How to Save Paperwhite Bulbs: Tips and Tricks

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If you love the beauty and fragrance of delicate flowers, you are probably already familiar with paperwhite bulbs. The white, elegant blooms are a popular choice for indoor gardening and decorating, especially during the winter months. However, growing paperwhite bulbs is not always easy, and many people struggle to keep these plants thriving and blooming. This article will offer you some tips and tricks on how to save paperwhite bulbs and enjoy their beauty year after year.

Understanding Paperwhite Bulbs

Before we dive into how to save paperwhite bulbs, let us first understand what they are and how they grow. Paperwhite bulbs are part of the Narcissus family, and they are known for their dainty and fragrant white flowers. These bulbs are often planted in the fall to bloom indoors during the winter months, providing a bright and cheerful presence in your home.

Unlike other bulb plants, paperwhite bulbs do not require a specific period of cold storage before planting. They can grow successfully indoors, provided they have access to adequate light, water, and nutrients. However, many people face challenges when growing paperwhite bulbs, as these plants can easily become over-watered, underfed, or prone to disease.

Planting Paperwhite Bulbs

If you want to save paperwhite bulbs and help them grow healthy and strong, the first step is to plant them correctly. Here are some tips to follow when planting paperwhite bulbs:

– Choose a pot that is deep enough to accommodate the growing bulbs without crowding them.
– Use a good quality potting mix and ensure that the soil is moist but not waterlogged.
– Plant the bulbs about an inch deep and about an inch apart, making sure they are upright and not rotated.
– Place the pot in a sunny spot and keep the soil moist, but not wet.

Caring for Paperwhite Bulbs

Once you have planted your paperwhite bulbs, the next step is to ensure that they receive proper care and attention. Here are some tips to help you care for your paperwhite bulbs:

– Water the bulbs regularly, but avoid over-watering. The soil should be moist but not waterlogged.
– Provide adequate light, such as a sunny windowsill or a grow light.
– Keep the temperature between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Fertilize the bulbs every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer solution, following the package instructions.

Dealing with Common Problems

Despite your best efforts, you may still encounter some challenges when growing paperwhite bulbs. Here are some common problems and how to handle them:

– Bulbs not blooming: This could be due to inadequate light, over-fertilizing, or improper watering. Adjust the growing conditions accordingly.
– Yellowing or wilting leaves: This could be due to over-watering, fungal disease, or insect infestation. Make sure to keep the soil moist but not wet and remove any affected leaves or bulbs.
– Bulbs rotting: This could be due to waterlogged soil, fungal disease, or poor drainage. Ensure that the soil is well-drained and not too moist.

Concluding Thoughts

With the right care and attention, you can save paperwhite bulbs and enjoy their beauty year after year. Remember that these delicate plants require adequate light, water, and nutrients, as well as proper care. Follow the tips and tricks outlined in this article, and you are sure to enjoy a beautiful and fragrant indoor garden.


Q: How long do paperwhite bulbs last?

A: Paperwhite bulbs can last for several years if stored properly and replanted in fresh soil every year.

Q: Can paperwhite bulbs be grown outdoors?

A: While paperwhite bulbs are often grown indoors, they can be grown outdoors in zones 8-11. However, they may not bloom as well outdoors as they do indoors.

Q: Do paperwhite bulbs need cold storage before planting?

A: No, paperwhite bulbs do not need cold storage before planting, as they do not require a dormant period like other bulb plants.

Q: How often should I fertilize my paperwhite bulbs?

A: Fertilize your paperwhite bulbs every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer solution, following the package instructions. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can damage the bulbs.


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