Paperwhite bulbs

Asked December 28, 2013, 8:17 PM EST

Some of my paperwhite bulbs have a few long shoots or sprouts already before planting. Do I leave the shoots or remove them before planting?

Jefferson County Colorado

1 Response

It's likely the paperwhites were chilled for forcing, to bloom between now and end of February. I'm having a hard time envisioning what the "shoots" look like (are they green? Do they appear to be leaves or flower buds? And the "sprouts"...are they roots?)

It sounds like your bulbs are ready to bloom...pot them up now and water regularly or put them in a glass jar with the roots submerged in water. If the shoots are 3" tall, it's time to move them to a sunny window to complete their life cycle. There are good instructions and tips from this Iowa State University publication:

This publication from Cornell University is also interesting, if you've had paperwhites grow too tall in years past: