter flowering bulbs. I love when the green shoots first appear, it looks like a spring delight even though it is winter!

Happy Holidays!

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