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Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:15 PM

And it seems gin is also better than vodka...

You may remember my experiments last year with stunting the growth of paperwhites using water mixed with alcohol: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1159312



This year, I used vodka instead of gin and I am having problems with the water becoming moldy/slimy in several of the vases. I had absolutely no problems with either the gin or rubbing alcohol waters last year. So, back to gin next year (and possibly for the remaining bulbs that I haven't switched from plain water yet just to determine if it is really the gin or something in this year's batch of bulbs.)

I also picked up a sad orphan amaryllis that will likely stay on plain water b/c he's having a hard enough time growing as it is.

I have some hyacinths chilling in my cold closet waiting to be planted in a week or so. Will do some over water and some in soil.

Anyone else forcing bubs this winter?

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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply And it seems gin is also better than vodka... (Original post)
beac Dec 2012 OP
MuseRider Dec 2012 #1
beac Dec 2012 #2
MuseRider Dec 2012 #6
elleng Dec 2012 #3
beac Dec 2012 #4
elleng Dec 2012 #5
truebluegreen Dec 2012 #20
beac Dec 2012 #23
truebluegreen Dec 2012 #24
kurtzapril4 Jan 2013 #26
KansDem Dec 2012 #11
ROBROX Dec 2012 #7
beac Dec 2012 #10
Platygarden Dec 2012 #8
beac Dec 2012 #9
MrModerate Dec 2012 #12
beac Dec 2012 #16
xtraxritical Dec 2012 #13
MADem Dec 2012 #14
efhmc Dec 2012 #15
MADem Dec 2012 #17
baldguy Dec 2012 #18
beac Dec 2012 #19
ColumbusLib Dec 2012 #21
beac Dec 2012 #22
ColumbusLib Dec 2012 #25

Response to beac (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:24 PM

1. I had an interesting time with an amaryllis this year.

Not ever had a problem with one except that I lost all my saved bulbs. I bought one amaryllis, late this year. I thought it would not flower until after the first of the year. I planted it and in two weeks I had a 10 inch flower spike and 2 days after that I had 4 flowers and another flower spike coming up. It also reached 8 -10 inches (short in my experience) and I got 4 flowers from it too. I now have another flower spike coming up. It will most likely bloom in another couple of weeks. No leaves at all, just 3 flower spikes 2 so far with 4 flowers.

All in less than a month after planting a bulb that had no indication of spikes at all. For me this is odd. I would bet the HID lighting has been partly responsible but I took it out from under the lights after it flowered so as not to burn the flowers.

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Response to MuseRider (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:11 PM

2. Wow-- your amaryllis has some kinda super will to thrive.

THREE flower spikes? I've never seen one make more than two.

Makes my poor little guy look even sadder. In his defense, he did start sending up a flower stalk in his dark, waterless box in the hardware store which is why he was on the sale rack in the first place-- guess he had a pretty powerful will of his own, now that I think about it.

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Response to beac (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:54 AM

6. He sounds like a keeper.

The little amaryllis that could

I wonder if my amaryllis will even wake up next year?

This had to take a lot out of it.

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Response to beac (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:45 AM

3. Darn! I hate gin,

smells like after-shave! Only vodka (and Kahlua!) around here!!!

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Response to elleng (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 02:18 AM

4. Go ahead and use the vodka.... or skip the booze and just tie them up when they get floppy.

That's why I used vodka this year. We generally don't have gin around. And, of course, bear in mind that the vodka could have NOTHING to do w/it and it's some other random problem (perhaps related to the sluggishness in rooting I was telling you about.)

I would guess no on the adding Kahlua too, but maybe plants like a nice Black Russian, who knows??

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Response to beac (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 02:33 AM

5. Black Russian's for me!!!

Thanks!

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Response to beac (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:25 AM

20. I plant them in a very tall vase

so when they do their usual flop they're just a bouquet.

That's if I plant them at all. The smell is overwhelming to me.

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #20)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:46 PM

23. I like that method too and have a few in tall vases around the house.

I actually love the smell. I think it must be like cilantro-- you either love it or hate it.

I'll be posting about the "Erlicheer" paperwhites I am trying this year when they bloom. Supposedly they have a "honey" smell rather than the powerful scent of the more common Zivas.

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Response to beac (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:28 PM

24. Thanks, I'll look for that...

They are beautiful.

