Paperwhites – Planting Tips

Q: I forced some paperwhites this year and left the flowers on the stems until they produced seeds. How should I plant them to get new bulbs?

A: I’m guessing you are referring to the green seed pods that formed behind the flower. Seeds are contained within. When the pods are yellow/brown you can remove the seeds. You can try planting the seeds but don’t bet all of your lunch money on success. Some varieties are sterile; they might have seed pods but the seeds won’t germinate. Hold the seeds until late April. Plant them an inch deep and twelve inches away from a brick wall or large landscape stone (the mass will provide warmth in winter). Mark the spot with a couple of white rocks. Check on the spot in June. If no thin leaves are seen by then, there won’t be any in the future. Even if you do get seed germination and leafy growth, it takes a couple of years before the plants will be big enough to bloom.

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