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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Amaryllis Vase: Take Two!

When I first spotted the amaryllis vase at the now defunct Frank’s Nursery and Crafts, over ten years ago, I thought, “what a great idea”.

I immediately wanted it. I already had several hyacinth vases and every winter used them to force hyacinth bulbs into bloom, so why not branch out into amaryllis bulb forcing with a vase?

Why not indeed?

So I bought the vase and an amaryllis bulb and set it up just like I set up hyacinths. I filled the vase with water - just enough so that when I set the bulb on top, it was almost touching the water, but not in the water – and set the bulb on the vase.

The bulb grew roots and a shoot and soon there was a tall flower stalk just about ready to bloom. Everything seemed to be working out, just like with hyacinths, when without warning…

The bulb and flower stalk fell over sideways.

I set it upright again. It fell over. I pushed the bulb down further into the vase. It fell over. I leaned it up against a wall. It fell over.

I realized then that I had no way to support the flower stalk in the vase and it was too top heavy to stand upright on its own. So I let the bulb bloom sideways and then put the vase up on a high shelf, never too be used again.

Then the other day, I noticed that Mary Ann of Gardens of the Wild, Wild West, was setting up little scaffolds made out of sticks and raffia to support her amaryllis bloom stalks. Eureka! That’s what I needed to do! I needed to put sticks in the vase sort of “teepee style” before I set the bulb on it and use those to support the bloom!

So that’s what I just did. I put some sticks in the vase and will add some raffia later to keep the bloom stalk upright.
Already, after just 24 hours, the amaryllis bulb is starting to grow some new roots and the tip seems to have grown some, too. It’s eager to bloom, and I’m eager to see if I can keep it supported this time.

Amaryllis in a vase, just like hyacinth, suddenly seems like a good idea again.

~~~~ A Few Miscellaneous Notes ~~~~

(Note 1: Some of you will wonder why I kept an amaryllis vase for well over ten years if I didn’t think it was going to really work as designed. Fellow gardeners, please tell those who are wondering why I kept this vase just how difficult it is to get rid of anything related to gardening, anything that might be useful in the garden, or anything with any connection to gardening, if you are a gardener. Thank you.)

(Note 2: Somewhere I have a Christmas table cloth for the sunroom table. I meant to find it and put it on the table before I took pictures of the amaryllis vase, but I didn’t. Let’s all pretend I did.)

(Note 3: The amaryllis vase has been on a high shelf in the sun room for, um, at least ten years, and I obviously haven’t dusted it in at least, well, let’s say five years. I did clean it out before I added water this time.)

16 comments:

Jan said...

Good luck with this idea! In the past I've had hyacinths fall over in that type of container, they just get too top-heavy, so I hope it works for you.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I will be interested to see how your teepee works. Of course you had to keep that vase for so many years. Not a question about that.

Gail said...

This looks like a good plan Carol...The one time I tried an amaryllis it fell over and pulled the roots out of the pot....I have ugly vases I can't give away! gail

Melanie said...

I too have had problems with hyacinths falling over in hyacinth vases. However, the idea of an amaryllis blooming in a vase is just attractive enough I can see why you want to try it again and besides you didn't throw it away.

Nell Jean said...

There are hyacinths in water here and amaryllis in soil. I never tried an amaryllis in water because I want the bulb to renew, but I see the purpose of trying to make the vase work, once you have it. I force hyacinths in any kind of container that will support a bulb, even if stones must be added to keep it at a good level.

I do plant out spent hyacinths, taking care with the brittle roots. They take a year to recover; then they're good as ever.

Another way to contain an amaryllis in the vase is to set it inside something taller -- basket, larger vase, candle holder -- to give support. Notice the expensive catalogs that feature amaryllis and their accessories.

Love bright blooms at Christmas and beyond.

Jean said...

Well I hope it works for you this time! Amaryllis are just so darn top heavy. I'm expecting the one I just got as a gift to jump out of its little pot as well. Now about that 10 year old vase, I completely understand. You just never know when you'll need something like that, you just never know.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I love your garden tablecloth! I'm glad you didn't put on the Christmas one yet. I hope the twig supports work. I'm going to cut some red-twig Dogwood branches like MA showed and stuff them in the soil of my potted Amaryllis. And I don't blame you for keeping the vase, I'm just surprised you didn't repurpose it for cut flowers.

susie said...

I've used the branch idea in the past & it work very well. Try putting some decorative pebbles or marbles in the base of the vase for added weight. That helps too. Good luck!

Kathy said...

An amaryllis forcing vase sounds really cool. Of course you didn't get rid of it. My hyacinth bulbs (purchased at big box store) weren't big enough for the hyacinth glass I found. But I had a vase with a narrow neck that worked. Next year I'm buying hyacinths online from a reputable place.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

This is very cool, and I hope it works this time, Carol. I have mystified some of my readers with this cool amaryllis growing pot that I got at Canada Blooms a few years ago, but it's quite different from this, and works relatively well. Unfortunately I don't know if the company is still in business or not.

CONEFLOWER said...

Loved your story about your Amaryllis vase. The vase is cool too.

I have an amaryllis story too on my blog . I'm actually getting one to regrow... I think.

Rose said...

The things you learn from other gardeners! Actually, I like the tablecloth you have right now--perfect for a gardener.

Jill-O said...

Good luck, I hope your support system is successful. I loved Franks Nursery and Crafts. I miss it almost everyday. It just doesn't compare with Lowe's or Home Depot in gardening stuff!

Meredith said...

Lovely Christmas cloth, Carol. I can see it clearly in my mind :)

And I'm glad you found a use for your vase finally. It gives hope to me for all the stuff in my garden storage...

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I hope your plan works this time. Sounds like a good one. I have mine in pots though (six of them). Yes, I'm a gardening dork.~~Dee

montreal florist said...

It's great idea, the plant in the Vase. Lovely.