Amid all this bustle of the holiday season, it’s nice to know some things in life can still be as simple and delightful as growing your own paperwhites. As the most fragrant member of the Narcissus family of bulbs, paperwhites are coveted for their distinctive sweet smell.

The process of transforming these little bulbs into fragrant, dainty white ruffles of petals perched atop long shoots of green is called “forcing” – and, unlike the name suggests, it is easy. These grow anywhere from one to two inches per day and need no more than three inches of root room to send up their shoots and bloom.

And you can let your creativity bloom with them

Get creative by using any unique vessels and containers you may have around the house; teacups, coffee canisters, jewelry boxes, mason jars – anything will work as long as it’s water-tight.

In just three steps (can you believe it?!), you can take your paperwhites from bulb to full bloom – and keep any room filled with a floral aroma that can’t be ignored.

 This is our simple three-step guide to forcing your own paperwhite bulbs.

  1. Find a container about three inches deep (or deeper) and fill with any porous media. Our favourites are clean pebbles, tumbled beach glass, or glass marbles. Your choice of media needs only to support and secure the roots in place as the plant will become top-heavy as it grows.
  2. Plant the bulbs root-down with the pointed shoot facing upwards. The top inch of each bulb should be visible above the surface of the soil (or alternative media). Plant these bulbs in close proximity to one another for a particularly immaculate presentation.
  3. Just add water! Add enough to moisten only the very bottom of the bulbs’ roots and continue to water as needed. Because they grow so quickly, these bulbs are thirsty! Don’t let them dry out. Place the planter in the brightest area of your home. Pro tip: More light will result in stronger, sturdier stems. Within just a couple of weeks, you’ll be enjoying the sweet aroma of these scented paperwhites in any room of the home.

And at only $1.09 per bulb, a few paperwhites may just be the creative, cost-effective, and thoughtful holiday gift idea you were hoping you’d find. Happy planting!