Growing bulbs indoors, referred to as “forcing”, allows us to enjoy fresh blooming plants during the winter months. While most bulbs require a cold conditioning period before blooming indoors, Paperwhite Narcissus will bloom inside with absolutely no pre-treatment. Just pot them up and, within a few short weeks, they will reward you with an abundance of pure white, highly fragrant* flowers.

Growing Paperwhite Narcissus is so easy that absolutely anyone can have success. It also makes for a great children’s project. Paperwhite Narcissus are forgiving; they don’t even require soil to grow! They store all the energy necessary to produce flowers right in the bulb. And once you supply them with water, they will begin to grow.

*Some people find the intensely sweet scent of Paperwhite Narcissus to be too powerful. For this reason, we offer the variety ‘Inbal’ which has a lighter fragrance.

paperwhite narcissus forcing bulbs growing indoors hands holding bulbs

Growing Paperwhite Narcissus

  • Select your container.
    • If growing in soil, make sure that the container has a drainage hole.
    • If growing without soil you will need a container with no drain hole. Paperwhites get quite tall so, if growing soil-less, a clear decorative container with tall sides that will support the stems as they grow is ideal.
  • Select your growing medium
    • If growing in soil, any quality potting soil mix may be used.
    • If growing without soil, any medium can be used that will support the bulb. Decorative stones or smooth colored glass pieces work well.
  • Plant bulbs close together in soil or decorative stones/marbles. The planting medium should come to the shoulder of the bulb to provide support for the plants.
  • Add water to the base of the bulbs.
  • Place in a cool location for 2 weeks to allow roots to develop.
  • Continue to keep water at a level just below the base of the bulb.
  • Move to a bright location.
  • You will be enjoying blossoms in a few short weeks!
paperwhite narcissus forcing bulbs growing indoors mature bulbs in white vase

by Zannah Crowe
©Photos iBulb