1. Choose your bulbs. Allow about 4 weeks from planting to bloom time – November 16 for Christmas and November 23 for New Year’s
  2. Select a container. Paperwhites do not need soil to grow, so you can plant them in a pretty holiday pot or container without drainage holes in the
  3. In your watertight container, put a layer of stones, tumbled glass or sand – deep enough for the bulbs to sit on top and still have a reservoir of water below that the roots can
  4. Press your bulbs into the stones or other media and place additional stones, so that the bulbs are securely upright in the pot. Leaving the upper third of the bulb above the stones provides an elegant touch.
  5. Add water to a level just below the basal plate (the bottom of the bulbs).
  6. Keep at room temperature in a well-lit A windowsill often works well.

Expert Tip:
Once the roots begin growing and the green shoots on top reach 1-2”, replace the plain water with a 4-6% alcohol solution. This will keep your display from flopping over, but still allow for beautiful, fragrant, full-sized blooms. Check liquid level frequently and refill as necessary.

How to Make the Alcohol Watering Solution

  • The alcohol content needs to be less than 10%, or your plants will overdose and severe growth problems will occur. Many liquors are only labeled as “proof,” not percentage of alcohol. Don’t confuse the two. To determine what percentage alcohol you have, divide the proof in half; so an 86 proof bourbon is 43%
  • You can use any hard liquor (vodka, tequila, whiskey) or rubbing Don’t use wine or beer because they are too high in sugar.
  • Check the bottle for the percentage
  • You will have to do some math to get the different concentrations of alcohol down to 4-6%.

To convert your booze to 5% alcohol, just divide the percentage alcohol by 5 and then subtract 1. That will tell you how many parts water to mix with your 1 part alcohol. Ex: 40 divided by 5 = 8: 8 minus 1 = 7… 7 parts water to 1 part alcohol. Or simply use this chart:

Convert Existing Alcohol to a 5% Solution for Watering:

10% Alcohol = 1 Part Water to 1 Part Alcohol
15% Alcohol = 2 Parts Water to 1 Part Alcohol
20% Alcohol = 3 Parts Water to 1 Part Alcohol
25% Alcohol = 4 Parts Water to 1 Part Alcohol
30% Alcohol = 5 Parts Water to 1 Part Alcohol
35% Alcohol = 6 Parts Water to 1 Part Alcohol
40% Alcohol = 7 Parts Water to 1 Part Alcohol
and so on…