Amaryllis and Hippeastrum forum: Reblooming Amaryllis

Views: 1355, Replies: 12 » Jump to the end

SummerPerson
Oct 7, 2011 1:42 PM CST
I have a small backyard greenhouse that I heat during the winter. I have some miniature Amaryllis plants and some regular size Amaryllis plants. Last winter, I brought them in and kept them in their pots and stored them in a cardboard box in my heated backporch. (I don't remember how long I stored them. Maybe not long enough?) Anyway, this gave the Amaryllis darkness and no water for the dormancy, but I doubt that they got the colder temperature. None of them bloomed. Since then they've been in the greenhouse and growing beautiful green leaves.

It gets below freezing here a lot in the winter (zone 5B), so they can't stay outside and I don't have a basement or garage, or a cool place to store them. Would it work to put them in a small refrigerator? A refrigerator with no food in it, and set the refrigerator to the highest setting? If so, would you let the pot dry out and then just put the pot and all in the refrigerator.

I've also heard that miniature Amaryllis are harder to get to rebloom.

If you've rebloomed Amaryllis, whether the miniature or regular size ones, please describe what you did to get them to rebloom.
Thanks.

Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter Region: California Plant Identifier
Image
wcgypsy
Oct 10, 2011 1:02 PM CST
This gives really good info for getting the amaryllis to rebloom....
http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/faqs/AmaryllisBloom.html
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."

SummerPerson
Oct 13, 2011 3:27 PM CST
Thanks for the link wcgypsy. I am going to forget the refrigeration. That doesn't seem to be a recommended method.
Name: Robert Jenkins
North Carolina, USA (Zone 7b)
Image
raydio
Nov 17, 2011 1:34 PM CST
SummerPerson~

By "re-bloom" I'm taking it that you mean blooming a year after the initial bloom rather than a second or third flush later in the same season.

Before I get into bulb resting, I'd like to say that if a bulb hasn't had all that it needs culturally to fully develop those inside, it likely won't bloom the next year. Or it may produce fewer stems. Continued culture that is inadequate may result in smaller flowers and/or fewer flowers on the stem, even after your bulb regains strength.

It is most important for a "new bulb" (newly purchased and planted) to be well-grown in the first year after potting. It has to produce a bloom stem, a full set of roots, and perhaps some of the new foliage using the nutrients stored in the bulb. It also has to continue developing the buds of future scapes. In doing all that, the bulb loses size and has to replace all that to return to "blooming size" or better and top health during that first season, or it may not bloom at all. A large bulb may have embryonic buds still forming, but these may abort if the bulb declines too much. All that bulking back up may not happen right away. In my experience, my bulbs seemed to "pack it on" from late summer to fall.

If I remember correctly, in a optimally-grown bulb, it takes about a year from bud initiation to the emergence of the scape.

So, a plant needs to be well-fed and watered and have adequate light in the growing season to make those buds grow and bring them to fruition. This may be the most critical aspect affecting future blooming. Six hours (total) of direct sunlight isn't too much for most Hippis in my experience.

Veronica Read recommends a "cool rest" rather than a complete (leafless) dormancy (allowing the soil to go bone dry and the plant losing all foliage) for the modern hybrids. This rest would be at a reduced temperature, with good light, and moisture applied but at a reduced rate.This method aids in allowing the bud inside to mature and gets everything set for blooming, since the roots will still be replacing lost moisture and some photosynthesis will still be going on, though on a low level.

(Read's book is a wonderful resource and you might get a copy from your local library if the price is prohibitive. It isn't cheap. ;-) )

Bulbs will naturally rest when they need to, and her method is one that keeps the bulb green (that is, with green foliage) and the root system intact. Keeping your plants potted was a good move. If you had taken them out of the soil, the roots would have dried out making it necessary for the bulb to grow a new set later on, using bulb resources. Also, if the plant is green with intact roots, it will be taking in moisture as it blooms to replace what is lost in the process. This results in less shrinkage of the bulb.

Some bulbs will lose all foliage anyway, due to their nature or cultural conditions. If they do, it's OK. You might choose not to let them do bone dry for a long time and give them a light moistening-- but not too much-- from time to time. Just enough to keep the roots from drying out too much. I have let them go bone dry for weeks or a couple months and they've been OK. So, if they go leafless, just let them rest at 55-68.

There is a range of temperatures for the "cool rest". Read suggests about 68F in most cases. Between 55 and 65 F day and night is fine. The day temp can go a little higher, but I would say no more then about 68F in the day. Of course, this is a guideline and there is a range that works, so don't fret too much. I have had bulbs get very cool night temps outside (below 50F) with days in the 70's and that gave enough rest for certain ones. It's the soil temperature that is the key, not so much the air temps.

One thing though is curious: Bulbs can have a re-blooming (or two) later in the same season without having a weeks-long cool rest.

I don't know personally that the dwarf types are harder to get to re-bloom. I think that it may be a matter of having fewer buds in development making it even more critical that they have a good growing season.

Good growing!
R.

"Few things are harder to put up with than a good example."
- Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Name: Robert Jenkins
North Carolina, USA (Zone 7b)
Image
raydio
Nov 18, 2011 2:14 PM CST
SummerPerson~

I'd like to add that with the H. cybister hybrids (like 'Chico') I find that they will naturally go completely dormant at the season's end and I advise you to keep them totally dry. They will easily rot, especially at cool temperatures.

