Today’s DIY is almost too simple to be called that…but since I’ve had this Paperwhite centerpiece on my dining table, everyone who walks in my house asks how I did it! So, thought I’d share with you guys, especially since I have a rather black thumb, and this is one indoor plant I’ve had tremendous success with. For all of you bulb veterans out there, I’ve included one top secret step that prevents that annoying habit that Paperwhites have of toppling over when they get too tall. Enjoy!
- Paperwhite bulbs (they can be stored in a dark place for up to 6 weeks)
- Wide container with low sides
- Stones or beach glass
- Spread a 2″ layer of stones in the bottom of your container.
- Place a layer of Paperwhite bulbs very closely next to each other, root end down.
- Add a layer of stones around the bulbs to stabilize them, leaving the tops of the bulbs exposed.
- Add water until it reaches the base of the bulbs, and set the container in a spot that does not get direct sunlight. Watch them carefully, and add water every time the level gets 1″ below the surface.
- After a few days, the bulbs should be sprouting green. At this point, move them to a sunny spot and change your watering routine with my secret ingredient for preventing the Paperwhites from toppling over…
- Hard liquor. You heard me! Using a tiny bit will stunt the growth of the Paperwhites just enough so that they don’t get too tall and fall over. It does not, however, interfere with their big beautiful blooms. In order to determine the amount of liquor (vodka, tequila, whiskey, etc.) you’ll need to use, check the bottle for the percentage of alcohol, then mix with water according to the following chart:
- 20% Alcohol = 3 Parts Water to 1 Part Alcohol
- 25% Alcohol = 4 Parts Water to 1 Part Alcohol
- 30% Alcohol = 5 Parts Water to 1 Part Alcohol
- 35% Alcohol = 6 Parts Water to 1 Part Alcohol
- 40% Alcohol = 7 Parts Water to 1 Part Alcohol
I know it’s crazy, but it works. Good luck, and let me know any tips you have for forcing bulbs indoors!
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