12.07.2007

paperwhite laboratory - homemade gift idea #5


I love growing paperwhites in December. They are one of the few plants I have in the past managed not to kill. This year I am trying to stunt their growth so they don't topple over by watering them with a solution of water (90%) and rubbing alcohol (10%). This might result in their death...or not?

I think you could count a paperwhite in a jar as a homemade gift idea, although I guess a plant isn't really homemade. More like home-assembled.

8 comments:

Tammy said...

I am just totally impressed with you. I can kill a plant just by looking at it. "Hardy" I have found is the key word at the nursery for me. I do have a little arrangement that I have managed not to kill. It feels like winning a major award!!!

melissa said...

I'm goint to try this. How do you do it exactly? Put the bulb in a container with some soil and water? Do they need a lot of light?

lynne said...

It's SO easy. I bough a bag of 30 paperwhite bulbs at Costco for under $10 (you can probably find them at home depot, etc). Then I went into the backyard and scooped out a bunch of sand from our sandbox and filled glass jars and containers - you just need a depth of 2-3", and you DON'T need any drainage holes for paperwhites, so really most anything works. You can also use pebbles, gravel, or little rocks. Then stick the bulb in so it's anchored, maybe just 1/3 covered - and water it as needed and stick in a sunny spot. They smell SO good when they bloom!

lynne said...

*I've never tried these in soil, but I have no good reason for not. Does anyone know if soil works?

Jen said...

There is nothing like the smell of paperwhites in winter!

Emily said...

I love the look of paperwhites and I'm glad to hear these glowing reviews. I have to say, I grew them a few winters ago and we suddenly had this awful smell floating about the house. We could not for the life of us figure out what it was, until.... The paperwhites! I guess we got some bad bulbs, because they stunk up a storm! We had to throw them away. We'll have to try a different variety next time. It's good to know they can smell nice; we had given them up as just a stinky flower! :) The sprouting bulbs look very nice on your table.

stephmodo said...

I've considered doing this but am thrown off by the cost of the bulbs. I had NO idea you could find them at Costco. I will call my local one tomorrow and find out. Everywhere else they are $1.20 per bulb!! I might just do it yet...do i still have time? How much will they bloom by Christmas?

lynne said...

Stephanie - I think it depends on how warm your house is and the sunlight they get, how fast they blossom. I think last year mine took a few weeks.

Emily - that is so funny, that yours were stinky! That sounds like something that would happen to me.