how to grow a pear in a bottle

April 26, 2015

Last year I grew pears in bottles (original post) then filled one bottle with clear brandy and the other with vodka.  They've been resting for a year and this spring or summer we'll have a party and drink them up.  In the meantime they're pretty to look at!  The bottles I used are recycled Balvenie Single Malt bottles.  My husband used to drink Balvenie and I was able to save a dozen or so bottles because I thought they were too pretty to put in the recycle bin.  It's easier than you think to grow a pear in a bottle.  On your tree, find a healthy young pear that will fit into the neck of your bottle.  Remove the surrounding leaves and pears if any, leaving just the one pear.  Insert the pear and branch far into the bottle and with string or strips of fabric, tie it to the strongest surrounding branches making sure the bottle opening faces downward so it won't collect rainwater.  Allow Mother Nature to take over and with a little luck, at the end of summer you'll have large, ripe pears in each bottle.  The survival rate is fairly decent; if the pear sees it through the first week, the chances are excellent that it will continue to thrive.  Last year we did 3 bottles and only lost one.  We are trying for the same odds again this year and one even has two pears inside!  Oh, I really hope those will thrive!

Warning: this is a two person job; one is the steady bottle holder while the other person engineers the secure tying.  It takes a wee bit of thought and a few cuss words, but when it's done, you don't have to think about it again for months.  Other than your regular tree care duties, your only job throughout the summer will be to check on the lashings every once in a while to make sure they are still secure.  Plus you'll want to stop by and admire them every week or so, you know, to cheer them on. 

It's a super fun project and I hope you'll try it. You may have seen last year's post and thought you might try it but never got around to it.  Try it this year!  If you don't have a pear or apple tree, maybe you have a kindly neighbor with a tree?  Just make sure you make an extra one for him!

Can you see, this bottle has TWO pears!

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  1. Beautiful photos. I have an espaliered apple tree and will give it a try. I still have the bottle you gave me.

  2. Next year I HAVE to try this!


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