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Response to beac (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 09:40 AM

26. Or....

put the vodka in a glass, add a little OJ, some ice, and drink it down. It won't do anything for your plants, but you won't care, either.

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Response to elleng (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 11:09 AM

11. "...smells like after-shave!"

My stepfather was an avid drinker of gin. He also wore "Old Spice" aftershave.

I never could tell when one left off and the other one began!

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Response to beac (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 03:57 PM

7. ABERRATIONS TO PLANT GROWTH

 

I noticed that the alcohol plants were NOT as healthy as the water plants. the possible growth restriction could be from reduced cell growth from the ALDEHYDE'S in the alcohol?

Try double and triple distilled alcohols to see it cell growth is AFFECTED by carcinogenic chemicals in alcohol.

I should have never taken two years of chemistry in college and just taken my physics courses E=MC^2

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Response to ROBROX (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 01:33 AM

10. Oddly, the plants don't appear healthy less in any way except for

the stunting of their height. They produce as many flowers and actually live a bit longer b/c they don't keel over as they get taller.

The foliage stays nice and green and they produce just as many flowers. And no need to tie them up into ugly bundles as they grow.

I do wonder what inspired the original Cornell chemists to think of turning the paperwhites onto booze.

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Response to beac (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 08:19 PM

8. Why waste good gin. Or vodka on bulbs......when water works fine.??

Just saying.

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Response to Platygarden (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 01:27 AM

9. Cheap vodka, not the good stuff.



The reason is to inhibit the paperwhites tendancy to grow so tall that they flop over before the end of their growing period (see my orginal linked post.)

And WELCOME to DU! *



*This group is a bit slow in the winter months, but hope you'll stick around for the real growing season next year.

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Response to beac (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 03:01 AM

12. Forcing them to become alcoholics?

Err . . . no.

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Response to MrModerate (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 05:45 PM

16. Funny that feeding them booze makes then stand up straight and giving them water only makes them

keel over like drunks.

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Response to beac (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 09:08 AM

13. Vodka is made from rotten potatos, Gin is made from Juniper berries from Juniper bushes.

 

If you've ever smelled a rotten potato you'll know why I hate vodka.

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Response to beac (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 10:59 AM

14. No wonder the Queen Mother was so short!

She used to swig those G and T's like they were going outta style!

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Response to MADem (Reply #14)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:15 AM

15. And lived to be 101.

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Response to efhmc (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 02:30 AM

17. Stunted and pickled--not a bad way to go through life, apparently! nt

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Response to beac (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 06:38 AM

18. It's the fluoride!

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Response to baldguy (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 01:04 PM

19. Dr. Strangegardener, that's me!

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Response to beac (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:59 PM

21. Cool!

Am taking a break from paper whites this year- they always fall over and dump water and pebbles everywhere- last year one of the glass vases broke during this. I have 2 6-inch pots of tulips plus 2 of hyacinths in the fridge- they'll be coming out soon. My new amaryllis has a bunch of shoots, and my old ones will be coming out of the basement shortly. Can't wait! Gets me through winter.

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Response to ColumbusLib (Reply #21)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:42 PM

22. Any hyacinth tips?

I am trying them for the first time. I have the bulbs "chilling" in my cold closet (an uninsulated space but off a main room, so about 40 degrees or so usually.)

I have a hyacinth forcing vase that I will use for one and the rest will go in soil (b/c I hear they really prefer it.)

Should I go ahead and plant and "re-chill" in the soil until they sprout? Internet opinions seem varied on this point.

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Response to beac (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 04:38 PM

25. Forced hyacinths

Let's see: I prefer potting them in potting soil, 6 inch pot, as soon as I can get them, usually September. I put them in the fridge for I think 8-12 weeks (sources disagree on length needed), then take them out and put them in my cold basement, start watering a little. Once the shoots get a couple of inches tall I put them in a cool window that gets some sun (not too direct or full). When forcing in water, mine wanted to fall over big-time, so I prefer having them in soil. I think one year I put the bag of bulbs directly in the fridge and then forced them on water. The ones I force in soil I plant outside later (let the foliage get plenty of sun to feed the bulb) and they often come back and bloom. Have read that forcing them in water depletes the bulb so much that they can't recover and bloom again outside- but haven't tried that. Good luck- I can't wait to take out my pots in the next couple of weeks and get my winter garden going! New amaryllis getting ready to bloom, too.

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