Daffodils on water


The easiest daffodil to force to flower is the ‘Paperwhite’. As its name suggests, it’s as white as paper. These bulbs never fail to flower, and they shoot up really fast. You don’t even need potting soil.


Paperwhites used to be shipped in exclusively from Israel and southern France. Now, however, they are also produced in the Netherlands in greenhouses. That’s because they can’t be planted outside as they would freeze. These are real ‘indoor bulbs’.

You can force them from early October to the end of the year. Their delightfully scented flowers will appear in 4 to 6 weeks.

1. Partially fill a shallow glass container with gravel.
2. Arrange the bulbs on top of the gravel. The tops of the bulbs should not stick up any higher than the rim of the container.
3. Carefully fill the container with water. The water should just barely touch the bottom of the bulbs.
4. Add more gravel to the container. Now the bulbs are supported even better.
5. Place the container right in front of the window. This way, you can watch what happens every day.
6. After a week, shoots will start emerging from the bulbs. Be sure to keep topping up the water level in time.
7. Then the real excitement starts: the clusters of buds start to open. Aren’t they beautiful? And don’t they smell wonderful!
8. Keep a careful watch on the water level, so you can enjoy your daffodils for about three weeks. Once the bulbs have finished flowering, you can throw them away. Paperwhites will not produce more flowers next year.