Perhaps it's the windy chill that froze our ears on the way to work this morning and made us long for a warmer, gentler season (only four months to go!), but these DIY paperwhite bulbs over at Design*Sponge really thrilled us. An excellent way to bid adieu to the winter doldrums, they'd be even better as an inexpensive and creative hostess or holiday gift.
For black thumbs like me, it's especially appealing because there's no need to mess around with dirt; all you need are a few key supplies (bulbs, gravel, containers) and you'll always have a gift just minutes away. The key is "tricking" the bulbs (which normally rest during the winter) into thinking it's springtime. Paperwhites usually only bloom when forced.
You can can buy containers from flea markets or thrift stores pretty cheaply, so they're easy to collect throughout the year. Here's how you start:
You'll want to spread a good layer of gravel down, rest the bulb root side down on top of it, and then cover up just the very bottom of the bulbs with gravel as well. Choose a container that's large enough for the bulb to breathe and develop a root system; you'll want to leave about ½ inch between the bulb and the edge of the vase. The idea is that the gravel will provide a sturdy foundation for the roots as the stalks grow in the following weeks. Just add enough water to touch the bottom of the bulb. Make sure to keep the level consistent, the roots dry up quickly and a submersed bulb will rot.
Then just tie it up with a ribbon and a thoughtful card (with care instructions), and you have your gift!
Head on over to Design*Sponge for more photos and follow-up care instructions.