Dalynn Malek, the editor of our “Weeder’s Digest,”  has provided an easy-to-follow plan using alcohol to keep paperwhite plants short and compact.

Ethanol alcohol, the alcohol found in most hard liquors (vodka, rum, gin, tequila), is an excellent growth regulator to keep paperwhite plants short and compact during indoor forcing.

A 4%–5% solution of ethanol will do the trick — here’s how:

  • Plant paperwhite bulbs in stones, rock, gravel, marbles or glass beads as usual.

  • Water as you normally would for seven to 10 days.

  • When you observe roots and two- to three-inch green shoots, replace the water with the 4%-5% ethanol solution. (How do you make the solution? One-part booze to nine parts water = 4% solution. One-part booze to seven parts water = 5% solution.)

  • Keep this solution for further watering of the Paperwhites.

  • The result is plants that are about one-third more compact, with flowers just as large, long-lasting and fragrant as usual — and they are really happy!