How to create a Paperwhite Narcissus display for Christmas flowers

The utterly stunning Paperwhite Narcissus (or daffodils to you and I) are really easy to grow and with some clever trickery you can 'force' these beauties to flower in the depths of winter so you have a gorgeous display of flowers for Christmas.
Beautiful as a gift too!

Here's how you do it:


You will need the following:
A shallow bowl or basket, preferably with no drainage holes.
Some crocks (broken pieces of pot) or some stones for drainage
Multipurpose compost with potting grit mixed through
A trowel
Paperwhite Narcissus bulbs (marked as for forcing/ growing indoors)

Some moss (this can be foraged or shop bought)

 Equipment needed to create a paperwhite narcissus display- terracotta bowl, metal trowel, soil mixed with potting grit, a bag of moss and some crocks (broken pieces of pot)

Step 1

Place the crocks/ stones in the bottom of your pot to aid drainage and then fill with the multipurpose compost/ potting grit mix

Terracotta pot with crocks (broken pottery) in the base

 terracotta pot filled with soil

Step 2

Place the bulbs onto the compost with the pointy end upwards so they are spaced evenly and aren't touching each other or the edges of the pot!  The tips of the bulbs should be just below the rim of the pot.

Terracotta pot filled with soil and a hand holding a paperwhite narcissus bulb with the pointed end upwards as they should be planted

Paperwhite narcissus bulbs with pointed ends upward spread equally across the soil that half fills the terracotta pot.

Step 3

Cover the bulbs with soil and then a layer of moss to help retain the moisture and to give your arrangement a finished look.

Terracotta bowl filled almost to the top with soil and a few green tips of paperwhite narcissus bulbs poking out the top

Terracotta bowl containing soil, paperwhite narcissus bulbs and topped with green moss

Step 4

Water your display and put in a cold place for 6 weeks (either in a garage or outside) making sure you keep the compost moist during this time.

Terracotta pot containing soil, paperwhite narcissus bulbs and topped with moss in a dark corner of a garage being watered

Step 5

In 6 weeks or once the shoots have reached 4-5cm long you can bring the pot indoors. The increase in temperature makes the bulbs think it's spring and they will flower.



In order to get flowers for Christmas the latest you should plant your display is mid November.

Don't position your display too close to a radiator or in a draught as this will dry it out.

Keep the soil moist but not too damp.

Once your flowers appear you can use twigs pushed into the moss and soil underneath to support them- I'll show you how on the Adventures with Flowers facebook and instagram pages so be sure to follow along.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published