Great Winter Project: Forcing Paper Whites

December 9, 2010 at 2:01 am | Posted in Winter 2010 | Leave a comment

First of all… where does the time go?  We are moving into season five (5) of our growing kits!!!!!!!!!

Quickly Looking Back:-)

Season 1/Spring Summer: Sunflowers

Season 2/Fall Winter: Paperwhites

Season 3/Spring Summer: Jack and The Beanstalk

Season 4/Fall Winter: Grass Heads

Season 5/Spring Summer: thinking pumpkins? maybe just instructions on our blog but maybe seeds with something cute?!

Per above we loved Season 2!  Below are the instructions so you can work with you little one(s) to purchase and grow these on your own!

At the store purchase:

  • Glass Container (paint with glass paint if you would like)
  • Paperwhite Bulbs (2)
  • Decorative Glass Marbles or Beads
  • 2 decorated sticks to use if the plants need to be prompt as the get talle

About Paperwhites:

A native to Europe and Asia, it is now grown around the world. Paperwhites are a small member of the Narcissus family (Daffodils and Jonquils are larger family members). Did you know? Narcissus were named after the legendary Greek youth Narcissus who was strikingly handsome.

  

What Does Forcing Bulbs Mean?

In simple summary, you are convincing a spring bulb that it has slept through the winter months and encouraging it to awaken into full spring bloom, even though the snow is piling up outside your window

 

 What to Expect

  • Paperwhites produce clusters of small, fragrant flowers. The blooms last a week or two. The foliage and flower stems can grow about 15 inches tall.
  • Plan on about four to six weeks from planting to bloom if you start them before Thanksgiving; they will bloom faster when started later, in about two to three weeks.

Getting Started:

  1. Make sure the small stones, gravel, pebbles, or marbles are in the container and filler ½ way to top  (Please rinse the stones clean first.)
  2. Set the bulbs on top of the stones with the pointy end up and the flatter root end down
  3. Place the bulbs close together but not so close that they touch. Fill around them with more stones so they stand up. When you are done, the top half to a third of the bulb should still be visible
  4. Now you can pour in water – just enough so it is touching the very bottom of the bulb.  If the water covers too much of the bulb, they can rot
    1. Now put them in a cool, dark place for one to two weeks. When the roots have begin to take hold, and the plant has sprung from the bulb
      1. Then take the pot out into a brightly lit room. Four to six weeks later, your Paperwhites will be in bloom. Make sure to place in a sunny window sill.

As they grow you can show your children that the roots are forming or starting to sprout. It can be your child’s job to check the water level everyday. No matter how you choose to enjoy these little beauties, they are sure to bring pleasure to all who see them.

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