Amaryllis and Hippeastrum forum: I need advice from the experts, please

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Name: ursula
Chile (Zone 9b)
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Mutisia
Nov 11, 2016 10:22 PM CST
When I purchased this Hippeastrum (they don't sell them with their names here), it was in a very small pot, but had a long stem and gorgeous flowers. I re-potted it immediately, without removing the mix it came with. From then on it bloomed on and off, but never like this year, with such short stem.

Thumb of 2016-11-12/Mutisia/39f344

Eaarlier this year I noted there were two bulbs in the pot, which had become too small for them. Again, since we were so close to their blooming time, I carefully removed as much soil as possible - without separating the bulbs - and placed the in the post of the picture, with a rich mix of 2 parts good soil, 2 parts of good quality sand and 1 part humus.

My questions are:

1. Is the stem so short because I re-potted them only 2 or 3 months before blooming?
2. Could the soil mix be the problem?
3. Was it a mistake not to sepparate the two bulbs?

Any advise you give me will be much appreciated and followed.

Thanks!

I will post a new picture tomorrow, taken with daylight.
[Last edited by Mutisia - Nov 12, 2016 1:41 PM (+)]
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Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
Nov 11, 2016 11:55 PM CST
Not an expert, just like Amaryllis and growing them.
1. I had this happen to my newest Amaryllis this past year, the bulbs had been in the pot for approx 7months and all 3 bulbs had put up normal sized stalks and flowers, I noticed after all of the blooming had ceased that one of the bulbs put up a flower on an extremely short stalk like yours. I have never seen one do that but I've only been growing them for 13 plus years...I just chalked it up to a bonus flower at the end of the growing season.

2. Your mix sounds fine, I usually just use a potting mix plus some compost.

3. Don't believe not separating the bulbs produced an adverse effect, Amaryllis like to be pot bound, I usually do not repot the bulbs unless than I have less than an inch between the bulbs and the pot.

There are other Amaryllis devotees on this site and can add information.
Keep Calm and Carry On
Name: ursula
Chile (Zone 9b)
Image
Mutisia
Nov 12, 2016 1:49 PM CST
Thank you for your input, crawgarden!

These are daylight pictures :

Thumb of 2016-11-12/Mutisia/533313 Thumb of 2016-11-12/Mutisia/256ef8

Is this normal?
Name: Barbara
Palm Coast, FL
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bsharf
Nov 13, 2016 4:25 AM CST

Moderator

Occasionally you do get these abnormally short scapes. I don't think anyone knows why this happens. See how they perform next year.
[Last edited by bsharf - Nov 14, 2016 3:55 AM (+)]
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Name: ursula
Chile (Zone 9b)
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Mutisia
Nov 13, 2016 1:28 PM CST
Thank you, Barbara. What do you recommend to feed Hippeastrums?

I have started a Californian worms farm a few months ago. Previous to that, I used to collect the castings of our local worms, found under planters and pots that remained on the same place for some time (I still do) - I live surrounded by natural woods - to feed my plants. I also collect horse manure. Cow manure is available as well. Which is best for these babies?

Since I live in an equivalent to USDA zone 9b, I grow all my plants outdoors and do not bring them inside during winter.

I would appreciate any advise or link.

Thanks!
Name: Barbara
Palm Coast, FL
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bsharf
Nov 14, 2016 4:14 AM CST

Moderator

You have a great resource for enriching your soil with castings and manure if it is well composed. Most Amaryllis "how-to" sites advise using a low nitrogen/ slow release fertilizer, such as a powdered or diluted liquid "bulb or bloom" booster. Recommendations are a 5-10-10 or 6-12-12. I am concerned that composted manure will be too high in nitrogen which encourages foliage growth but not bloom development. There are various fertilizer schedules. One schedule is an application after growth starts, when the blooming is finished and once later in the season. Don't fertilize too late in the season, since you want the foliage to have a short dormancy. Another schedule is a very diluted fertilizer applied at every watering through the growing period. Type in "Fertilizing Amaryllis" for various websites with information.
Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
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cwhitt
Nov 14, 2016 7:41 PM CST
I had one short stem once. I don't know if this applies to amaryllis or not, but with other bulbs, if the dormant period get interrupted by a warm spell, or is too short, that can happen. Not sure if that is what happened to mine or not, I did not pay too much attention. I always compost by coffee grounds, banana peels, and egg shells and add that compost to the soil - they seem to like that.
Our destiny in life is to discover our gift. Our purpose in life is to give it away.
Name: ursula
Chile (Zone 9b)
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Mutisia
Nov 14, 2016 8:34 PM CST
Thank you very much, Barbara and Christie. Your information is very helpful. Although I do not like using chemicals, I might make an exception with my Hippeastrums.

This has not been a good spring season with them, because of additional problems in Paradise: last year, rabbits ate the leaves (and a small portion of the bulb) of a large planter full of white w/red stripes Hippeastrums. This year they did not look good and had poor leaf growth and no flowers, so the day before yesterday I dug them all out, to replant them in a fresh mix, only to find out the bulbs had reduced their size to the half. I have additional problems during summer with very poor water supply, but they got water at least once a week. As I recall, the ones in my parent's garden did not get much more than that, but grew large bulbs and gorgeous flowers.

I really hope I can recover my babies!

Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
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cwhitt
Nov 15, 2016 1:21 PM CST
@Mutisia -- how much sun are they getting? Are they getting baked in the sun? You might prepare a bed that has morning sun and shade in the afternoon. Prepare the bed with a fair amount of compost and make sure it gets a good watering once a week, but is allowed to dry out in between. If the bulbs are getting smaller, it sounds to me like they are either not getting nutrients they need or are getting baked in the sun. That is just a thought.
Our destiny in life is to discover our gift. Our purpose in life is to give it away.
Name: ursula
Chile (Zone 9b)
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Mutisia
Nov 15, 2016 7:29 PM CST
That's a good point, Christie! They WERE getting sun all day long in their previous position. Before reading your advise I moved the planter (with the bulbs in fresh mixture) to a side of my house, where they only get sun 1/2 a day. I will do as you say: water them only once a week and give them addittional nutrients (diluted liquid 'produce' from Californian worms every other week - is that OK?)

