(WTNH) - Lifestyle expert Mar Jennings showed us how easy it can be tobring the beauty of fresh flowers into the home during the wintermonths.
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 commonlynamed daffodils, jonquils and tazetts in addition to all theflowers we usually call narcissus. For most of us, the narcissusare most commonly known as paperwhites – a delicate flowerthat packs a powerful fragrance punch. Out of the entire narcissusfamily, the paperwhite is the most popular and the mostinteresting. Forcing paperwhites is an easy, quick and undemandingintroduction to enjoying flowing bulbs in the dead of winter.Paperwhites are native to the warm Mediterranean and are excellentfor us here in Connecticut because unlike other bulbs, they do notrequire a cold period to flower. Flowering time is generally amonth and totally worth the wait. Purchasing paperwhites is easyand available at any garden center or nursery from early fallthrough winter. Considering their quick cultivation, you can havethis beautiful delicate flower in your home blooming from Novemberto late spring. As all my garden winter chores end, I find myselfseeking a project that rewards me with color and interest in myhome throughout the cold winter months. The paperwhites are myreminder that soon spring will be in the air.
Here is what you will need for this project:
- A supply of paperwhite bulbs for your project
- Any size package of gravel or soil available by the pound
- Glass vase or individual glass containers as shown or any interesting pot or container such as terra cotta, wood, or ceramic (Use potting soil for porous containers such as wood and terra cotta)
There is no need to place these bulbs in the refrigerator, justkeep them in a brown paper bag in a dry place at room temperatureuntil ready to plant. If the stems start to grow more than twoinches, plant within a day or two.
Take your package of gravel (I like to use small slate-coloredgravel and fill about 1/3 of the glass container). Place your bulbsand add just enough water to hit the bulb's roots. Maintain yourwater level and watch that the bulb does not dry out.
I love to recycle my old Slatkin votive glass candle containersfor this project. They’re perfect for placing individualbulbs on the mantel to add interest to my holiday greenery. Forgrowing paperwhites in pots, place three inches of soil in thebottom of a five-inch deep or deeper pot with good drainage. Placeyour bulbs close together and add more soil until the bulbs arehalf covered.
Water thoroughly to settle, then add more soil or until thebulbs are about three quarters covered. For paperwhites in glasscontainers, use gravel and keep the water level up to the bottom ofthe bulbs to cover the roots.
Growing paperwhites can be a fun experience and can be enjoyedby children as well. These bulbs grow and flower quickly, and theirprogress can be watched daily. This is an inexpensive project andeven better when given as a gift.
For more great tips and information from Mar Jennings, visit his website.
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