Ross Koning koning at ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU
Mon Dec 8 10:37:32 EST 1997

At 10:30 AM -0500 12/7/97, Shiela H Kern wrote:
>This is our first year planting paperwhite bulbs (I thought it would be
>fun for my 7 year-old). However, the plants have become tall and spindly.
>Have we overwatered?  How often should we water or do anything else?
>We planted the bulbs in a medium included in the kit, should we try to
>re-pot?  We have noticed there are two parts (for lack of a better word)
>that are about to bloom, but there are also leaves(?) that are bending
>over and we have used ribbons to try to help keep them upright.  Should we
>trim any of the leaves?
>I'm no green thumb, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
>Thanks in advance,
>Sheila and Clarissa

The water is probably NOT the problem.  When plants grow
tall and spindly the typical problem is NOT ENOUGH LIGHT.

The leaves will be doing photosynthesis to support the
flowers nutritionally, but in fact much of their nutrition
is already provided by stored reserves in the bulbs.  Some
minor trimming would be OK but it would leave cut ends that
are just as unsightly as some "droopy" leaves.

My advice is just let them finish flowering and enjoy them.
If you get some new bulbs next time, try putting them in
a brighter location (do avoid excessive heat though!).
Plants in bright light grow stock rather than spindly...
those in dim light are attempting to grow into a brighter
position (then gravity gets them!).


Ross Koning                 | koning at
Biology Department          |
Eastern CT State University | phone: 860-465-5327
Willimantic, CT 06226 USA   | fax: 860-465-4479

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