Why Paperwhites Make The Best Holiday Gifts

Potted Paperwhite Christmas Gifts
Photo: Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Paperwhite bulbs are great gifts to hand out to all your friends during the holidays. When you're ready to plant your paperwhite bulbs, be sure you know all the facts. You can start forcing your bulbs at different points in the season for different occasions or hand out your gifts based on where your paperwhite bulbs are in the process. From teachers to your mother-in-law, we have a paperwhite bulb gift for everyone.

01 of 06

For Teachers

Paperwhite Forced Bulb Vases
Photo: Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Watching the delicate flowers form is half the fun of paperwhites. Pick up bulb-forcing vases at your local garden shop or online. Fill each one with water, and place a bulb on top. Once it has a few shoots and flowers, knot a cheery ribbon around the vase, and it's ready for the teacher's desk.

02 of 06

For Dinner Guests

Paperwhite Place Card Party Gift
Photo: Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Place cards can double as party favors at a festive affair. Fill a vintage teacup (stock up on them at thrift stores!) with gravel and a single bulb. Carefully tie the name tag to a sturdy stem. Note: A paperwhite that's just starting to flower (as shown here) sits nicely on the table, and your guests can also look forward to more blooms to come.

03 of 06

For Your Neighbors

Potted Paperwhite Christmas Gifts
Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Spread cheer in your community with a charming potted arrangement topped with bright seasonal citrus. Cluster four or five bulbs in a basic terra-cotta pot filled with soil, and cover with moss. Top the moss with kumquats (or similar fruit), and add a sprig of greenery tied with a bow.

04 of 06

For Your Book Club

Paperwhite Bulb Gift for Book Club
Photo: Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Send fellow readers home with a novel idea that's as easy as it is delightful. No books will be harmed in the making—just take photocopies of meaningful passages, and then use twine or ribbon to wrap up a bulb that has green shoots. Tuck in a note card with care instructions to guarantee success.

05 of 06

For Your Mother-in-Law

Paperwhite Gift for Mother-in-Law
Photo: Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Wow an extra-special recipient with an elegant centerpiece she can brag about to her supper club friends. Fill a widemouthed glass container with fine gravel, and nestle bulbs into the pebbles. Add water until it touches the bottoms of the bulbs. Insert spray-painted branches to support stems and keep them from leaning as they grow. Finish the arrangement with a festive gold ribbon.

06 of 06

For Open House Attendees

Paperwhite Bulbs and Potting Station
Photo: Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Create a potting station for partygoers to package up their own paperwhite favors at casual soirees. They can each fill a paper sack with a small scoop of gravel and a bulb and then get their plants going as soon as they return home.

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