The Q&A Archives: Planting Forced Narcissus Bulb

Question: At Christmas my wife gave me a Narcissus bulb, which came with a growing container and brief instructions for growing. But the directions never mention potting the bulb in soil. I have already started the rooting of the bulb in the glass container provided. When and how do I pot the bulb, and what are some easy care tips to continue good growth?

Answer: Since you received the bulb as a holiday gift, I suspect it is one of the specialized varieties, such as Paperwhites, prepared and intended for forcing rather than ongoing culture. Forcing doesn't require soil, so it's sufficient to simply provide support for the bulb along with moisture and warm temperatures to cause the bulb to come into bloom. Unfortunately, these bulbs are generally bloomed once and then discarded because it is nearly impossible to care for them well enough to rebuild their strength to bloom again the following year. This would explain why there were no on-going care instructions. Also, Paperwhite narcissus and others of this type aren't hardy in northern growing zones. You can try planting it outdoors and see if it is actually a hardy daffodil suited to the garden, but to be honest I doubt it is. Enjoy it during the holidays, though!

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