Force the issue

caring for narcissus bulbs

Jennifer Wood—
Narcissus bulbs in an earthenware pot at Sam & Winston gift boutique in Manteo

Last week we shared instructions on the paperwhite planting process, and this week we have a few care and feeding directions for you — in case you are wondering what to do with the bowl of rocks containing the onion looking bulbs you’ve started.Make sure you continue to check the water and keep the level just beneath the roots.If you’d like to keep your paperwhites from getting leggy as they grow, you can splash the water with a shot of vodka to stunt them — or if you’ve had enough forced family togetherness administer the alcohol to yourself and only add water to your bulbs.Feel free to place your bulbs anywhere in your home — paperwhites are tropical, but they will grow in sun or shade.You can also add a festive holiday pop with a ribbon around the green stalks if they begin to flop over.Editor’s tip: For a lovely amaryllis or narcissus arrangement — once the blooms are full you can cut and place them in a hollowed-out, water-filled, welcoming pineapple for a centerpiece display.