Problems With Paperwhites

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  • Paperwhites, also known as paperwhite narcissus, produce white flowers that are popular due to the ease with which they can be forced to blossom, even in cold weather. Before growing paperwhites, be aware of some of the problems to which they are prone.
  • Warning

  • The University of Florida states that paperwhite bulbs are prone to soft rot and blue rot, while Colorado State University cautions against basal rot. Check each paperwhite bulb before you buy it, and avoid buying bulbs that are soft or mushy to the touch.


  • The primary insect problem faced by paperwhites is from bulb-fly maggots. Bulb-flies, also known as narcissus bulb-flies, lay their eggs in paperwhite bulbs. When the eggs hatch, the larva eat the bulb, turning it mushy and weak.


  • Paperwhites grow quickly, and they can be prone to flopping over because their stems are too tall and fragile. Some solutions include tying the stems together or growing the paperwhites in a tall glass vase where the stems can lean against the glass. Replacing the paperwhite’s water with an alcohol solution makes the stems grow more sturdily

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