Paperwhites forced to bloom indoors add simple elegance to holiday decorations.

Now that freezing temperatures have arrived in Greater Columbus, there are very few gardening tasks for gardeners to accomplish outdoors. If you are like me and you are already itching to start growing something again, consider growing some plants for holiday decorations.

Live plants can add a festive touch to whatever type of holiday decorations you choose, and gardeners who already are feeling the need to get their hands back into the soil can put their green thumbs back to work by growing some traditional holiday plants. Let’s take a look at some plants which can be grown for use as indoor holiday decorations.

Forcing paperwhite bulbs

Consider adding a different twist to the traditional greenery trimmed with red and gold accents this season by forcing paperwhite bulbs to add elegant white flowers to any holiday decor. Paperwhites (Narcissus tazetta) are bulbs in the same genus as daffodils, and their delicate and scented white and yellow-tinged flowers atop long slender stems are the perfect backdrop for most holiday decorations and provide a color contrast for boughs of holiday greenery with traditional red ribbons and bows.

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Forcing is the term used to denote the flowering of a plant outside of its natural season, and most bulbs lend themselves well to forcing. Most flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinth and others can be forced to flower indoors during the winter, but these bulbs must go through a chilling period ranging from 3 weeks for daffodils to 16 weeks for tulips. Paperwhites and amaryllis are the only flowering bulbs that do not require a chilling period in order to flower because they are native to tropical locations.

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