Amaryllis and Hippeastrum forum: Need advice on repotting Hippeastrums

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redx
May 30, 2016 11:24 PM CST
Hello garden folk,
I'm a newcomer to this forum, located in Australia, and I'm seeking advice on how to go about repotting my Hippeastrums which have developed over the years from a single bulb into a large clump of bulbs (25 I think), many of them are between 4" to 5" in diameter. I need to do something about them this winter when they are dormant because they've reached the stage of deforming the shape of the large pot they've always been in.

I need to know how best to remove them from the pot without damage and how to seperate the bulbs into two or more smaller clumps?

Also before replanting, do I try to untangle their roots and leave them attached, or can I just cut the roots away from the bulbs? Can anyone give me advice please? I love my 'Hippies' and would hate to lose any of the bulbs through ignorance.

Thanks,
redx


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Name: Barbara
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bsharf
May 31, 2016 3:01 AM CST

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Welcome to the Amaryllis forum. That is a beautiful clump of bulbs. You want to knock the clump out of the pot: You may have to break the pot to remove the clump. Separate the bulbs by hand into several clumps, trying to do as little damage to the bulbs. You could use a knife to saw down between the bulbs, but you do risk wounding the bulbs. I think that it would be safer to "twist" them apart if you can. The roots should untangle themselves as the bulbs pull apart. Some roots will obviously be broken off, but save as many as you can. Repot a few bulbs in each pot with fresh soil. The leaves will probably die back from the stress, but I think that they will come back in the spring just fine.

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redx
Jun 1, 2016 12:03 AM CST
bsharf said:Welcome to the Amaryllis forum. That is a beautiful clump of bulbs. You want to knock the clump out of the pot: You may have to break the pot to remove the clump. Separate the bulbs by hand into several clumps, trying to do as little damage to the bulbs. You could use a knife to saw down between the bulbs, but you do risk wounding the bulbs. I think that it would be safer to "twist" them apart if you can. The roots should untangle themselves as the bulbs pull apart. Some roots will obviously be broken off, but save as many as you can. Repot a few bulbs in each pot with fresh soil. The leaves will probably die back from the stress, but I think that they will come back in the spring just fine.


Hi bsharf,

Thanks for responding to my query. I'll keep your advice in mind.

Regards,
redx
Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
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cwhitt
Jun 1, 2016 10:20 AM CST
@redx - I agree with bsharf. I agree Also - to get them out of the pot, I would gently remove at much soil as you can, then tip the pot over, grasp as much of the bulb and leaves as you can, and jiggle the whole clump out of the pot. After you separate the bulbs, let them dry for a couple of days before re-potting them. This will help the break points dry up and heal a bit, and make them less prone to fungus or disease. Leave any small bulbs attached to a larger bulb, and try to make sure you get some of the roots along with any bulbs you detach. Anytime I re-pot, I either use new potting soil, or sterilize old potting soil in the oven or microwave before using it - that seems to help a lot as far as disease or fungus. I always add some water to the soil before "cooking" it, so as not to start a fire! I "cook" the soil until it is steamy - usually only a few minutes in the microwave and about 30 in the oven -- if it starts to stink up the house, you know it has been long enough! Hilarious!
Our destiny in life is to discover our gift. Our purpose in life is to give it away.

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redx
Jun 1, 2016 8:17 PM CST
cwhitt said:@redx - I agree with bsharf. I agree Also - to get them out of the pot, I would gently remove at much soil as you can, then tip the pot over, grasp as much of the bulb and leaves as you can, and jiggle the whole clump out of the pot. After you separate the bulbs, let them dry for a couple of days before re-potting them. This will help the break points dry up and heal a bit, and make them less prone to fungus or disease. Leave any small bulbs attached to a larger bulb, and try to make sure you get some of the roots along with any bulbs you detach. Anytime I re-pot, I either use new potting soil, or sterilize old potting soil in the oven or microwave before using it - that seems to help a lot as far as disease or fungus. I always add some water to the soil before "cooking" it, so as not to start a fire! I "cook" the soil until it is steamy - usually only a few minutes in the microwave and about 30 in the oven -- if it starts to stink up the house, you know it has been long enough! Hilarious!


Hi cwhitt,
That's interesting information about sterilising the potting mix but I can imagine the look on my wife's face when she learns why I'd need to use her microwave. New potting mix will be the safer option. Thanks for the good advice regarding the removal and repotting, much appreciated.

redx

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