Alcohol and Amaryllis Bulbs

About two years ago Dr. William Miller with Cornell University has found that a little alcohol will help keep bulbs forced indoors from growing too tall. Why would you want to give alcohol to your plants? Well, not all plants benefit from a little drink but bulbs seem to be affected by it because it stunts their growth. If you've ever forced bulbs indoors during the winter months you have probably discovered that their growth can get lanky. This is a result of the plants receiving weaker and less hours of direct sunlight.

Around this time of the year the subject of giving alcohol to bulbs like paperwhites and Amaryllids shows up a lot in gardening advice columns and on garden blogs with people wanting to know if it really works. Short answer is that giving alcohol (in moderation) to your bulbs seems to stunt the growing of the leaves and scapes (stems) without affecting the blooms. I found a cool video on YouTube of this very experiment that covers forty days of growth between two Amaryllis bulbs. Both are growing side by side but only one is being given the alcohol treatment. This is a time-lapse video with lots of flicking lights and motion so it probably shouldn't be watched by people who are adversly affected by such things.

Some links you may find useful
Share a drink with your daffodils.

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