Wednesday, December 14, 2011

FAQ: How can I keep paperwhites from falling over?

Q. I get very frustrated with my forced paperwhite narcissus plants. They get too tall and fall over. Do you have any suggestions?

A. I have two suggestions. The first is very simple. Loosely tie a decorative ribbon around the bowl when you set the bulbs in it. As the foliage and flower stems lengthen, slip the ribbon upward.

The other suggestion is to set the new bulbs in the bottom of a clear glass vase about 12 inches tall. You will be able to enjoy watching the foliage and flowers extend upward, while the vase prevents them from flopping over.

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Jean Campbell said...

I used 8" vases this year and tied with raffia. One bunch grew 30" tall and still fell over. A 24" bamboo stake and retying the raffia worked well to set them upright.

Next year I'm quitting a 50 year relationship with paperwhites in favor of more Christmas Cacti, Amaryllis and Hyacinths; maybe a few tulips. Ask me again after I see how the tulips I put in to chill too late for Christmas do when they do finally bloom.

Unknown said...

Maybe this will work--it is what I will try next year: Right now, I have my paper whites leaning against a wall because I found them keeled over this morning...I was happy that it didn't mean they were dying!

Unknown said...

I woke up this morning to the same problem despite using a ribbon initially. The bulbs grow inches each day SO am trying this to stunt their growth: