What can be prettier in the dead of winter than live plants sending up beautiful white flowers?

Today I’m sharing with you

A Visual Tutorial

for growing paperwhites for the holidays.



Are those just not the prettiest flowers ever?

You can pretty up your home with paperwhites too!


Here’s what to do….














Paperwhites : Easy DIY Holiday Project


1. Gather the following supplies:

  • Waterproof container (I used a basket with a plastic liner)
  • Small pebbles (I bought two sacks of tiny river rocks at the Dollar Tree)
  • Paperwhite bulbs (Mine were purchased in bulk from our local Agway – farm/garden center)
  • Pitcher of water (I used filtered)

2. Place one sack of pebbles in your waterproof container and place the bulbs on the stones with the hairy side down and the stem side up.  (Don’t worry if your stem is shooting sideways.  Just make sure the furry roots are bottom side down.)

3. Sprinkle the second bag of pebbles over the bulbs and sort of set the pot down hard a few times to settle in the stones and the bulbs.  (The bulbs should be partially exposed…they do not need to be covered.)

4. Water.  Pour in just enough to cover the bottom of the bulbs halfway…enough to rehydrate them.  They should not be swimming in water.  After the initial watering, water occasionally or when you can’t feel the water any more, and then only pour in enough to wet the roots.  The flowers will last longer if their feet are not wet.  Moist and wet is a world of difference.  Over water and the plants will get floppy.

5. To get the bulbs to grow more quickly, I place them in the sun or near a heat source until they are up about 6 inches.  After that I keep them in a bright spot, but not in direct  sunlight.  By keeping them out of the window they stand up a lot straighter.

6.  After the plants are a foot tall I tie a strand of fishing line around them.  This will help when one or more of the leaves or stems decides to become independent from the group.  The fishing line is not attached to anything…but you could attach it to stick if you like.

7. Enjoy!!!



Bulbs usually become available in late September.  You may still be able to get some at your garden shop or farm store now.  Or you may order Narcissus Ziva Paperwhites here.

My paperwhite bulbs took a little more than 2 weeks to grow and bloom.  (I have had them take as long as 6 weeks in the past when they were in a colder room.)  This batch has been flowering and looking great for nearly 2 weeks.  Note: If you have a sensitivity to smells, these lovely blooms have a fairly strong but beautiful fragrance.



Paperwhites!  Extraordinary beauty for Christmas, New Year’s, and on through Valentine’s Day!  Plan ahead and have several growings through the winter months for gorgeous springtime loveliness.

Are you a fan of paperwhites?
What is your favorite paperwhite container?
Do you have any paperwhite tips to share?
What other plants to you enjoy for Christmastime?

Paperwhites stole the show in my Swedish Christmas Room.


A Very Merry Christmas House Tour at AnExtraordinaryDay.netCheck out A Very Merry Christmas House Tour.


For more Christmas Home Decor Inspiration…
please check out these posts:

Evergreen arrangement tutorial by AnExtraordinaryDay.netHow to Make a Fresh Evergreen Centerpiece for Christmas

Birch Branch Winter Woodland Tablescapefrom AnExtraordinaryDay.netBirch Branch Winter Woodland Tablescape

Create a natural evergreens & pine cones & winterberry Christmas arrangement AnExtraordinaryDay.netDecorating with a Woodland Touch


Christmas Joy on the Sideboard

Creatively Trimming the House with Trees for Christmas

Tablescaping with Silver for Christmas


To receive FREE bits of inspiration like this
in your inbox or reader, subscribe now.

 Please note the bulbs above are offered for your convenience from my affiliate link.
I will earn a commission if you purchase through that link.  Thank you!!



  1. oh, i LOVE paper whites!! Miss seeing them around! Thank you for linking ‘m up at our linky party at ~ Makes my day!

    • Diane says

      Paperwhites just put a smile on my face too! Thanks for your wonderful hospitality, Rose!

  2. Your paperwhites are so pretty. I didn’t grow any this year and I’ve missed them. I love your fishing line tip and will have to remember it for future years.

    I’m visiting via Richella’s Grace at Home party.

    • Diane says

      Oh thank you, Paula!!! 😀 The fishing line is the easiest and I love that it is nearly invisible!
      Wishing you the Merriest and Blessed Christmas!

  3. I have been seeing paperwhites everywhere lately and I’m really starting to like them! I’ll have to try this out. Thanks for the visual tutorial and fishing line tip! 🙂

    Visiting from Thursday Favorite Things.
    Merry Christmas!