It is advisable to wait for the growth to start before watering. Chico for one, is slow to start up, so just be patient. If you apply water too soon, they can rot.

R.

"Few things are harder to put up with than a good example."
- Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Nov 18, 2011 7:26 PM CST
I've got some H. papilio that came as large bulbs over 3 years ago. They've grown larger and have large healthy leaves, have produced many bulblets but never a flower.

Now, I know they need to have a low temperature dormancy period and that seems to be the problem here. I tried one in a fridge over night for a period but that never did a thing. The plant was no different to the others that were kept outside.

This past winter was the coldest ever recorded here, and still not a show of a flower. They've always had ample fertiliser and water, still keep growing very healthily but not a sign of a bud.

Does it happen that Hippeastrums sometimes produce non-flowering plants? If so then I must have some. Anyone have some thoughts on this problem?
Name: Robert Jenkins
North Carolina, USA (Zone 7b)
Image
raydio
Nov 22, 2011 5:04 PM CST
Tropicbreeze~

Most of the modern hybrids (except for the cybister group) are evergreen and don't need a leafless dormancy. Just a rest which they will naturally do from time to time. The cooler temps are to help the flower bud develop.

I wouldn't put any hippis in the household fridge-- just too cold. If you have one you could put at 55F-60F, that might work, if you are unable to put them in a sunny cool room, green and growing.

And H. papilio is one truly evergreen type that really doesn't need much cool rest. They tend to go into a forced dormancy for some people in summer, but that may have been due to being too dry. They lose most or all leaves. They come form a mountainous part of Brazil that is fairly tropical-- meaning that they really never experience much coolness. And they are either getting rain or in the dry season when it doesn't rain, they still get moisture from the constant condensation dripping on them from the passing cloudcover.

Mine received enough coolness (if it is truly necessary) as the summer ended and fall began to bloom starting in December. When it got too cold outside, I put them in a sunny window. If they are resting- that is not in active growth, I let the soil surface dry a bit, and water in an appropriate amount with no fertilizer.

Keep this one potted up and growing for sure if you can.

"Few things are harder to put up with than a good example."
- Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Nov 22, 2011 7:47 PM CST
Thanks for that detailed information Robert. Are those temperatures you quote (= 12.8C to 15.6C) daytime or minimums (night)? My problem with these types of plants is I'm equatorial lowlands, the average minimum for the coldest month is about 16C, the average maximum for the coldest month is 32C. This year we had our coldest winter on record but still no flowering from H. papilio. But they grow well and still keeping producing young pups.

I have a room in the house which has constant airconditioning so I can safely store photos, documents and books (plus a few other odds and ends). The aircon acts like a dehumidifier, but it's set to 20C (68F). The window gets morning sun and reasonable light during the day. The only problem might be the lack of humidity. But I'll give it a try. Thanks again.

SummerPerson
Nov 28, 2011 6:02 AM CST
Thanks for taking the time to provide all of the information. I do need to check into purchasing the book by Veronica Reed.

In one of your posts above, you stated, "It is advisable to wait for the growth to start before watering." You were referring to Cybister hybrids. Does this hold true for all varieties? After they've been in dry soil and dormant, wait until growth shows then start watering them?
Name: Robert Jenkins
North Carolina, USA (Zone 7b)
Image
raydio
Nov 28, 2011 2:59 PM CST
SummerPerson said:

In one of your posts above, you stated, "It is advisable to wait for the growth to start before watering." You were referring to Cybister hybrids. Does this hold true for all varieties? After they've been in dry soil and dormant, wait until growth shows then start watering them?


Yes, that was specific to the cybisters, and particularly (for me) 'Chico'. I got tired one year waiting for it to start and I lost it. Sad I always kept it dormant in the pot. It might have been a bit cooler than preferable when I watered it (low night temps).

For most of the modern large-flowered hybrids, after they've been dormant for 2-3 months, you can "wake them up" by placing in a warmer environment and beginning to water.



"Few things are harder to put up with than a good example."
- Mark Twain (1835-1910)

SummerPerson
Nov 28, 2011 9:12 AM CST
Thanks for the more specific information. I think I am now getting enough information on how to keep Amaryllis plants growing and hopefully to bloom another season.
Name: Robert Jenkins
North Carolina, USA (Zone 7b)
Image
raydio
Nov 28, 2011 3:22 PM CST
tropicbreeze said:Thanks for that detailed information Robert. Are those temperatures you quote (= 12.8C to 15.6C) daytime or minimums (night)?


Both actually, according to Read. And it's more the soil temperature than the air temp.

I agree about the air conditioning: H. papilio prefers a lot of humidity and the dry air may be working against its overall vigor. Just keep them well fed when growing, and I'm sure you'll one day have flowers.

R.


"Few things are harder to put up with than a good example."
- Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Nov 29, 2011 6:05 AM CST
Robert, the plant has been nearly a week in the airconditioned room, temps ranging from about 22C to 30C (71.6F to 86.0F). It's rapidly growing 4 new leaves. The "pups" don't seem to be doing anything yet. I guess it's going to take time to see how it goes.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Amaryllis and Hippeastrum forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by Baja_Costero and is called "Agave"