E-Mail to Emily


Search EmilyCompost

Emily's Mailbox

Plant Index



Gardening with Kids

Selected Links

Narcissus papyraceus 'Ziva'
Paper whites

PaperwhitesNarcissus papyraceaus or 'Paper White', also known as 'paperwhite grandiflorous' are a daffodil. There are many varieties and 'Ziva' is one of several clones used for forcing.

Paperwhites are grown for their fragrance. They bear up to 10 white flowers. Most bulbs have gone through a growers storage cooling period. If not, place in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Count backwards for blooms to appear in 4 - 6 weeks. For a succession of continual blooms, plant pots at two-week intervals.

This process is called forcing.

Paperwhites can be grown in gravel, soil, or water. Make sure the container is shallow with no drainage. If grown in gravel keep water level half way at all times. Plant in groups of 3, 5, or 7 for a nice artistic display.

Place the bulbs in a dark place for about two weeks until the roots form and the bulb should feel "rooted" in the gravel.

Cool temperatures (about 65F) will keep the flowers lasting longer.

Tie a support if necessary. Those in the photo grew to 20 inches and did not need support.

Paperwhites generally do not re-bloom, and my advice is to discard them. One can try planting them in the flowerbed - but do not be disappointed if they do not produce future blooms. The bulb has "spent" itself on the initial forcing, which takes a lot of energy.

Paperwhites - day 1Paperwhites - after one weekPaperwhites - week two

Paperwhites - week threePaperwhites - 20 inchesPaperwhites