What do I do with paperwhites after they bloom?

My paperwhites have bloomed I want to plant them, but not sure if it is safe to yet. If not, how do I store them and do I cut off the green leaves?
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On 18 Jan 2004 10:23:13 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Marissa) wrote:

Most "forced" bulbs are discarded after flowering, unless the bulbs are expensive. If you still want to bother with it, give it bright light and provide enough water to prevent it from shriveling until you can plant them outdoors. Don't cut off the green leaves.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Marissa) wrote:

Storing "spent" paperwhite bulbs is far riskier than just planting them out. Do NOT cut the leaves or you'll destroy any chance of the bulbs recharging.
If you happened to have forced these bulbs in shallow pans of soil, then there's a good chance of their recovery in the garden, but many people don't force them in soil, so the bulbs wear themselves out blooming, & sometimes never perform well a second time. If they do recover outdoors, they could still skip a year flowering outdoors, or flower poorly for a couple years before fully restored. If forced in soil they can be planted out at the first sign of spring (that could be right now in zone 8 or anywhere where there's not going to be a ground-freeze in January), or let them go dormant in their pots & plant them out in autumn (in zone 8 -- plant them earlier in warmer zones where they bloom autumn & early winter). At the time of planting, give them a high phosphorous fertilizer just that once. Paperwhites unlike other narcissus don't require (but can usually survive) a chill period, but they do require a summer dormancy. Keep them a little moist when first planted, so that the leaves delay their die-back as long as possible. If the ground dries out entirely they'll go into summer dormancy before the leaves have recharged the bulbs.
Forced paperwhites might or might not recover outdoors if they were forced by the common without without any potting soil; bulbs forced out of soil are much, much more depleted after blooming. But even then they have a better chance than would forced tulips or crocuses, so long as the grass is still healthy when you do get them in soil. Protect the grass at all costs, since without leaves it cannot photosynthesize & the bulbs cannot derive nutrients from the soil to rebuild energy. If you have places in the garden where you don't care that they may not perform well for a couple years if ever, but it would be nice to give them the chance, then go for it; but if you've limited space & would be disappointed in a drift of bulbs that performed badly, then discard the spent bulbs to plant fresh ones when its bulb-planting time.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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On 18 Jan 2004 10:23:13 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Marissa) wrote:

Paperwhites originated in southern (Mediterranean) Europe. Many of the bulbs available for forcing are grown in Israel. They are marginally "hardy" outdoors in zone 8 (or warmer). They *can* be grown as a houseplant, much like Amaryllis, but in most US hardiness zones, they struggle, fail to bloom, and disappear. For repeated bloom, buy new bulbs for forcing next year.
BTW, one main function of bulb foliage is to gather strength for next year's growth and bloom. In general, bulb foliage should not be trimmed or removed until it's brown and done with its work.
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