Thank you so much!


Name: Barbara
Palm Coast, FL
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Region: Florida Daylilies Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Level 1
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bsharf
Nov 16, 2016 4:38 AM CST

Moderator

As Christie said, sun or heat could be an issue. 2011-2014, I had one dedicated Amaryllis bed in full day sun. Each season, they produced less and less blooms and the foliage died back too soon, so the bulbs didn't have the energy to produce the next year's buds down at the basal plate. In order to save the bulbs, I moved them into a bed that gets sun after 2PM in the afternoon. 2015, they didn't bloom, as the bulbs recovered, but in 2016 they bloomed heavily. With less sun, the foliage looks better and new leaves appear through the growing season. Some people plant them under a high dabbled shade, again so the bulbs get about 1/2 day of good sunlight. Having them in a planter does allow you to move them to a better location. If you water once a week, give them enough so the water drains out of the drain holes in the planter, then let the soil dry out again. I would advocate not sticking to a "time" schedule, but watering when the soil feels dry in the root zone. During the hottest part of the year, that could be more frequently than once a week. Just avoid water on the neck, if you can, wet the soil. There will be a recovery time, perhaps a year or two, but if too much sun was one of the problems, you should eventually see a big improvement.
Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
Amaryllis Roses Annuals Composter Hybridizer Garden Ideas: Level 2
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cwhitt
Nov 16, 2016 10:53 AM CST
I think "diluted liquid 'produce' from Californian worms" would make them very happy indeed! As Barbara suggested, I do play watering by ear - more water during the hot months, less at other times. Generally once a week, but that can be more or less depending on the weather. But never soggy. This summer I made some compost tea for some of my seedlings and they seemed to like that, as the leaves got darker green.
Our destiny in life is to discover our gift. Our purpose in life is to give it away.
Name: ursula
Chile (Zone 9b)
Image
Mutisia
Nov 16, 2016 9:00 PM CST
Barbara, Christie, you two have the knowledge of a Hipperastrum Encyclopedia!!!!

The bulbs we have been talking about are really special to me and I will do whatever is necessary to get them bloom like they did before. The originally bulbs were planted in New Smyrna Beach, FL, where my mother's youngest sister lived with her family. My father visited them in 198? and came back with some bulbs (smuggled inside the arm of his jacket, that was conveniently sewed for this purpose Whistling ). My Dad grew them on the planters that surrounded his terrace and they multiplied happily. At that time I was on a full time job, so I asked for just one bulb for my apartment - I have shared quite a few bulbs, and still have more than 50 for myself!

The subject of this thread are the red-striped white ones - the others come from an exchange with a ... school mate on a get together:

Thumb of 2016-11-17/Mutisia/8fd9f6

The planter of this picture is located quite close to the place the subject of this thread was, but gets shade from some low branches of a large shrub.

With all the info I got from you, I will properly pamper my babies.

Thank you so much!

ursula
Name: ursula
Chile (Zone 9b)
Image
Mutisia
Nov 16, 2016 10:36 PM CST
I found this picture taken 4 years ago:


Thumb of 2016-11-17/Mutisia/f35fa4

Name: Barbara
Palm Coast, FL
Amaryllis Container Gardener Dog Lover Cat Lover Butterflies Birds
Region: Florida Daylilies Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Level 1
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bsharf
Nov 17, 2016 12:24 AM CST

Moderator

beautiful photos. I can see why you want to save them.
Name: ursula
Chile (Zone 9b)
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Mutisia
Nov 17, 2016 12:36 AM CST
*Blush* Thanks! Sticking tongue out
Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
Amaryllis Roses Annuals Composter Hybridizer Garden Ideas: Level 2
Cat Lover
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cwhitt
Nov 17, 2016 12:22 PM CST
Mutisia said: The bulbs we have been talking about are really special to me and I will do whatever is necessary to get them bloom like they did before. The originally bulbs were planted in New Smyrna Beach, FL, where my mother's youngest sister lived with her family. My father visited them in 198? and came back with some bulbs (smuggled inside the arm of his jacket, that was conveniently sewed for this purpose Whistling ). My Dad grew them on the planters that surrounded his terrace and they multiplied happily. At that time I was on a full time job, so I asked for just one bulb for my apartment - I have shared quite a few bulbs, and still have more than 50 for myself! The subject of this thread are the red-striped white ones - the others come from an exchange with a ... school mate on a get together:
Thumb of 2016-11-17/Mutisia/8fd9f6
ursula

Rolling on the floor laughing Contraband Amaryllis! Rolling on the floor laughing I love plants that have a story! Hurray! I have some Hens & Chicks from my grandmother - and she got them from a relative - so they have been in our family for over 100 years! You SIMPLY MUST save your Amaryllis!!!
Our destiny in life is to discover our gift. Our purpose in life is to give it away.
Name: ursula
Chile (Zone 9b)
Image
Mutisia
Nov 17, 2016 10:03 PM CST
I hardly knew my grandparents, but the passion for gardening comes from ... both sides! Big Grin Being retired is wonderful, it gives me the chance to go back to childhood and play with dirt.

All my bulbs have been taken care for by now and I hope to report improvement/success next year.

Thank you so much!

Edited for spelling correction
[Last edited by Mutisia - Nov 18, 2016 5:16 PM (+)]
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