Paperwhites (Indoor Planters)


I don't see myself as a fancy person, but I have seen live flower arrangements that I am totally envious of. Anything that isn't a cut flower is considered extravagant to me.   About seven years ago I made a bad decision when I told my husband (then boyfriend) that I never wanted flowers.  What I really meant is that I wanted live flowers, not that ones you pay a load for and die a few days later. 

I am honestly not sure where I got this idea from, but I made a few of these guys for several of my friends for Christmas last year.  They were perfect in bringing some beauty into a cold winter day.  They are fast, easy, and beautiful.   In the beginning they grew and brought excitement to those dreary days of winter, but after a few weeks (4+) they ended up smelling a little funky. Be aware, but it's totally worth it.

Don’t get me wrong, theses guys are awesome and perfect for the bleak and depressing winter months.  I will make sure this year I pull these guys and start a round #2 once I feel like they are hitting their prime (aka, skank city).

Planting Instructions:
1.     Fill the glass container halfway with small stones
2.     Place the bulbs on the stones with the points up and the root plate down.
3.     Ensure that the root plates are even so that the water is able to reach each root bottom.  If the bulb sits in the water, then it will rot.
4.     Plant them close together for a more floriferous display.
5.     Cover the bulb with stones, all the tips to sit above the stone line.
6.     Water well after planting with lukewarm water; do not over water. Water within about ¾’ of the tip of the pebbles.  You want the base of the bult moist without the entire bult being soaked.  This will encourage root growth.
7.     To ensure growth, place in a very bright or sunny location.  The light makes sure they wont grow that tall.

These zinia get about 10-15 blooms per bulb.  You need to make sure you plant them near a window with lots of light. I don’t think there is enough light in my kitchen which is why they grew so tall last year.  I had to use wire to keep them from falling over.  I will be keeping my blinds up this year to ensure they stay shorter as well as using a technique known as "forcing alcohol".  No, it's not a sorority hazing ritual but a method to possibly stunt their growth.  Next time I water, I will make sure the mixture is 5% alcohol (A 5% mix is obtained with 40 proof liquor by using 7 parts water to 1 part liquor).  You can use rubbing alcohol to save money.

Once they are in their planters, they should root within a week or two.   I remember that they bloomed shortly after and was always amazed that they grew so quickly.   I swear they grew before my eyes.

Price breakdown:
Bulbs- $3.98 for three at homedepot
River Rocks- JoAnnes $3.99 for 2 Lbs.; I used a coupon when purchasing
Glass Planter- ~$6.99 from TJ Maxx (purchased last year)

Are you thinking…pretty frugal, eh?

If you are looking to give homemade and thoughtful presents to friends, this is the perfect gift for you.  There are tons of different colored river rocks and planter shapes that you can purchase that will allow you to personalize.   You can have beautiful flowers in any room in about 30 days.

Check back for a growth update in about 30.

<3 MK

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