Updated: Saturday, 26 Dec 2009, 11:53 AM EST
Published : Saturday, 26 Dec 2009, 11:53 AM EST
(WTNH) - Lifestyle expert Mar Jennings showed us how easy it can be to bring the beauty of fresh flowers into the home during the winter months.
The following was written by Mar Jennings:
Many times the classification of plants can be very confusing. Such is the case of genus narcissus, which includes the commonly named daffodils, jonquils and tazetts in addition to all the flowers we usually call narcissus. For most of us, the narcissus are most commonly known as paperwhites – a delicate flower that packs a powerful fragrance punch. Out of the entire narcissus family, the paperwhite is the most popular and the most interesting. Forcing paperwhites is an easy, quick and undemanding introduction to enjoying flowing bulbs in the dead of winter. Paperwhites are native to the warm Mediterranean and are excellent for us here in Connecticut because unlike other bulbs, they do not require a cold period to flower. Flowering time is generally a month and totally worth the wait. Purchasing paperwhites is easy and available at any garden center or nursery from early fall through winter. Considering their quick cultivation, you can have this beautiful delicate flower in your home blooming from November to late spring. As all my garden winter chores end, I find myself seeking a project that rewards me with color and interest in my home throughout the cold winter months. The paperwhites are my reminder that soon spring will be in the air.
Here is what you will need for this project:
There is no need to place these bulbs in the refrigerator, just keep them in a brown paper bag in a dry place at room temperature until ready to plant. If the stems start to grow more than two inches, plant within a day or two.
Take your package of gravel (I like to use small slate-colored gravel and fill about 1/3 of the glass container). Place your bulbs and add just enough water to hit the bulb's roots. Maintain your water level and watch that the bulb does not dry out.
I love to recycle my old Slatkin votive glass candle containers for this project. They’re perfect for placing individual bulbs on the mantel to add interest to my holiday greenery. For growing paperwhites in pots, place three inches of soil in the bottom of a five-inch deep or deeper pot with good drainage. Place your bulbs close together and add more soil until the bulbs are half covered.
Water thoroughly to settle, then add more soil or until the bulbs are about three quarters covered. For paperwhites in glass containers, use gravel and keep the water level up to the bottom of the bulbs to cover the roots.
Growing paperwhites can be a fun experience and can be enjoyed by children as well. These bulbs grow and flower quickly, and their progress can be watched daily. This is an inexpensive project and even better when given as a gift.
For more great tips and information from Mar Jennings, visit his website .