Forcing bulbs indoors in the winter allows you to watch the magic of unfurling flower petals up close. The florets of these Narcissus create small bouquets on each stem.
Paperwhites are especially fun, because they bloom so quickly, and don’t need a long chilling period like most bulbs. It took 15 days for these Narcissus bulbs to flower, with dainty white blooms. When I first planted them, two of the three bulbs had a tiny tip of green already showing.
Since these bulbs were a present, I wasn’t sure which type they would be, when I wrote about forcing bulbs a week ago. They are labelled as paperwhites ‘Pistachio’, but the only green to be seen is on the long leaves and stems. They have the typical multiple florets of tazetta daffodils, paperwhites.
The top cluster opened first, the initial peek of white gradually expanding to create this lovely white bouquet of florets on the 18th day. Then the other buds opened, each creating a new cluster. Each individual floret has a tiny corona (cup) which protrudes from the perianth (petals), typical of Narcissus. The petals are delicate and slightly crinkled, with their rounded edges slightly overlapping.
Here you can see a closeup of the Narcissus roots, which are gradually spreading across the container. Sometimes paperwhites are forced in pebbles when grown indoors. These seem to be doing fine in the soil mixture. Even the tallest flower stem is managing to hold up the blooms without toppling.
The thick leaves of the paperwhites rise up, creating a miniature forest at eye level. Some gardeners have experimented with adding a small amount of alcohol when watering the bulbs, to shorten the stems, and keep the flowers from flopping. Mine have managed to keep a mostly erect posture, despite remaining sober.
These are the smallest and second smallest flowers on day 20. There are 4 or 5 more buds ready to open, and each will create a new cluster of pretty white daffodil flowers.
Fresh growing bulbs brighten up the house on a winter day. Do you have any bulbs opening, either forced indoors, or growing outside?