Bulbs and Bulb Vases

I wasn’t going to buy any bulbs this fall because I wasn’t sure if I had any place to plant them. Then I added the new flower bed by the lamp post, and now I have a place to plant some bulbs. So, I have about 120 tulip bulbs to plant there, which should be a decent showing.

I’ll probably treat these tulip bulbs as annuals and pull them out after they’ve all bloomed. I got a variety of early and mid season tulips, so I should have blooms for a month or longer this spring.

While I was buying the tulip bulbs, I also picked up some allium and Japanese iris bulbs to add in here and there. And this year, I remembered to get hyacinth bulbs to force in my hyacinth vases. I’m cooling those bulbs in the back of the refrigerator now and will pull them out right after the New Year.

I’ve acquired quite a few hyacinth vases over the years, some were gifts, others I bought on clearance after Christmas or just because the vase wasn’t plain, clear glass. Several years ago, I bought my sisters and sister-in-law each a hyacinth vase kit complete with bulb for Christmas. Three of the four were able to put water in the vase and the bulb on top and get a nice hyacinth bloom. However one, who shall not be called out on the Internet, showed me her vase and bulb in April and asked why it had done nothing. You know why she didn’t get it to bloom? She put the bulb in upside down.

One more story about using special vases for forcing bulbs. Years ago, I saw an amaryllis vase and had to have it. The idea was the same as for hyacinth. Put water in the vase, set the amaryllis bulb on top and wait for it to bloom. It worked out pretty well for a few weeks; then when the amaryllis started to bloom, it kept falling over. I should have known better, because I always have to stake amaryllis bulbs when I grow them in pots. The amaryllis wasn’t going to miraculously stay upright without support in the vase, and I couldn’t figure out how to support it without stakes.

Last year I went to a greenhouse to get hyacinth bulbs and they were also selling the amaryllis vases as a “new” novelty item. I told the sales person what happened when I tried it, and she looked a bit horrified. Maybe she envisioned gardeners bringing back all those vases when their amaryllis flopped over.


  1. I've never forced hyacinths before. I'll have to try at least one this year. There is nothing on earth like the fragrance of a hyacinth in bloom!

    Good tip about the amaryllis vase, by the way. My mother-in-law was thinking about buying some of those vases, since she grows amaryllis every Christmas. I'll tell her what happened to yours.

  2. I am curious as to how you fixed the problem. I see on your profile that you are doing genealogy. I love doing that as well although I have been a bit lazy lately. I do name extraction for electronic databases so that kind of makes up for my laziness. Glad I found your blog on UKBob's.

  3. I have just planted thousands of bulbs, it feels like. I am now out to order a hyacinth vase. I have never heard of it, but I love hyacinth!


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