A happy surprise.....

I was searching through the extra fridge in the back room just now and came across a happy surprise. I came across a plastic Lowes bag and inside was one lone hyacinth bulb!! Gathering up the things I had removed to start with, and the bag, I proceeded to go to the kitchen and hunt under the sink and found my blue glass hyacinth forcer. Filled with clean, cold, well water, the bulb carefully set in it's perfect position on the hyacinth jar, it now sits in my nook in bright indirect Eastern and Southern sunlight to start forcing. Now we'll see just which bulb it is....(I had to handle the bulb with a paper towel as there is something coating these particular bulbs that itch me like itching powder!!) I'll let you all know what color it is when the buds break. This will be a first for me! (I suspect it might be "Woodstock" which is a dark magenta purple with red highlights, but we'll see). The fairies have been jokesters with me on this one. I actually went back to Lowes to deliberately purchase some reduced hyacinth bulbs just for the purpose of forcing and they were all gone...........
madgardener up on the cold ridge, back in Fairy Holler, overlooking English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee
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I have never heard of hyacinth bulbs making some itch like you say. Chuckie in the frozen north, zone 5
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It's not the bulb, it's the anti rot they were treated with.
Tom J
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I hadn't either. But one year after moving here to Eastern Tennessee, I purchased for the first time ever, (loose in an individual bin) two yellow hyacinth's to plant. I had never grown hyacinths before, but the picture on the box was so cheerful, and they were about 39c each, so I got two of them. I remember I had a short sleeve shirt on, and about halfway into wandering the unique hardware store looking at all the neat things, I started really itching on the opposite arm. The lady who worked the garden part of the store was close by, and I asked her what on earth would be causing me to itch so badly, and did they have a restroom where I could wash my arm with. The arm was turning red and starting to rise up a little bit. She looked at my arm, and back at the counter where I'd laid the two bulbs to purchase while I was looking around and she asked me "are those hyacinth bulbs over there?" when I affirmed that they were, she nodded her head and remarked, "yep, some people really itch and swell like you're doing right now if they handle these bulbs. I don't know why they do that, something on them I suppose, but I'd say wash your arm where you've rubbed it after handling them bulbs, and you'll stop itching". I did. It did, and I put the thought back until later.
The next year I was at a Lowes where they too had loose hyacinth bulbs to sell, and I picked up a couple, put them down, touched my hand to my arm on the opposite side (these were bright red hyacinth bulbs, not yellow). Just a few minutes later, my arm started itching really badly, and getting red and only when I rinsed my arm off with their watering hose in the garden center did it stop.
I have experimented on this idea with bagged bulbs throughout the years since this first happened 13 years ago, and I have the same reaction. Not with narcissus bulbs. Or tulips. Only hyacinth bulbs. And as a last test, I did it with my Woodstock hyacinth bulbs last year and got the same reaction. People I've asked about this tell me they don't have the same reaction as I do, but occaisonally I find one person who does. So chances are that it's a rare thing, most people don't itch after contact with these bulbs, but it's probably like how some people handle and touch poison ivy and aren't affected at all. Which I am not anymore. I can pull poison ivy out with my hands, pick up a handfull of dirt and "wash" my hands with it, and go about my business and never break out. But let my son do the same thing, minus washing his hands off with the dirt and he's breaking out in a matter of a few hours.
Probably just one of those odd things that some people experience. Or maybe it's just me..........................................................(if son hadn't seen me turn red and swell last year he wouldn't have believed me either. I would love to see if he itches and turns red after touching hyacinth bulbs, but he already things I'm strange and wierd....)
madgardener

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Did you ever try it with bulbs from the ground, not from the store?
--
Klara, Gatwick basin

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writes

I've never had the opportunity to be either given or get hyacinth bulbs from the ground. They've always been purchased. Kinda makes me wonder if the thought that it's the stuff they dust the hyacinth bulbs is the culprit. But then again, why would Maggie have known it was the hyacinth bulbs that had caused me the intense itch and red swelling if someone else hadn't been similarly affected? just one of those gardening mysteries I suppose. And to let all ya'll know..........in just ONE DAY, there are tiny little ROOTS coming off the bottom of the bulb!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW! (at this rate, I might have FLOWERS by the middle of February!!) madgardener

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I have never heard of hyacinth bulbs making some itch like you say. Chuckie in the frozen north, zone 5
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madgardener I was searching through the extra fridge in the back roo
just now and came across a happy surprise. I came across a plastic Lowes bag and insid was one lone hyacinth bulb!! Gathering up the things I had removed t start with, and the bag, I proceeded to go to the kitchen and hunt under th sink and found my blue glass hyacinth forcer. Filled with clean, cold well water, the bulb carefully set in it's perfect position on the hyacint jar, it now sits in my nook in bright indirect Eastern and Southern sunligh to start forcing. Now we'll see just which bulb it is....(I had to handl the bulb with a paper towel as there is something coating these particula bulbs that itch me like itching powder!!) I'll let you all know what colo it is when the buds break. This will be a first for me! (I suspect it migh be "Woodstock" which is a dark magenta purple with red highlights, bu we'll see). The fairies have been jokesters with me on this one. I actuall went back to Lowes to deliberately purchase some reduced hyacinth bulbs jus for the purpose of forcing and they were all gone...........
madgardener up on the cold ridge, back in Fairy Holler, overlookin English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee
wow maddie what a nice surprise. i just love finding little goodie that i have forgotten about and get to enjoy even more because of tha lol. i hope it turns out the colours u think it sounds really pretty.
sockiescat
-- sockiescat
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if it really is the Woodstock hyacinth, the color will be a vivid beet root-purple. I'll keep ya'll posted maddie

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Hi Maddie,
Aren't surprises wonderful! One of my students gave me a Christmas present that they had bought with her own money (which in itself was a big achievement for her but I wish she hadn't spent it on me!) It was a hyacinth bulb and a nice glass vase that you fill with water and plop the bulb on top so the water touches the base of the bulb. Hopefully a white hyacinth will bloom. We are watching it closely but I hope it isn't like the old saying "A watched "bulb", never "blooms"! My class and I are being very optimistic. When it does, will I be able to plant it in the ground later or is it done for and I need to toss it in my worm bin?
loony

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When it does, will I be able to plant it in the ground later or is it done for and I need to toss it in my worm bin?

once the bloom is spent, snip that puppy off, dig it a nice hole six-seven inches deep, tuck the bulb and it's roots in, firm it up nicely and don't cut back the leaves. Come fall, apply a tablespoon of granulated bulb food if you can remember where it was, and hopefully next year it will forgive you for forcing it and return at the proper time. (if the leaves emerge and it doesn't flower, the bulb might be weakened to the point of no return. ) My roots are now a quarter of an inch and like fat little white worms! maddie
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