Amaryllis and Hippeastrum forum: Starting Amaryllis bulbs.............

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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Nov 17, 2016 10:15 PM CST
I've bought a number of Amaryllis bulbs this year and am planting them as they show signs of growth. This should extend the bloom season over a period of time but I wonder if it is necessary to wait until signs of growth to plant. What's your opinion?
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
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crawgarden
Nov 17, 2016 11:14 PM CST
Great question Paul, wondering if it would work better to keep the bulbs in a cool dark area...preventing any growth, than bring them out as needed to extend the bloom times?
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Name: Barbara
Palm Coast, FL
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bsharf
Nov 18, 2016 5:06 AM CST

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Traditionally, new Amaryllis bulbs are stored in a cool, dark area to keep them dormant. How cool, temperature of a refrigerator. In the North USA you usually can find a basement or unheated porch that has a fairly stable temperature. It is very difficult in the South USA to find a place that has a stable cool temperature. I compare Amaryllis bulbs to onions. Even though the bulb looks dry on the outside, it is very moist inside. If there isn't good ventilation, the bulbs can rot in storage. I don't recommend storing them in unopened shipping bags or the shipping box. That is asking for rot. The bulbs can break dormancy during storage, especially if the temperatures are not stable. Get those potted up right away. Some bulbs shouldn't be stored. If your bulb arrives with any top growth, pot it up immediately, since its already broken dormancy. Occasionally, I have that issue with bulbs from Royal Colors, which can be in the mail for a month. Also if the bulb shows injury, wounds from harvesting, or the beginnings of red blotch, get them potted immediately. They have a greater chance of rotting in storage. If the bulb is mushy, contact the nursery. If the red blotch is in a defined area, I use a sterile knife, cut out the red area as much as possible, dip the bulb in powdered cinnamon ( a natural antiseptic), plant and cross my fingers. I have a 50% success rate in saving those bulbs. As to Paul's question about waiting to see top growth before removing them from storage. That isn't necessary. You can remove them at will, and pot up, water and put in light. The bulbs will rapidly break dormancy at that point: the bulb thinks that spring has arrived. Cultivars of the Cybister group are very slow to break dormancy: you need to be quite patient with them. I've had them occasionally had them take 2-3 months to even start to show top growth.
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer Tomato Heads
Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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Paul2032
Nov 18, 2016 8:03 AM CST
Great information Barbara. When I get interested in something I like to investigate all the info that I can find and then use it to guide what I do. I've been enjoying videos on the net. 28 degrees here this morning so I doubt I will do anything outside today but I do have 3 Amaryllis bulbs to plant so that will be my gardening fix for the day.......
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Cocktail.........Hope I can find a bulb of this

Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
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43016 (Zone 6b)
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cwhitt
Nov 18, 2016 8:47 AM CST
Yes to everything Barbara said, and welcome to our group of Amaryllis fanatics! nodding . I store many of my dormant bulbs in the fridge -- each in their own paper bag, in the crisper drawer. Each bag is laeled with the name and date I dug it up. If you store them in the fridge, do NOT put any apples in the fridge - they emit chemicals that will make your bulbs sterile. I try also not to store any citrus fruit in the fridge for the same reason. Also, at least one time during the dormant period I set the roots in a bowl of water for an hour or two to give them a drink. Make sure you do not let your bulbs get soggy at any time, or like Barbara said, they will surely rot. As for videos - you might like to go to You Tube and type in "Amaryllis Man" - he has some good videos.
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