Paperwhites bent from starting to sprout in a pot

sjp8987December 27, 2008

Hello all,

My mom received some paperwhite bulbs from restoration hardware this christmas, but when I potted them up - the white sheaths that first start to grow out of the bulb are all curved over so that the growing tips are pointing down or to the side. Is there any hope for saving them? I don't want to break the growing end off!

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Don't try to straighten them by hand, they will break.
I have had very good results with Amaryllis, by placing them under fluorescent lights and leaving the light on 24 hours each day. Place the potted bulb directly below the light, so that when it straightens up, it will be vertical.
It will probably require several days to begin correcting the malformation.
Start out with about one ft. or less separation between the light and bulb and slowly increase the distance as the flowering stem straightens up, so thay no contact is made with the light.
Be sure to keep the soil moist, as it will require moisture to straighten the stems.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 5:30AM
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Nell Jean

The paperwhites that I forgot to pot up timely in stones and water sprouted in the bag, badly curved stems.

I set the bulbs upright and let the curved stems point where they would. Tucked under a table skirt in semi-darkness, they straighened themselves and were soon upright with no help from me.

If they get too dry, they do tend to lie down, once they're blooming. Check the moisture level frequently.


    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 1:56PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

So darkness can help for this? I donÂt have any fluorescents. IÂd like to buy some sale amaryllis but all the ones I saw in the store were bent up in the boxes. IÂd buy them if I knew I could straighten them out.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 1:30PM
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Nell Jean

I can't speak about Amaryllis that sprouted and curved in the box, because I've never bought one that had a sprout that far out. Amaryllis send up the bloom first, unlike paperwhites, which start out with leaves and send up the bud when the leaves are tall. What I do in the years when I pot Amaryllis is to put it on a bright windowsill (not direct sun) and rotate the pot daily so the bud grows straight.

I'm not sure just how much darkness matters. My mother always put her paperwhites in the dark. I sometimes just set them out in the light to start with. I've never done some both ways the same year to compare. The late Jim Crockett said it didn't matter.

I do know that putting hyacinths that are trying to bloom before the stems get long into darkness helps them reach for the light. I've done that, put a flower pot over the little plant that has buds almost in the dirt.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 2:08PM
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I got a Paperwhite kit from Wal-Mart as a gift and they are very badly bent over, I put it on the 4th shelf on my desk and they are in the dark. And it is cool, will they straighten up by themselves? Here is what they looked like when I planted them.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 9:30PM
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Is it possible for a Paperwhite sprout to have another sprout coming on the bulb?

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 11:49AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

See my answer to your other thread, nopets.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 4:50AM
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