Paperwhite Narcissus – Keeping Short – Science Fair Project

Tired of floppy paperwhites?? Acording to Beth Jarvis from the University of Minnesota, if you’re bummed because your paperwhite nasrcissus always flop over, help is at hand. No, you don’t need to stake or tie them, just keep them mildly buzzed by watering them, after they’ve rooted in, with a 4 to 6 percent alcohol solution. Gin, vodka, tequila, gin–any distilled spirit will do. Beer and wine won’t. Rubbing alcohol can also be used.

Researchers at Cornell found planting paperwhites in gravel, letting them grow for a while to root in, them replacing the plain water with an alcohol solution kept the plants shorter yet did not impare the blooms.

Pickling Your Paperwhites provides a very readable report about the dilution of plain water with alcohol and directions for replicating the Cornell experiment are included.

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