How to use alcohol to keep paperwhite stems and flowers from flopping over.

You may recall from a previous post, Flowery blurbs, volume one, that I planted my paperwhite bulbs at the end of November.   I have grown paperwhites only once before, and had overwhelming success (I say “overwhelming” because they grew, bloomed, and keeled over so rapidly I nearly missed the whole show), but this batch…well…they’re actually doing what they’re supposed to do, and that’s kind of irritating.  You see, paperwhites have a tendency to get really, really tall and leggy and then they start falling over, which is rather unattractive.  (Especially as mine have just begun to bloom and I would love for them to look their finest right now).

Although it’s a little late now in the game to save them, I read a fantastic tip that I think may be worth a shot the next time I give paperwhites a go:  apparently, you can “pickle” them using a mixture of alcohol and water, which reduces growth by up to 1/3 and keeps the stems and leaves from plopping over.  (Find the instructions on how to properly do this here).

Has anyone tried this method to successfully grow (shorter) paperwhites?  If you have, let me know!  I’d hate to waste vodka on a failed experiment…. 🙂

(Link updated 15 December 2018).

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