Are you always disappointed in how your paperwhites produce long leggy leaves and blooms, which eventually topple over? Someone has found the answer and I just learnt about it.
Give them a tot of alcohol and it will stunt their growth without diminishing the bloom. You can read all about it here.
In the past I have potted up paperwhites in a low bowl filled with stones and water. They always disappoint me with their floppy blooms and foliage. Last year I bought the bulbs but ended up putting them in the ground and did enjoy their blooms. After the foliage died back I removed the bulbs leaving them in the potting shed over the summer. My plan was to put them back in the garden sometime after Christmas. I've changed my mind.
Most of these bulbs will not produce a flower this year so they are going back in the ground.
The largest I put in the hyacinth jar. I filled it with water and will wait until it has produced a 2" green shoot. Then it will get its holiday tipple.
I will pour off the water and replace with a solution of 1 part whisky to 7 parts water. This dilution will give 6% alcohol, the recommended dilution. Any spirits can be used as well as rubbing alcohol (which would require a different dilution). Don't use beer or wine as they contain sugars, which is just as well, in this house!
I was telling my husband about this over breakfast this morning. He said it must have an effect on water uptake. That's a chemist for you!