Friday, November 23, 2012

Petite Paperwhites

Poinsettias are a Christmas staple- no doubt about that!  However, the last few years we've been learning to love bulbs just as much.  It's so enjoyable to watch a Paperwhite or Amaryllis sprout, grow and finally bloom!

These little guys are amazing!  Depending on the variety, their fragrance can be mild or strong and their height  can reach up to one and a half feet.  A common concern we hear about Paperwhites is their height and if there is any way to control it.  We recently stumbled across an article published by Cornell University's Horticulture Department called "Pickling Your Paperwhites" that suggests using a mixture of hard liquor and water to keep your Paperwhites on the petite side.  Here's their "recipe":

Pickling Your Paperwhites

1.  Plant your Paperwhite as you normally would and add water (we usually use just enough so it barely reaches  the bottom of the bulb).

2.  Wait for the roots to grow and the bulb to begin to shoot up some leaves.  This should take about one week.

3.  Once the roots are established and your Paperwhite is growing, drain the water.  Replace the water with a mixture of roughly seven parts water and one part hard liquor.  Continue to "water"  the Paperwhite with this mixture as you would normally.

The full article is available here: Pickling Your Paperwhites  Scroll to the bottom for a great illustration of the final product.

Easy enough, right?  Best of luck with your bulbs this winter!

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