A bulb vase can be a lovely way of seeing growing as it happens. Below we pick the loveliest bulb vases which can host a series of different bulbs for growing inside your house. From bulb forcing to simple growing, here's which you should invest in for a lovely display.


What is a bulb vase?

A bulb vase is a vase in which you'd grow a bulb. Where usually you'd be planting bulbs direct into the soil and your borders, a bulb vase is usually transparent and doesn't need soil. That means you are able to see the growth of the bulb as it happens. The roots of the bulb stretch into the water below and then the blooms emerge from the top. It's a lovely, and very interesting, way of having flowers in your home. A bulb vase can also be called a hyacinth vase, forcing vase or jar, as growing bulbs inside can involve a technique called 'forcing' where you ultimately trick the bulb into thinking it's the right season to grow. That way you can have flowers out of season in your home.

Bulb vases can also double up as hydroponic growing vases for a multitude of plants, not just bulbs. You can take clippings from house plants and pop the stems into bulb vases with water, and see the roots emerge.

How to grow in a bulb vase

It's very simple to grow a bulb in a bulb vase, and our tips on forcing bulbs are all here. The ideal time to grow in a bulb vase is September or October and you need to pick the right sized vase for your bulb. The water level should be just below the bottom of the bulb and you should keep it in a dark spot until the bulb sprouting about four centimetres. Then put it in a light and airy space and watch it grow!

Here's everything you need to know about forcing bulbs.

The best bulb vases to buy

Glass bulb vase with twine rope

Glass bulb vase with twine

This trio of bulb vases comes in a classic design for hyacinth bulbs, round at the bottom before tapering and widening out at the top. These vases have some lovely characterful twine around the top too, to give the vases a nice rustic feel. The base is thick and so unlikely to topple, which could be a factor to think about as your bulb gets taller and taller. They measure 13.5 centimetres high and are made from borosilicate glass. You could use this bulb vases for hyacinths but also any of the larger bulbs around.

Glass desktop bulb vase

A bulb vase stand with hydroponic growing

This lovely vase doubles up as a bulb vase and a simple way of growing hydroponically. You could either use these bulb vases for small bulbs, and watch the roots and blooms, or you could take cuttings from houseplants and grow them in water in these vases too. It comes with a very attractive wooden stand, which has the vases hanging in slots, a little bit like a test tube holder. The bulb vase is very lightweight and so easy to transport and it measures a 12 centimetres high. As well as bulbs you could grow aquatic plans, aerial plants, grass and shrubs in these vases.

Recycled bulb vases

Recycled glass bulb vase

This set of three bulb vases are made in Spain from recycled material and come with a lovely wobbly glass texture which adds lots of character to the vases. There are a variety of colours, too, including grey and greens and bright yellow and reds. These bulb vases measure at 10 centimetres. This may not fit your average avocado seed at 7 centimetres, but middle-sized bulbs, including hyacinths will be fine. Although these are slightly more expensive on the list, they are worth it for the positive environmental benefits and the fact that they come from a small business.

More like this

Ribbed texture hyacinth flower bulb vase

Hyacinth ribbed glass bulb vases

These lovey hyacinth bulb vases have a beautiful ribbed texture on them and are tall to boot. They'd work as a centrepiece of any table, whether that be on your usual dining table or at a special occasion. There are three different colours available: clear, green and grey. This vase measures at 15 centimetres high and 7.5 centimetres wide. They would be perfect for hyacinth bulbs specifically although you could likely use other bulbs too.

Three bulb vases with hyacinths

Three bulb vases with three pink hyacinths

The nice thing about these bulb vases is that the hyacinth bulbs come with them. Direct from garden experts Crocus, the three vases come complete with three pink hyacinth bulbs. While the vases are traditional in design, they are no-nonsense and will deliver exactly what you need to grow a beautiful bulb inside your home. These prepared hyacinths have a strong bouquet which will fill your house with perfume.

Avocado vase

Avocado vase

Although an avocado is not technically a bulb, it does lend itself to growing hydroponically, and therefore would work well in a bulb vase. We particularly love this vase from Ilex studio, which has a round bulbous base, where you can easily see the avocado roots stretching out within. It's base is also very sturdy, which means if your avocado tree gets big, it shouldn't topple the vase. The vase measures 15centimetres in height and comes with a very helpful handbook if you aren't sure quite how to grow the avocado.

Traditional hyacinth vase

Hyacinth bulb vase

Waitrose's hyacinth vase is a traditional option, which will look elegant in your home. This vase doesn't come with a bulb, which means you can choose what you'd like to grow in it and the design of the vase isn't overbearing so the eye catching is done by the bulb itself. It measures at 10 centimetres in height and has a diameter of 4.2 centimetres.

Tube high bulb vase

Tube bulb vase

This bulb vase is a nice, quirky, chic option and different riff on the traditional bulb vases. We love the tube glass design, which has a bottom that is taller than the top to make sure the flower is in maximum view. There's lots of space for the roots, which can be very beautiful themselves. This lovely vase is also a good option for use as a standard vase too. This is a particularly high option, which measures at 25.5 centimetres in height.

Canopy bulb vase

Canopy bulb vase

This is a lovely alternative to the traditional shape of the bulb vase, in a tube shape with a rounded top. This bulb vase is handmade from recycled glass and is 20 centimetres high and you could use it as a flower vase as well as a bulb vase. The vase was created in connection with the Eden Project so its sustainable credentials are strong.


Daisy Bowie-Sell is digital editor of Gardens Illustrated. She has previously worked as a journalist for publications including the Daily Telegraph, WhatsOnStage and Time Out London