Name: Paperwhite Narcissus aka Narcissus papyraceus
Type of Plant: A fragrant variety of narcissus, bulbs that are easily forced and grown indoors at this time of year.
Why I Love/Hate this plant: I love paper whites because they are fun to watch grow. In December, when most plants seem to have closed up shop for the winter, it’s especially enjoyable to be able to watch the transformation from bulb to bloom.
I love the fact that you can put a few bulbs in a vase with pebbles and watch the roots grow, the shoots turn green, and then the flowers emerge. I appreciate their fragrance inside in the winter.
And the other advantage you have with this plant is that after it finishes flowering you don’t have to find a spot to keep it alive until spring. So you have the pleasure of a bouquet of cut flowers but they last longer.
A Word to the Wise: This bulb is native to the Mediterranean so it isn’t hardy in our region. No need to save the bulbs to plant them outside. You can toss the bulbs and plants into the compost bin once they are finished.
Note that a great way to grow these bulbs is by putting them in a wide clear glass vase that will support the stems while they are in bloom. Then you get to enjoy the beauty of the bulbs, roots, stems and flowers easily.