Thursday, January 10, 2013

How to Keep Christmas Flowers Blooming Year-round Part 2

Paperwhite narcissus flowers are tall plants that produce papery-thin white flower blossoms. The plants grow from a bulb rather than seed and bloom in the early spring months. Because the plant grows so easily with nothing more than water and air, they are also grown indoors during the winter season. While many people discard the paperwhite bulbs once they stop blooming, you can store them until spring when they can be replanted outdoors.

1. Allow the potted blooming paperwhites to cool off at night in a sheltered area where temperatures don't fall below about 45 degrees F. Blooms may continue for up to three weeks in mid-winter.

2. Keep the potted paperwhites in a warm, light location around the clock after the flowers fall off. Water the paperwhites regularly with a little bulb fertilizer while the leaves are still green.

3. Stop watering the plant in early spring when the leaves begin to turn yellow and brown. Clip off the leaves when they are completely dry.

4. Keep the bulbs in the planting pot during their dormancy. Store the pot in a warm, dry place.

5. Observe your paperwhite plant beginning in October. Green shoots should start emerging in late fall. Keep the paperwhites indoors for the second year.

6. Plant paperwhite bulbs in the garden after the second round of blooming and drying. Wait for the bulbs to go dormant in early to mid-spring. Plant them deeply in regular garden soil amended with a tablespoon of bone meal.

7. Mulch your paperwhites with a cover of crushed leaves or other mulch. This will help keep them from freezing. Paperwhite bulbs are not hardy and will die in freezing temperatures.

In the Lowcountry Paperwhites will usually come back
unless we have a very cold, hard winter.
I have also planted mine in the garden the first spring.

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