A great way to bring a hint of spring into your home are to force bulbs. Forced bulbs are bulbs that are grown inside usually in just water, no soil, in a warm place mimicking the warmth of spring. Narcissus tazetta, aka paperwhites are great bulb to force indoors because unlike other flowering bulbs like tulips or hyacinths, the do not need a cold dormant period in order to grow and bloom. The Narcissus tazetta originates in warmer climates, and blooms outdoors Dec-Feb in the southern hemisphere. In fact the bulb could not survive our northern winters if grown in the ground outside.
The plant is in the Narcissus family, same as most of your daffodils, and got the name tazetta, from the Italian word tazza, which means a shallow cup, since the blooms look like little cups.
This month in with my therapy groups we did the following project with paperwhite bulbs, I am sharing the instructions and supply list below hoping you can do the same.
–Narcissus tazzetta bulbs, or any variety of paperwhite bulb- can find them at your local indepent hardware store
–Clear container/ glass or plastic
–river rocks or glass stones
–fill container about 1/3 of the way with rocks or stones
–place bulb sprout side up on top of the rocks/stones. Cover with a couple rocks/stones to weight down the roots of the bulb
— put water in your container only to a level directly under the bottom of bulb, do not cover the bulb with water for it might rot.
— place the container in warm sunny spot that receives at least 6 hours of direct light a day.
—watch it sprout and grow, being sure to keep the water level consistent.
It can take up to 5 weeks or more for the bulb to finally produce a flower, so be patient and enjoy watching it grow,