"Forcing" Paperwhites To Bloom By Christmas


  • 4 dozen paperwhite bulbs
  • 3 large bags of small river rocks
  • 1 bag of pretty gravel
  • Various pretty containers for planting
  • 2 6" terra cotta pots with saucers

"Forcing" is the process of forcing bulbs that usually bloom in the spring to do so earlier, usually in the heart of winter. This can be done with most bulbs however may, tulips for instance, require a false winter achieved through refrigeration. Paper white bulbs are the easiest since they only require sunlight and water.
They've long been associated with the holidays with a single bulb able to scent and entire room. The "forcing" process is easy.
• Fill your container with river rock, marbles, pebbles, or gravel.
• Nestle the bulbs as desired root end down. • Add additional rocks to secure bulbs in place. Fill container with water to just below bulbs. Depending on warmth and light the flowers will bloom in 2-6 weeks. Try "forcing" in a variety of ways

  1. In small groupings in vintage containers. Each holding 3-6 bulbs and then the vessels grouped together.
  2. In a large mass. Using a wooden trough or copper or marble basin to creat a centerpiece or statement.
  3. Putting several bulbs with pebbles in a terra cotta pot, placing the pot saucer upside down on top and secure with ribbon for a great gift.

Visit for more tips!

How to Start a Garden
How to Start a Garden