More plant questions

Since it’s worked before when my plants have perplexed me, I thought I’d host another Q&A, where I pose confused questions, and the gardening experts out in the blogosphere tell me how to fix my problems. 🙂

I bought a hyacinth a few months ago on a whim, and it looked very pretty on the window sill for quite a while. By last weekend, though, the leaves were shedding and it was looking pretty dead, so I decided to reclaim the pot. I was completely tickled to find out that the bulbs had been actively spreading:

Instead of the five bulbs that I expected, each large bulb has 3-5 little offspring! Very cool. The only problem is that I don’t know what to do with it now. There’s a pretty serious root structure, so I just put the whole thing in a short vase of water for the moment.

I don’t have any yard to play in, so I can’t just plant it out back, and my pots and sunny spots are at a premium, so I’m not going to use one on a non-blooming thing, even if it’s cool. If I cut off the roots and put it in a dark, cool cupboard, could I replant it next winter and have it rebloom? Should I gift it to someone with a yard? Perform a random drive-by planting? I’m at a loss.

Question two continues the bulb theme. I was picking out an onion for dinner from the bowl on the counter when I came across this confused specimen:

I really enjoyed planting the garlic that sprouted a few months ago. Does anyone know if planting an onion would have a similar effect? And do you know what it will produce? Just a stalk? Oniony flowers? Baby onions? This guy has quite the lust for life, so it seems like planting might be in order, but I don’t really know what it would entail. Thoughts?

2 thoughts on “More plant questions”

  1. Those hyacinth bulblets (no really, that’s the technical name, how cute is that) are your next season’s growth. What you want to do is gently break them off of the current mass after letting the whole bunch dry out. You can do that by putting them in a dark cuppord or just taking them out of the water and letting them dry. The older bulbs looked a little mushy/rotten to me. If that’s the case, just throw them out. Hyacinths, like tulips, don’t last very long, it’s the new bulblets you see if they bloom more than one year without replanting. Once they’re dormant (that’s what letting em dry will do) you can replant them in pots indoors and have beautiful plants once again. You might want to put them in the fridge for a few weeks to simulate “winter”, that’ll help them bloom sooner, or just store them until you’re ready for them.

    As for the onion, how big is it? If it’s real big you’ll just get another onion, the greens’ll be too big to eat. If it’s any other size, you can plant it, eat the sprouts (green onion), or wait for it to bloom (beautiful purple globe of flowers) and then the stalk die back, dig it up and voila! Another onion! (Disclaimer, it’s not like garlic, you’ll just get one onion, not a bunch)

  2. Yep. kristie pretty much covered it.

    Bulbs are pretty cool. The seeds they produce through sexual reproduction are super unpredictable, but the bulblets are clones and always the same.

    Unless the main hyacinth bulbs are rotting, I am not sure that I would break them up because as you stated, you have limited planting areas and frequently the little ones just throw up greens but no flowers the first time. If you do end up breaking the little guys off, keep the bigger ones. Get them out of the water now and store in a cool dry place. If you want to have them bloom again indoors you should give them a bit of time to go dormant and dry up, then freeze them for a few weeks and the repot them. They should shoot right back up.

    Onions are nice flowers if a little oniony in smell, and of course you double or triple your onion dollar over the coarse of a couple of months. Shallots are just as good, but more cost effective by weight because they are more expensive at the store.

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