The Perfect Paperwhite Hostess Gift

Have you ever planted a Paperwhite bulb?

And then watched it grow from an ugly little orb into a brilliant white blossom?

It’s quite an amazing experience.

The sweet scent of these darling little star-like blossoms is intoxicating to say the least.

They lift my spirits and make me smile just when I seem to find myself smack dab in the middle of the winter blues.

It’s quite a treat to have something inside that’s alive…actually growing and blooming while everything else outside is hibernating beneath the snow and ice.

It reminds me that I’m alive and that I need to grow and bloom as well. Sometimes, mid-January I just want to wrap myself in a big warm blanket and stay there until I can hear the sweet chirping of the birds outside my window. Do you ever feel like that?

Well, then I’ve got a great medicine for you…

plant a Paperwhite bulb!

It’s not only medicinal, but it’s inexpensive, fun and really couldn’t be any easier to do. And what a perfect gift to give that hostess who has so graciously invited you into her home. She’ll be sure to be smitten after receiving this sweet sentiment!

This is all you’ll need- some soil, a small container and of course a Paperwhite bulb.

I like to reuse jars that I already have on hand.

This jar happens to be a jelly jar. Isn’t it dear?

Just fill the jar about 3/4 full with soil and place the bulb on top pointed side up. Make sure to have room to sprinkle some more soil around the edges but allow for about 1/4 of the bulb to be exposed. Keep the soil moist but not wet and leave the container in a cool place away from direct sunlight for about two weeks until the roots have grown. Once the bulb is well rooted and the shoots begin to grow move the container into a bright room- next to a sunny window is best. The bulb will usually flower about 3 weeks after planting.

I enjoy planting more than just one and thought that a grouping of 3 on a silver platter would make a stunning specimen! Especially after I embellished my jam & jelly jars with matching ribbons.

I mean who wouldn’t just smile as you walked past this darling little trio?

Don’t you agree that one of these precious plantings would be just perfect as a gift? And even more perfect as a hostess gift?

I like to make my hostess gifts personal by tying on sweet little cardboard letters that coincide with the hostess’ name.

You can find these letters in any craft store or you could make your own.

Instant personalization. And as easy as pie (or a Paperwhite in this case).

As the stems grow make sure that you occasionally give them a turn to keep the stems from leaning too much towards the light. It may be necessary to support the stems with a small bamboo stick to help them from toppling over.

And then my friend, stick back and enjoy the show.

You won’t be disappointed.

Paperwhites are the best way I know to bring a little spring inside my home…

and in my heart…

or someone else’s.

Happy planting!


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  1. Posted January 19, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    So beautiful and thoughtful Wendy.. just gorgeous!!!

  2. Posted January 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    These are adorable. I love reusing jars, too. My husband is always asking me, “Really, you want to save another jar?” YES!

  3. Posted January 19, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    We are soul sisters in this regard; a winter without my Paperwhites just would not be the same. The only thing I would add? Take the time to buy some good bulbs from a garden center and don’t be suckered into one of those already prepared kits available. The quality of the bulbs in those kits are so inferior you will not get anything close to the results Wendy has shown us if you use them.

    I buy enough to do them in stages so I have a container of them constantly blooming throughout the winter; it’s my gardenaholic genetic makeup that HAS to have something I’ve planted in bloom I guess!

    • Posted January 19, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Good point Barbara! The quality of the bulb really does make a big difference! And I LOVE the idea of planting them in stages! Brilliant suggestion!

  4. Posted January 19, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    These are lovely, I’m searching for bulbs on the internet now and everyone is sold out. Wondering if they are easy to find at home improvement stores?

    • Posted January 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      A home improvement store is a fabulous idea! You could also try your local garden center or nursery!
      Good luck! I hope that you can find some!

  5. Posted January 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Love these! So gorgeous. I always seem to forget about flowers during the winter.

  6. Posted January 19, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    These are absolutely gorgeous, Wendy. I have paperwhites right now on my kitchen table and they smell wonderful. I really should think about getting more for other rooms in my house too.

  7. Posted January 19, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    What a fabulous idea! I love the recycled jars and paper whites are one of my favorite flowers.

  8. Posted January 20, 2011 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    kindred spirits Wendy – i have 4 pots of paperwhites growing right now and they make me smile every time i see them!!

  9. Posted January 20, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    This sounds like a wonderful idea, Wendy! I have plenty of mason jars from canning and I definitely want to give this a try!

  10. Posted January 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    What an adorable idea!!

    I got these as a Mother’s Day gift one year and loved them.

    I love how you personalized these.

  11. Posted January 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    So beautiful! My mom often had paperwhites at the house… They make a lovely gift and definitely brighten up the house in the winter!

  12. Posted January 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Paperwhites always make me smile. Sitting prettily on my windowsill, they are a little piece of spring in the dark days of winter. Great idea for a post!

  13. Elizinwfb
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    OH yay! The aroma is wafting thru the computer screen. One year for hostess and teacher gifts, I bought the clear plastic/acrylic plant saucers, bulbs and large and small clear cellophane baggies. I then went down to Lake Michigan (lucky me its only a block away) and collected small smooth stones. I put 5 bulbs in one bag, the stones in another, placed them in the saucer and all into the large bag. Then typed up cards with “planting instructions” and tied it all together with raffia. The roots grow down in the rocks and it looks so neat and organic. BTWs…I received lots of invitations the next year…um?

  14. Posted January 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Paperwhites have special meaning in our house because my husband bought me a pack of bulbs the first Christmas we were together. In Sunny Southern California, we planted them outside, and about this time every year, they pop up and fill the yard. BEAUTIFUL! Maybe I ought to take a few and bring them inside to spread the love!

    Happy Sunday to you. :)


  15. Posted January 23, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    You are so crafty and creative – so lovely, Wendy! Great idea to bring a little Spring inside!

  16. Posted January 24, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I just love this!!! What a fabulous idea!!!

  17. Posted January 24, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Ooooo…I adore paperwhites!! I can smell their sweet aroma through my computer screen :)

  18. Posted January 24, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    This is such a sweet & simple way to add brightness to the home. Thanks for sharing these paperwhites with us. I do not have a green thumb but I think I can handle these :) xo

  19. Posted July 12, 2011 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Those are so beautiful! I don’t think I have ever seen them before. I will certainly have to look into getting some! Thanks, Wenderly!

  20. Posted December 12, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I saw these on Pinterest and am making them for the ladies in my family for Christmas! Love em!

  21. sue
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    ive tried this and the soil becomes very smelly….your comment?

    • Posted October 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      You may be watering it too much if the soil is becoming smelly.

4 Trackbacks

  1. By Christmas Ideas Wrap-Up | She Wears Many Hats on December 8, 2011 at 10:13 am

    [...] extra special: Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments from Add a Pinch Salt Dough Ornaments from Add a Pinch The Perfect Paperwhite Hostess Gift from Wenderly Waterless Snow Globes from TidyMom How to Host a Christmas Cookie Swap from Simple [...]

  2. By Christmas Decorating | Musings on the Pretty.... on December 15, 2011 at 6:12 am

    [...] Wenderly offers a detailed tutorial on planting some paperwhites – this is a lovely gift instead of flower bouquets.  Or for someone who loves to cook, a tray with 3 or 4 tiny herb plants would be charming and more personal. [...]

  3. By Hostess Gifts - Punch and Petit-Fours on October 23, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    [...] is your hostess a gardener? Give her a bulb like this Paperwhite on Wenderly that she can watch grow & transform – as it grows it will remind her of you growing from [...]

  4. […] Plant a paperwhite bulb in a mason jar for a gift that will last long after the holidays are […]

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