The Great Plant Escape
Mysterious Parts That Surprise!


From Bulb to Bloom

one paperwhite narcissus bulb

container with soil

ruler or yardstick


Since we found this baby plant inside a bulb, let's see if it will grow and what it will look like when it grows up. Bud promises that it will bloom with large, sweet-smelling white flowers. Let's see if he's right!

  1. Fill a container with soil so that when the bulb is planted 1/3 of the top is above the top of the container.

  2. Place bulb in the center of the container.

  3. Fill in around the bulb with soil, gently packing it.

  4. After you have finished potting the bulb, water it well.

  5. Use the posterboard to make a growth chart for the paperwhites. After one week, measure the growth every day.

  6. Place your bulb in a sunny window, and water it when the soil is dry. Turn containers every day when plants start growing, so all sides of the plant get equal light.

  7. After the flower blooms and fades, remove the flower stalk. The grasslike outer leaves will continue to grow.

Questions about bulbs

  1. Did your bulb grow the same amount each week?

  2. Did your bulb grow differently than you thought it would?

  3. How long did your narcissus flower bloom?

  4. How does it smell?

Your paperwhite narcissus is a bulb, of course, but there are some plants that look like bulbs, but are really bulb imposters! You'll learn more about them in Mystery #3.

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