Wednesday, January 7, 2009

They are starting to bloom!!


The first of every December I buy Paper White (Narcissus tazetta) bulbs to force inside. Unlike other narcissus, paper whites don’t require a chilling period, so forcing them is as easy as putting the bulbs in soil and waiting. The fragrant flowers bloom within about 3 weeks of planting, for almost instant gratification.
It is really fun to watch them as they grow. I just add potting soil to a pot and sit the bulbs on top and water them. You can even grow them in pebbles as long as you keep them watered.The bulbs don't need light at this point. When you start to see roots develop, you can move them to a sunny window. One afternoon I came home from work, and before I even saw the bloom I smelled the sweet fragrance.
You can see this one starting to bloom, with more buds standing tall and waiting for their turn to open up.
I have 2 pots: one in the breakfast room window,






and one on an end table in the family room.
The only problem with paper whites is that they start to fall over when all the blooms appear. I have heard of many things to do to prevent this, but I just tie a ribbon or piece of twine around them and I'm good to go!

It is so exciting to have something to watch grow then bloom this time of year!
What bulbs have you forced inside this year?

24 comments:

JenningsJunk said...

AMAZING!! I learn so much from you :D This sounds so fool proof I almost (I said almost) think I could grow them and actually succeed. You blooms are very pretty.

Meadowview Thymes said...

jj--you COULD grow these, I promise!! Wish I had thought about getting you some. Next year you will be growing paper whites!!

perennialgardener said...

They had some of these at Biglots today and I almost bought them. I've never forced bulbs inside, can you believe it?! :)

Meadowview Thymes said...

Racquel--I AM surprised! Try paper whites, they are so easy. If I was brave enough, I would try other bulbs. Maybe some day! :)

tina said...

Very pretty! I like the green parts. I only have an amaryllis, and just this year my wonderful husband found me some crocuses with the special vases for me to force as a Christmas present. They are growing but no where near blooming.

Meadowview Thymes said...

I had an amaryllis last year Tina--it was really pretty,but I have never grown crocus. Post a picture when it blooms!

Susie said...

Meadowview I love that big window. That little gardening sign is precious and so fitting for you.

I have never forced bulbs before. Don't know why, because like you, I understand it is so easy. Enjoy that lovely fragrance for me. It just smells like spring.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Thanks Susie, I love the window too.
I started forcing bulbs several years ago. It is such a pleasure when you are not outside in the garden to have something growing inside to enjoy!

Susie said...

Did you and hubbie build your pond? Do you have a pump in it? I'm considering an area in my yard for one but not sure I want to undertake all the hard work. Any info would be helpful.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Susie, yes hubby did build the pond. It has a submersible pump and a biological filter outside. The movement of the water keeps mosquitoes from laying eggs in the water. He dug it about 2 feet deep (as we were not getting koi only goldfish). We have had ours almost 10 years. They are so popular now there are many more options as to what to do. We used a rubber lining. You can buy preformed ponds too. We used moss rocks around the edge and instead of a waterfall we got an old pump as it reminded us of pumping water when we are camping in Colorado. Check and see if you have a pond store close by. We used them as a resource plus we went on the pond tour they have every summer here. There are also books and magazines as well as information on the internet about pond building. It has never been a lot of trouble. I really enjoy the sound of the water, the fish and the plants. Let me know if you have any specific questions and we would be glad to answer them. :)

Susie said...

Thanks for the info Meadowview, I appreciate it. Have a great weekend!

FoxyMoron said...

I wonder if we have those down here under a different name? They look familiar, but I am no whiz bang gardener like you are. I could almost smell them through my screen. So pretty.

misterreereeder said...

One thing I have niced about your posts - it is easy to see what you enjoy. I imagine this is the point - sharing your love for gardens and outdoors. I do not always comment but I do enjoy. ;-D

Meadowview Thymes said...

Hi Foxy Moron--I don't know of a different name other than narcissus and paper whites. The foliage does look like daffodils though. They have such a fragrance! I can smell them the minute I walk in the house. So nice! :)


mr--glad you enjoy my love of flowers and gardening! Guess I tend to go on quite a bit about it! :)

Northern Shade said...

I've been enjoying the pretty white blooms of forced paperwhites, too. Their quick growth is gratifying, as I watch and take photos daily. They are easy, since they don't fuss about needing a cold period. I've been fortunate that mine have so far stood tall without assistance.
I like the glass wall of your breakfast room. It looks like a nice, bright place for plants.

Meadowview Thymes said...

northernshade-you are lucky your have not needed help. I had to tie mine together on Sat, but only the ones in the family room. The flowers in the breadfast room window can lean on the window!
The window is a cherry place-I enjoy decorating it with plants.
Stay warm--I hear it's pretty cold up there! :)

Jean said...

Foxy Moron might recognize these as tazettas.

Besides paperwhites, I forced two pots of orange tulips, now with foliage about 3" tall, and a pot of calla lilies which are all foliage right now.

I thought calla lilies were really exotic, until I read that in their native climes they're called pig lilies and grow in hog wallows. I'm giving mine plenty of water, no pig stuff.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Hi Jean! Tazettas! I have never heard of those..are they the same as paperwhites? Interesting...
Tulips! Oh goodness how I would love to force those. Can you tell me how to do that? I chill them 6 weeks before planting outside since it is so warm here in Texas...and even then I have problems. I would love to do them inside!

cindee said...

I have some in the yard that are getting ready to pop open(-: I usually grow an amaryllis bulb inside but didn't get one this year.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Hi Cindee--I think after these bloom I can move them to the yard for next year. Have you ever done that? I think I will give it a try and see what happens. I love something growing inside this time of year!

cindee said...

Hi,
I am sure they will do fine if you plant them out in the garden. I have done that with other bulbs that were forced inside(-:

Meadowview Thymes said...

Thanks cindee--I am going to try it!

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Oh, the sweet smell, makes me jealous! I have never tried forcing any bulbs, but I always have narcissus in the yard, and as soon as they show their white tops, I clip them off and bring a bunch inside for heavenly fragrance throughout the house. Do you plant the bulbs outside after they've bloomed? I wasn't sure if they could be recycled into the yard for blooms the next year or not.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Hi Nola, so good to hear from you! I have never planted them outside, although Cindee (Cindee's Garden) AND my mother tell me I can..so this year it is outside after they bloom. Mother says I do not cut anything off just plant them and let them die back. You should try them inside..you would love it!!