How to Force Tazetta and Paper White Daffodils How to Force Tazetta and Paper White Daffodils

Tazetta daffodils are extremely popular for indoor forcing because they do not require a cooling period. The most popular variety of tazetta daffodils are the paper whites (also written as paperwhites). While all paper white daffodils are tazetta daffodils, not all tazetta daffodils are paper whites. Because the names are often used interchangeably, it is easy to get them confused. Do not rely on the color to guide you, because not all paper whites are white. They can also be yellow and orange; some even have tinges of green. All varieties of tazetta daffodils produce multiple blooms per bulb and most have a strong fragrance. They grow about twelve to twenty inches high.

If you need to store your bulbs before planting, keep them in a warm, dry place with good ventilation. The top of your refrigerator is usually a good spot. Do not store bulbs near ripening fruit, because it gives off a gas that will kill the bulbs.

Planting Instructions:

In order to force Tazetta daffodils, you will need daffodil bulbs, planting medium, gravel or other drainage material, and a container. A six-inch pot can usually hold three to six bulbs. Make sure it has adequate drainage holes. If you are using a clay pot, be sure to soak it overnight before you use it. Otherwise, it will draw moisture out of the soil and away from the bulbs.

Your planting medium must drain well but retain sufficient moisture in order for the bulbs to grow. A good combination is one part loamy soil, one part peat, and one part sand. The pH level should be between 6.0 and 7.0. Do not add fertilizer to the mixture. Daffodils do not need to be fertilized because the bulbs contain all the food necessary for them to flower.

Before planting, fill your pot with a layer of gravel or drainage material and a layer of soil leaving about two inches from the top of the pot. Place the bulbs in the pot so that the nose of the bulb will be even with the top of the pot. Add the bulbs so that they are close together. You can usually fit about four to five bulbs into a six-inch pot. Cover the bulbs loosely with soil until the soil is about one-fourth of an inch from the top. Do not press the bulbs into the soil or pack soil around them.

Water the bulbs thoroughly to help settle the soil around the bulbs. You will need to water the pots frequently in order to keep the soil moist. Watering should be done so that the water reaches the base of the bulbs without having the bulbs sit in water. Too much water could end up rotting the bulbs.

Tazetta daffodils should be kept in a dark area that has a temperature of about 60°F to 65°F for two to three weeks. Afterwards, they should be placed in a bright, sunny area until they begin to flower. Flowering plants should be moved to a cooler area that has indirect sunlight in order to prolong their flowering time. The bulbs should bloom in about five to seven weeks.

Some of the best varieties of tazetta daffodils for indoor forcing are:
  • Bethlehem: white petals with a yellow cup
  • Chinese Sacred Lily: creamy white petals with a small, flattened yellow cup
  • Constantinople: double form of the Chinese Sacred Lily
  • Cragford: white petals with an orange-red cup
  • Erlicheer: white outer petals with a double ivory cup
  • Galilee: white flower
  • Geranium: white petals with an orange cup
  • Grand Soleil d'Or: golden yellow petals with a light orange cup
  • Minnow: creamy white petals with a yellow cup; dwarf
  • Nazareth: greenish white petals with a greenish yellow cup
  • Omri: white petals with a yellow cup
  • Orientalis: light yellow petals with a darker yellow cup
  • Paperwhite Ziva: white flower

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