    • Diane says

      You are so welcome Tammy! I’m a visual person and guess there’s lot of others like me too!
      I hope you give the paperwhites a try! They will definitely put a smile on your face!
      Merry Extraordinary Christmas!

  4. Mel says

    Ohmygosh they’re beautiful.

    I’ve tried to grow them before–and I suspect I drowned the poor things.
    Maybe I need one of those ‘clear containers’ that you show here so I can SEE how deep the water truly is.
    Wow–they’re pretty!!

    • Diane says

      Haha! I never thought about being able to see the water through the container. Who knew! Another great use for a basket protector!!!
      I hope you give them another try!! Thanks for enjoying my paperwhites with me!

  5. So beautiful! Thank you for sharing this tutorial with us!

    • Diane says

      Thank YOU Diann!!!! I’m delighted to join in your special community!

  6. Jennifer {StudioJRU} says

    These are beautiful! I have been wanting to do this for years and always remember too late to find some bulbs to grow for Christmas! lol Thank you for showing us how easy this is to do. Hopefully I will find some bulbs! 🙂

    • Diane says

      I discovered that they are plenty of places still selling them online…I even made an Amazon link for that very reason. I think they are beautiful to have right up to spring.

  7. Absolutely gorgeous! I love that you captured photos as they grew. Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing at the hop 🙂

    • Diane says

      Thank you for enjoy my white pretties with me!!!
      Merry Christmas Katie!!!

  8. Thanks so much. This is very helpful! I am potting mine for the first time. They look so beautiful for the holidays.

    • Diane says

      Oh Jacqueline…you are sooo very welcome!
      I hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine each year.

  9. These are so pretty Diane! Delicate, cheerful and sophisticated at the same time. I’m no stranger to fishing wire (my husband’s blog name is ‘Fisherman’), but I’ve never thought to use it for this purpose. Love that it’s invisible! Great tip!

    • Diane says

      Awww…thanks Doreen! I love how you described the paperwhites. 🙂

  10. tammy says

    Oh these are just beautiful!! Now you having me wanting to give this a try…Hope you can come by and share at One More Time Events..

    • Diane says

      Hi Tammy!! I do hope you give them a try. They really are so fun to watch grow and bloom. And there’s nothing like enjoying fresh natural things for Christmas. Blessings!

  11. Fabulous post. Love your pictures too. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, marty

    • Diane says

      Thanks Marty! Those lovely blooms are quite photogenic. [wink]

  12. Thanks for this great reminder that NOW is the time to get paperwhites going if we want them going for Christmas. Hey, I saw your 2013 post over a ‘No Minimalist Here” blog party…linking to this 2012 post. I know you said that it was done mid-December…too late that year for folks to take your advice. Last year I was so busy in December that I didn’t do Christmas blog posts until AFTER Christmas…talk about a late blogger! Thank goodness for Pinterest.

    • Diane says

      Haha!! Well I guess I feel a lot better knowing I’m not the only one who runs behind. 😉
      Thanks for the kind words Miss Kitty! Hope you have a chance to get going with your paperwhites now. 😉

  13. Harisha says

    Hi came across your blog in google.. you have some very good and simple ideas here , thanks for writing this blog and sharing them it is such a great help for rookie gardeners like me.. 🙂 .. . Also can I ask a favor? I came across a flowering creeper last year in Kansas with white flower bunches and very fragrant.. but I have no clue what that it is called.. will you be able to help me figure out what it could be I have taken some pictures of the plant … is there a way I can share the pictures with you so you can give me your thoughts. ?


  14. Regina Svoboda says

    I just finished mine the Paperwhites already had a little sprout on them when I bought them. I hope they grow! I was curious is regular tap water ok to use. I saw on another post someone said filtered water. Also have you ever done this with Amaryllis? Thanks Regina

    • Regina, if you have good bulbs it should work perfectly, even with tap water, which I always use. Generally, the bulbs do have a little sprout on many of them… so all is good. I will say that I have had one exception, the bulbs I received were dry and not robust and they floundered. But, in all my years of growing paperwhites… it was the one bust. And I have to say I knew it was a risk when I planted them, but gave it a shot anyway. 😉

      YES, I have done this with Amaryllis. I even kept the amaryllis going after the bloom was done and planted the bulb in my garden. It bloomed spectacularly!! Have fun with your new “growing” adventure!!


  1. […] Last year I shared a tutorial detailing how to plant and grow Paperwhites here. […]

  2. […] a photo of a kitchen and then linked up various sources to make up that look.  And..ahem…my Paperwhite’s tutorial was […]

Please Share Your Extraordinary Thoughts!


AMAZON ASSOCIATES DISCLOSURE: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.