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Winter Blooms

Paperwhites gardens have always been a favorite winter project for me. Their bright green stems and brilliant white blooms brighten up the house during the long winter months. I always feel like such an accomplished gardener because they grow so quickly. Here are a few tips to help you get your paperwhite garden going.

The Container

The most important part of selecting the right container is picking one that's the most beautiful for the space. The holidays are the perfect time to bring out your favorite pieces and enjoy them. This year I'll be designing an all white plant display to go on a glass and metal stand that delineates the office area from the dining area. I also wanted to put something on the elephant near the bar. With my placements in mind I selected simple glass containers to compliment the modern style of the metal stand. For the elephant, a favorite blue and white bowl from my collection. This year I bought my bulbs from LUX Floral & Design. We're offering the Ziva extra large blubs (17+) which will produce more blooms than the smaller bulbs.


I'll plant them in white aquarium gravel I purchased from the local pet store. I chose white gravel to reinforce the color scheme for the plant display. For the blue and white bowl I'll also use the same gravel to keep it simple and not to have any wasted gravel. For containers that I love, I want to protect them as much as possible so I use another container that fits nicely inside. Once the inner container is selected, follow the same planting instructions.

  1. Fill the container with approximately 2-4 inches of gravel.

  2. Fill with water so it's just over the top of the gravel. I like to add the water now so I can wipe down any spots and keep the container looking clean.

  3. Place your bulbs so that they do not touch each other, with the roots facing down so that only the root hairs touch the water and the green tips point up.

  4. Add a bit more gravel around the bulbs so they feel anchored.

Add Some Flair

Paperwhites have the tendency to grow tall and their beautiful flower clusters tip downward. You'll want to stake them to keep them upright, so do it with some flair. Select materials that compliment the over all design of the garden. For my glass containers I'm going to keep the modern theme going by using glass rod plant stakes I got from LUX Floral & Design. I'll also dress up the top of the gravel with these wonderful crystals I've collected for years. For my blue and white bowl I need to carry the white and crystal theme from the plant display. I'll be using natural branches that I've painted white. They will compliment the glass stakes and look fabulous with my blue and white bowl. I'll add these once the bulbs have begun blooming and they need the support.

Add Some Booze

To help prevent the tall stalks from tipping over you add my favorite ingredient: BOOZE. By adding alcohol to the water it causes root stress and stumps tall growth. It won't impact the volume or longevity of the blooms. Stems will grow from half to 3/4 as tall which will help prevent tipping. It's recommended using a solution of 1 part vodka or gin to 7 parts water.

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