Amaryllis and Hippeastrum forum: Is this a Virus on my Amaryllis?

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Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
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cwhitt
Nov 19, 2016 11:29 AM CST
@bsharf, or anyone else who knows -- Is the dreaded virus on my bulb? I circled the areas -- the areas are composed of tiny orange spots. Several of my bulbs have them - they were all planted in the ground in the same area. Do you think they are infected, or is it something else? I will say, the leaves were tall and huge and very healthy looking.
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Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
Nov 19, 2016 3:10 PM CST
I'm not an expert, but I did spend the night in the Holiday Inn Express, I do not think its a problem, I have noticed splotches like that for years on mine, no problems with bloom or rotten bulbs, maybe Barbara could chime in.
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[Last edited by crawgarden - Nov 19, 2016 5:14 PM (+)]
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Name: Barbara
Palm Coast, FL
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bsharf
Nov 19, 2016 5:10 PM CST

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My information is coming from Veronica Read's book Hippeastrum, the gardener's amaryllis. This is probably the beginnings of red blotch which is a fungal infection. It is often seen right at the base of the old leaves. I usually don't bother to treat it at this level of infection. Its not necessarily fatal, but it can weaken the leaves, cause red areas on the leaves which distort and eventually snap off. Bulbs seem to tolerate a low level of infection. It can spread by watering from bulb to bulb. When I plant or replant a bulb, I try to remove as many spots as I can down to healthy tissue, sterilizing the knife with each cut. One treatment is dipping the bulb in powdered sulfur or another fungicide. This is such a common problem with shipped bulbs. I see about a 25% infection rate in new bulbs. This is coming from harvesting wounds, rough handling or too much moisture during storage or shipment. Occasionally you will also see basal rot which is another fungal infection. The bulb rots from the basal plant inward. It's probably not worth trying to save these bulbs. When I get one of these, I contact the nursery for a replacement. There are several other rots and molds that affect Amaryllis. Amaryllis are susceptible to four viruses. hippeastrum mosaic virus (HMV), cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), and tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). Aphids and thrips are insect vectors for the different viruses. In general, virus infection is seen on the leaves: in stripes and spots or a mosaic pattern, gradually causing a general weakening of the plant. Virus infection is a major problem. This is why I don't trade bulbs. I wouldn't want to accidentally or unknowingly pass on a virus to someone else's collection.
[Last edited by bsharf - Nov 19, 2016 5:12 PM (+)]
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Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
Amaryllis Roses Annuals Composter Hybridizer Garden Ideas: Level 2
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cwhitt
Nov 20, 2016 9:13 AM CST
Will try the sulfur. Would a bleach water bath also help?
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Name: Barbara
Palm Coast, FL
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bsharf
Nov 20, 2016 12:37 PM CST

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I did some more reading on the subject. There is a technique used commercially by growers for killing insects, a hot water bath treatment. A long time ago on this forum, I remember someone discussing using a hot water bath. I don't see anything about using a bath of a diluted bleach solution for disease. Maybe someone else would know more about this topic.
Name: Barbara
Palm Coast, FL
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bsharf
Nov 21, 2016 5:44 PM CST

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I found a posting about heat treating Amaryllis for disease. Go to Blooms and Chat #1 started by gone2seed. Click on gone2seed and go to his page, then click on his "idea" Redneck Amaryllis Experiment. He is using dry heat to treat bulbs for virus. Interesting article.
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 22, 2016 8:00 AM CST
I read his article - I think I might try it. I actually have a similar box my dad made to dry herbs, I think I can just use it. THanks for the tip! I tip my hat to you.
Our destiny in life is to discover our gift. Our purpose in life is to give it away.
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 22, 2016 10:02 AM CST
My toaster oven also has a warm setting - I use it for sour dough culture and bread dough. That might actually be a more consistent temperature, so perhaps I will use that. Think I will let the bulbs go dormant first though.
Our destiny in life is to discover our gift. Our purpose in life is to give it away.
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 27, 2016 12:15 PM CST
@bsharf -- I took the advice of @gone2seed Thank You! in his article "Redneck Amaryllis Experiment" and did the 2 hour heat treatment on 3 of my infected bulbs. I cut away the infected areas first. And then I did a 2 hour weak bleach bath first, then the heat treatment. I used my toaster oven, on warm, with a thermometer in it. Perhaps I have killed my bulbs Confused , but I'm pretty sure they were goners anyway if I did nothing. The bulbs have just gone dormant, so it will be a while before I know if it worked or not. Unless of course they all go mushy cuz I killed them. Crying Crying Eeek, I hope not.
Our destiny in life is to discover our gift. Our purpose in life is to give it away.
Name: Barbara
Palm Coast, FL
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bsharf
Nov 27, 2016 2:43 PM CST

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Drastic, but if it works, then you can write an article about it. I think people will be interested in your results.

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