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Paperwhites in glass for a June wedding

Posted by kylemcc IL (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 18, 10 at 11:06


I'm asking as an admitted novice, who did at least try to search the old forums...

I'm getting married in June 2011 in Chicago, and like the idea of having paperwhites, in glass jars (roots visible, etc.) as small centerpieces along the tables. I've never done anything with bulbs before, and was researching online this morning. I've noticed that, coincidentally, many bulbs are now becoming available.

However, the wedding's in June, and I don't know the best way to make this idea work. I've read that the bulbs should bloom within 6-8 weeks of planting in water, with ~ 2 weeks of bloom. But, I just have to admit that I don't know when to buy them. Can I buy bulbs now (Sept) and hang on to them until the spring? Will they keep? Or do I try to buy some in the spring, closer to the wedding? Are paperwhite bulbs even available then?

Thanks much in advance to anyone who can advise on this --


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Paperwhites in glass for a June wedding

I would suggest you contacting Brent and Becky's linked below and explaining what you want to do along with your wedding date. They are very knowledgeable daffodil folks, and Brent even does daffodil hybridizing.

They can then maybe advise you, and let you know when to get the bulbs, if and when exactly to plant them with what temps they will need to be kept at to assure blooms on your wedding day.

I see it as a very hit or miss situation, though it is a nice idea.

Good luck and Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!


Here is a link that might be useful: Contact info for Brent and Becky

RE: Paperwhites in glass for a June wedding

Also, remember that paperwhites smell really bad. :-/ At least to me. I don't even grow them anymore because more than one person walked into my house and asked what the smell was. Eventually had to move them into the sunroom and keep the door shut.

RE: Paperwhites in glass for a June wedding

Hi Kyle,

Make sure you find an unscented variety. Even though some people may find the scent nice most people do not find it's very musky (imagine the bad off notes in an oriental lily in a flower bouquet but magnified 10x in stregnth).

I would say to not rely on descriptions of the scent for better smelling varieties. In my experience, I bought Narcissus 'Erlicheer' thinking it would smell better than the traditional paperwhites. What a load of...! :D

Start growing several batches at different dates before the wedding. Maybe a week apart from each other but obviously not within 4 weeks of the wedding. Just as a safeguard to ensure you will have fresh blooming paperwhites during the wedding date.

I don't know what it is about my location, but the bulbs I force usually take a little longer to produce flowers than as stated in catalogs. The 'Erlicheer' Narcissus I started in pots with soil and in a vase around early-December did not bloom till around late February. Of course it's stated as blooming 6 to 8 weeks after planting. So keep that in mind, that you may not get flowers in the time span you wanted. That's why I think it's best to do different batches set about a week apart.

RE: Paperwhites in glass for a June wedding

I love the smell of paperwhites. I'm afraid you are going to have trouble keeping them that long. Bulbs are sold in the fall and potted bulbs can be found in late winter and spring but not into June. Brent and Becky's would be a good source for information. I was a florist for over twenty years and I don't know of a way to have paperwhites in June.

RE: Paperwhites in glass for a June wedding

I was a florist for over 20 years before I switched careers, too, and I agree with you. Any time we ever tried to hold paperwhites much beyond March, the plants would grow, but the flower buds would abort and never open.

Honestly, I think that the OP should consider something similar but IN SEASON at that time of the year. If she is looking for an inexpensive centerpiece similar in concept, what about potting up some nice annual of her choosing in painted clay pots and setting them on matching saucers -- that would be cute and not very expensive to do.

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