Tall slender stems bear masses of fragrant delicate flowers. Must be grown indoors in Zones 1-6. ‘Ziva’ is ready to grow, requiring no cold period; all the others will bloom more reliably if allowed to start in a cool place.
For a full appearance, group five to eight bulbs in a container 6" in diameter. Plant in pebbles or marbles, keeping bulbs above the waterline, or plant in soil for longer-lasting flowers. Allow to root in a cool (45–60°) dry dark place, for about 3 weeks, checking water level often. Some plantings may need staking to support heavy flower heads.
Research from Cornell shows that adding water with 5% alcohol after the shoots are 1–2" tall stunts their growth slightly, enough to prevent top-heavy tippiness, but not stunt their flowering. See their blog post or download the pdf for more info.
The longer you store paperwhite bulbs, the more quickly they bloom. October plantings usually bloom in 4–6 weeks; February plantings may take as little as 2–3 weeks.
Many people stagger their planting times to prolong the season. If you don’t plant the bulbs right away, store them in a cool dry dark place.