Friday, November 25, 2005

Paperwhite narcissi

The paperwhite narcissi on my kitchen windowsill are now in full bloom and filling the house with their sweet scent. It is not too late to plant paperwhites for Christmas/New Year - they are easy bulbs to force as they do not require either dark or cold before flowering. Bulbs that you buy at this time of year should already have begun to sprout but not to root - they may look as though the sprouts are bent but they will soon straighten out once they are planted.
There are 2 ways to grow paperwhites - either plant them in bulb fibre keeping the shoulders of the bulb proud of the soil - or grow them in gravel, put a couple of inches of gravel into a glass vase or glass, pop in the bulb and pour a little more gravel round the bulb to keep it upright - water so that the roots will be able to grow into the wet gravel, but not so that the bulb is wet. Then put them somewhere light, but not in direct sunlight, and watch them grow and flower. These are so easy that they are a great bulb for children to grow.
I shall have paperwhites both planted and to plant yourself at the 2 fairs I am attending this weekend - Saturday 2-5 Kippen Village Hall and Sunday 12-6 Tir-na-nOg holistic centre, Balfunning, near Drymen.

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