Planting amaryllis and your Narcissus {Paper whites} need a little cocktail

Narcissus, known as paper whites, looks so pretty in holiday décor, but
unfortunately for me, I’m one of those people who don’t find the fragrance
pleasant. However, that doesn’t stop me from planting a few bulbs.
They’re so easy to grow and don’t even require soil, just a bed of pebbles will
do. Make sure to pack them in tightly so the roots intertwine to give the
stems a little added support.

Paper whites are so pretty paired with mercury glass and silver. I love the way they look at Christmas.




Here’s a little trick I recently learned. Paper whites enjoy a little cocktail every now and then!

In a warm house the stems grow too tall to support the weight of the flowers and fall over. You could tie them up in pretty ribbon or twine, but instead give them a cocktail of vodka and water! 1 part liquor to seven parts water. The stems won’t grow as tall, but the flowers will be the same.

Any alcohol will work, except beer and wine because of the high sugar content. If you use rubbing alcohol (isopropyl), the ratio is 1 part rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) to 10 parts water. . Start giving them the a cocktail when they’re about 3 to 5 inches tall. And since no one likes drinking alone, have a little nip yourself! Your family will wonder why you’re so happy and your paper whites will stand strong!

peatThis year I bought paper white and amaryllis bulbs at Lowe’s that were packaged with a plastic pot and a dehydrated cylinder of peat. Just add water and the peat turns into something that resembles coffee grounds. Instead of using the plastic pots that were in the bulb kit I used some white urns.


Not loving the coffee grounds look, I added moss that grows in our yard. I really wish you could see the color of the moss in person, it’s a bright limey green.  Instead of moss to cover the soil, you could sprinkle on a little grass seed or add some fake snow. Christmas balls were added in the pictures above from Get the kids involved and use legos or army men.  The possibilities are endless. 


I like watching them grow and get anxious for the blooms.




Here are some narcissus about to bloom in a Valentine’s day centerpiece from  2010.8_thumb[3]

I planted this very tall amaryllis in early 2010 and it bloomed at Easter. It reminded me of an amaryllis beanstalk.


There’s still time to plant paper whites for Christmas, give it a try! It’s probably too late for amaryllis to bloom for Christmas, but you could look for them on sale after Christmas and have beautiful blooms 8 weeks later.


Home Stories A 2 Z, Tutorials and Tips

Debbie (((xx)))


  1. so pretty! I just planted my paperwhites last week and am anxious to see them grow!

  2. Lisa~A Cottage To Me says:

    I planted paperw;hites last year for the first time they did grow tall and fall over. But, I put ribbon around them, just like you said. Need to pick some up for this year, I'm behind!

  3. Not a fan of the paperwhites for the same reason you mention. My house is just to small to get away with them and out they go. I'd have loved to have thought ahead for the amaryllis. Do they need a tonic too? I think I could use a tonic paperwhites or no.

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