Creative Ways to Gift Paperwhites

Creative Ways to Gift Paperwhites Longfield Gardens

Paperwhites are the easiest bulbs to force for holiday blooms. Plant them in soil or water and you’ll have a beautiful, fragrant flower show in just 4-6 weeks. These bulbs make ideal holiday gifts because they’re quick to bloom, easy to grow, and inexpensive. Here are a few ideas to spark your creativity and get you thinking “outside the bulb” when it comes to gifting paperwhites. 

Paperwhite Kokedama

Kokedama is the traditional Japanese art form of displaying plants in a soil ball wrapped in moss. To create a paperwhite kokedama you’ll need paperwhite bulbs, potting soil, sheet moss and natural jute twine.


When creating a paperwhite kokedama it’s best to start the bulbs in large cell packs. Begin by filling the cells with moistened potting soil and push a bulb into the top of each cell.  Then keep the soil moist but never soggy as the bulbs begin to take root. After about two weeks the bulbs’ roots will have filled the cells. At this time, they can be removed from the cells and turned into kokedama. 

Creative Ways to Gift Paperwhites Longfield Gardens

Wet one cup of potting soil until it holds together when pressed in the palm of your hand. Remove a paperwhite bulb from the cell and use the wet potting mix to form a ball around the root system. Wrap this soil ball in dampened sheet moss and secure it by wrapping twine around the ball in all directions. 

Creative Ways to Gift Paperwhites Longfield Gardens

Leave long tails of twine so the kokedama can be hung in a window, or trim off the twine and display them in a festive holiday dish. Water paperwhite kokedamas by soaking them in water for 1-2 minutes once a week (or whenever the ball feels light). Then let the excess water drain onto a towel before returning them to the display.


Paperwhites in a Snowy Mason Jar with Lid 

Create a “snow” scene in a mason jar. This idea is simple to construct and easy to transport. Fill a pint mason jar with a thick layer of white pebbles.  Then nestle a paperwhite bulb into the pebbles leaving ½ of the bulb exposed. Do NOT fill the jar with water. Close the lid and decorate the jar with ribbon, greens, and berries. Add a care tag to the jar letting the recipient know that to get started, they should add water until it’s just below the base of the bulb. 


Paperwhite Terrariums

Create a water or soil paperwhite terrarium with a tall glass vase, paperwhite bulbs, a small amount of activated charcoal (used to control odors) and either potting soil or decorative stones. 

To create a water terrarium place ½ tsp of activated charcoal and 3-5 inches of stones into the bottom of a glass vessel. Nestle the paperwhite bulbs into the bed of stones leaving ½ of the bulb exposed. Add water until it almost touches (but does not touch) the base of the bulbs. Maintain this water level as the paperwhites grow. Keeping the roots in water but the bulbs dry will help to avoid rot. 


To create a soil paperwhite terrarium put ½ tsp of activated charcoal and 3-5 inches of moistened potting soil into the bottom of the glass vessel. Plant the paperwhites leaving the top half of the bulbs exposed. Top-dress with layers of moss, pinecones, stones, or whatever your creative heart desires! 


A turkey baster is a handy tool for watering terrariums. It allows you to accurately direct the flow of water within a confined container.

Illuminated Paperwhite Garden

Create a garden that will bloom and glow! Use the steps listed above for the soil terrarium, and then add a strand of battery-operated fairy lights around the interior of the container. Voila! An illuminated garden that’s perfect for the holiday season. 


Paperwhites in Up-cycled Kitchenware 

Heirloom serving dishes, crystal fruit bowls, and silver candy jars are the perfect containers for growing paperwhites! Get creative and look around your home for any watertight container that allows for at least 3 inches of root growth. The paperwhites will look beautiful growing in kitchenware, and once the blooms fade the dishes can be used for their intended purposes. Paperwhites today, cinnamon swirl bread tomorrow! 


Deluxe Paperwhite Garden 

Create an over-the-top floral display by planting an abundance of paperwhites in an urn, large pot, or long planter. Fill a vessel with lightly moistened potting soil and plant the bulbs leaving the top 1/2 of the bulbs exposed. Top-dress the bulb garden with moss, pinecones, dried flowers, river rocks, or crushed seashells. You can even plant grass seed on top of the container or add stems of holiday greens around the bulbs! 


Choose the Right Paperwhite Variety

Some people find the scent of paperwhites overpowering, while others can’t get enough of their heady perfume. Ziva is the most common paperwhite variety and it carries a strong fragrance. The bulbs are reliable and quick to force, producing tall stems and big flower clusters.


Nir and Inbal are good choices for anyone who doesn’t like paperwhite fragrance. They have the same look as Ziva with very little perfume.


Finding creative ways to gift paperwhites turns a simple bulb into a thoughtful, homemade present. Let your creativity soar and the bulbs will bloom and do the rest! 

Learn more about growing paperwhites here: All About Paperwhites and 6 Tips for Growing Paperwhite Narcissus.