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Here is something to try that you simply cannot fail to grow, water correctly or bring into bloom on time. White narcissus (N. tazetta), or paperwhites as they are commonly known are easier to grow than other narcissus bulbs as this type needs no cooling time. Just place them in a leak-proof container and add enough water to almost cover the bulbs completely. It only takes 3 weeks from start to blooming and those blooms are very fragrant.

While paperwhite can also be grown in pots filled with soil, it seems much easier to use a tall, clear, cylinder type vase as the height of the vase helps to keep the tall stems from falling over. Place 3 or 4 bulbs (whatever fits) in the bottom of the vase and add some stones or marbles to help hold the bulbs in place (really more for looks), then add the water. Keep the container in a very bright spot as stretching may occur if placed in a dim location.

Paperwhites do grow extremely fast, especially in a warm spot. Real fast is not what you want to accomplish as fast growth equals spindly growth. Ideally, 65 degrees is best. After they bud up, try to move them to an even cooler place. If you cannot find a cooler place, try placing them closer to the window as cool air creeps through the glass. Of course, I put mine in a windowed cooler running temperatures in the low 40s. The refrigerator is a safe place but then you cannot enjoy them. Maybe use the refrigerator each night to extend their life and only bring them out while you are at home.

The Waynedale News Staff

Doug Hackbarth - Broadview Florist & Greenhouses

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