My forgotten Paperwhite Bulbs

Hi Ladies, all is quiet on the western front again. But is has been quite a week. I went from Thursday’s high with my TV appearance to a big low on Friday. My Love had to go in for knee surgery. We knew his knee was banged up pretty badly but the necessity for surgery came unexpected and the treatment date came lightning fast. But all went well. I got to take him home that same day and at the moment  he is happily lounging on the couch with a steady stream of coffee supplied by me. So all is well in the world again and I can blog :-).


daffodil bulbs on water decor

High time to show you a bit of my most successful procrastination-rescue-project ever.

Right now I still have some beautiful paperwhite bulbs blooming their little hearts out. 

They started like this. 


growing daffodil bulbs


I posted this image on Instagram on January 15. I was browsing all the pretty photos in my stream and I saw quite a few blooming bulbs show up. It gave me this nagging feeling in the back of my head. And after a while it hit me. In the midst of my Christmas decorating series frenzy I had taken a trip to the garden center. I had bought paperwhite bulbs. Thinking I’d start them immediately so I could show them off in January. I had forgotten them completely.

So I went searching for them, found them still in their bags and just put them in a bowl on some wet gravel. As you can see they had already started to grow (crooked) in the dark in the bag. I wasn’t sure they’d make it. 


paperwhite bulbs on water in glass containers


12 days later I posted this image on my Instagram account (remember I am MSongbird there too). 

They had grown so hard and so fast that the shallow bowl of gravel was not enough support so I transferred them to glass containers. 

A few more days and they started to bloom. 


paperwhite daffodil decor close up


That’s when I took these images. They were really starting to bloom at this point and they smelled really nice.


paperwhite daffodil decor glass container


Another day or so and they were wide open and very fragrant. So fragrant in fact that it was too much for our living room. They smell heavenly when you hover your nose right over them, but the lingering all over smell that they left all over the ground floor wasn’t very nice at all. 


paperwhite daffodils bulbs in glass containers decoration


So I moved them all outside to the window sill. And I am still enjoying them there daily!!! They love being outside in the cold. I am sure that if I had kept them inside they would have wilted by now, but outside, time does not seem to touch them. As proof here is an image I took just five minutes ago.


paperwhite bulbs blooming outside


Those are the same bulbs I started showing off in January!

So lessons learned from this latest proof of my procrastinating ways: it is never too late to start forcing paperwhite bulbs AND put your blooming paperwhites outside and you can enjoy them for months.

And why did it take me four weeks to post this images of my paperwhites here on my blog?


Who knows, I sure don’t…..

……. eternal procrastinator perhaps?………


So about paperwhites do you love or hate the smell?


PS I had great success before with forcing hyacinths on water too. Check it out.


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  1. Gwen says

    Yes, may The Lord bring healing and lessening pain in days to come.
    I must say, I like these forced in the square vases better than in my yard. In my flower bed, it seemed the green looked messy (gasp!) and the bloom so short lived for all that
    But in the glass, the green looks better…I may try them this way sometime!!! Ahhh…to live in the land of fields of bulbs blooming!!! But then I live just a few miles from where roses are grown and rarely do we drive out to see them in all their first flush beauty!!!
    Happy weeken and I like their smell but never put them in my house so maybe they are a bit strong for enclosed places?

  2. Emilou says

    Hi Marianne, I love them in your tall square vases!! They are so beautiful, I did have some tulips and they were wonderful, and are currently residing on my front porch, just about all done with their beauty. The paperwhites are strong in scent, and are good to have outside where you can still enjoy them. And a fast recovery to your sweety. Blessings and smiles, Emilou

  3. Anne says

    Hate the smell. I thought it would be such a fun winter project with the kids, but when they bloomed we just gagged on the smell. I had no idea they smelled like that and was so disappointed because they were so pretty! I wish I’d known they would survive outside–I ended up throwing them away.

  4. says

    I found your site through Pinterest and have been popping around reading different past posts. I planted some paperwhites back in January after Christmas too. I hate the smell. My bulbs had started growing a bit too but straightened quickly. I didn’t put them outside to enjoy and help with the smell but I’ll have to remember that in the future. They are currently in our garage slowly dying so I can plant the bulbs outside and hope they grow on their own next year. Think they will? I had searched online and that’s what it said to do. We shall see!

    • Marianne Songbird says

      Hi Leslie,

      Welcome to my site.
      My Paperwhites have been blooming outside for weeks now. But the flowers are dying fast now. I will probably just plant them outside right away and let the green leaves whither away like that. Less chance of the bulbs drying out. But you are right that you should let the leaves die naturally, its is the way the bulb stocks up energy for next year.
      And whether or not they will bloom next year. I hope so, I don’t see why not. I am counting on it.
      Good luck with your bulbs.