How to Plant Fresh Paperwhite Bulbs in a Punch Bowl

I’m crazy about the “fresh feel” of January and putting all the Christmas stuff away, tidying up, thinning out, simplifying … it just feels good.

My husband and I went to a few after-Christmas sales and I picked up my annual fresh Paperwhites.

What are Paperwhites?

Paperwhites belong to a group of Daffodils that are easily grown in a pot or vase indoors. Their large clusters of pure white flowers arch above graceful, blue-green foilage, and their perfume fills a room with fragrance. Paperwhites require no preparation and are absolutely foolproof. When bulbs are planted in early December, they will flower in 4 to 6 weeks.

Mine were planted the last week of December, so I’m counting down the days!

Now the fun part for me is that this year I planted them in a … tah-dah … punch bowl.

My cousin passed down to me her punch bowl set with 12 dainty cups, which actually match my Dollar Store goblets. I love how she had me in mind when she was thinning and cleaning through her stuff. :)

Yes, I was looking for something big, pretty, and that would hold all of the bulbs (I planted 3 boxes).

I love how the lip comes in, and it will hold them nice and tight as they grow taller and taller.

Follow the directions on the box.

They started looking like this.

But in 5 days time, grew to look like this.

I wanted to post about this now, because there’s still time to grab some after-Christmas sales and get your bulbs planted.

Maybe in your punch bowl, now that the holidays are over!

Let’s all share pictures of our beautiful bulbs in about 6 weeks, okay? (Here’s what I “re-potted” last year, not Paperwhites, but pretty!)

I’ll be sharing mine!

Do you plant winter bulbs in December or January, and what are your favorites?

15 comments on “How to Plant Fresh Paperwhite Bulbs in a Punch Bowl”

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  5. I love the punch bowl idea. Genius! But I’m with the group that doesn’t care for the smell. And I have a hard time getting mine to stand straight, even with a stake and tying. I did plant an amaryllis bulb though and we’ve had so much fun watching it grow so quickly. And this week I bought a hyacinth plant at the grocery store and it smells wonderful.

  6. I usually plant them so they bloom in time for Christmas, but didn’t get around to it this year. I’ll have to see if I can still find some. Love this idea and love adding some greens to our home this time of year.

  7. We planted some a few years back—they were sooo pretty, but the fragrance was too much for us!!! They had to be put outside! LOL

  8. I need bulbs. I have the punchbowl. I suspect everyone my age has one – or has had one. They were pretty commonly given as wedding gifts back in the day. Mine hasn’t held anything but dust (or paper it and the cups are wrapped in) for years. Time to give it a new life.


  9. Hi Sandy, I have to agree with Heather–I think paperwhites are beautiful–but they stink! The smell bothers me so much that I can’t have them in the house. (To be fair, I think some of them smell nice, but I don’t know which kind those are.) I have them in a far spot in the garden. I do love the hyacinths and daffodils though. I followed your link to last year’s post, and then to Richella’s, which I forwarded to one of my kids. Thanks.

    Right now, though, I have Christmas Cactus and African Violets which are still in bloom inside. They make me smile whenever I look at them, and they last year around.


  10. I plant paperwhites every year. I get mine from my favorite nursery for a batch to bloom at Christmas and then after Christmas go back and get half off bulbs for a couple of more plantings. I like the nursery bulbs as I just think they are stronger and produce more flowers but either way…they are such a burst of freshness and help me during this coldest part of the year to remember spring. I love the way they look but I also just LOVE their scent. Inhaling now. :)

  11. YEEEES. This is my favorite part about winter. Because it doesn’t feel like winter. I don’t like winter. I love paper whites!

  12. I planted some in a candy dish last month- blooming now and I love them
    but I have a lovely punch bowl that would be great too…..thanks for the tip

  13. Love this idea but my toddlers would wreck them for sure – someday things will be safe around here! :) My mom got me those dollar store goblets for Christmas a few years ago and I love them! I couldn’t believe she found them there. They are holding up well, too! Love your blog – it’s so encouraging!

  14. OMG – Too funny that you are posting about this because I was at the grocery store yesterday and picked up the last box on sale for 50% off!! Planted them up in a square vase and topped the bulbs with pebbles to give it a more finished look.

    I must admit though that I love the look of them but not the smell. But I will put up with the smell just so that I can enjoy the loveliness of the blooms.

  15. I’ll have to go see if there are any left over. I love these and I have a trifle that would be perfect to house them.

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