I am so happy to see my paperwhites sending up green shoots. I bought these in an after-Christmas sale and planted them on December 28. That means today is day 8 and the shoots are already 2 1/2 inches tall. As you can see, I nestled the bulbs inside a glass vase with rocks and colored glass around the bulbs to hold them in place. I keep the water level just below the bottom of the bulbs. Their roots grow down into the water and twine around the rocks to support the growing plants. If you are starting paperwhites (or forcing other bulbs) avoid adding too much water. Bulbs that rest in water 24/7 will likely rot.
For those of you who are wondering, paperwhites are actually a miniature narcissus plant. It produces clusters of papery white blooms that release a heavenly fragrance. You can typically find bulbs for forcing on sale during the Christmas holidays.
The second photo is what I thought were hyacinth bulbs I saved from last year. But, the shoots look remarkably like paperwhites, too. I am shocked that they are growing at all, as they were forced last year and the bulbs were just left to dry in the vase. Typically, bulbs that are forced inside in the winter will not rebloom as they do not have time to build up a store or food via photosynthesis after they bloom. These little beauties are the exception to the rule. Stay tuned to find out what kind of flower they really are.
Amaryllis Bulb "Greens Up" before sprouting
You might think the difference in color in these two pictures is due to the color in the photo because of a change in lighting conditions when the photo was shot. While that does account for some differences, I assure you that the amaryllis shoot has changed from white to green as it prepares to grow. The shoot has not grown much, but I expect to see big changes soon. This bulb was also planted on Dec. 28.
Until next time . . . HAPPY GARDENING!