Amaryllis and Hippeastrum forum: Amaryllis bulb storage

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Salt Spring Island, BC (Zone 8b)
Dahlias Region: Pacific Northwest Cut Flowers Keeper of Poultry Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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islander
Jun 15, 2017 1:50 PM CST
Hi. I'm looking to order some Sonatini Amaryllis but the supplier only offers them in the fall. As I'm looking to do some field production, can these bulbs last from when I receive the order in the fall until spring planting time? I'm not familiar with Amaryllis "shelf life" in cool/dry storage. This new line are considered cold hardy enough for Holland outdoor field production and I'm in a similar climate so I'd like to try them out but am more concerned about planting out in the fall in the wet/cool winter. Thoughts?
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Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
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cwhitt
Jun 15, 2017 2:16 PM CST
I am guessing that they are shipping them to you just as they are going into dormancy. If you have a cool place to store them (basement, garage, fridge) you could just keep them there until planting time in the spring. But since they are cold hardy, you might be able to just go ahead and plant them. What I would NOT do, is just store them outside in the open where they could actually freeze - at least get them into the ground. If you are going to store them, do not put them in plastic bags - paper bags are ok, in a pot with some dirt is OK, but no plastic bags. Also - if you store them in the fridge, do not put any fruit in the fridge - fruit gives off a gas that will make your bulbs sterile - especially citrus fruit. Hope this helps.
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Salt Spring Island, BC (Zone 8b)
Dahlias Region: Pacific Northwest Cut Flowers Keeper of Poultry Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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islander
Jun 15, 2017 2:33 PM CST
I have a wet & cool winter weather so I'm a bit concerned about planting them out in the fall in the wet soil. I know some bulbs don't store well but am not sure how Amaryllis will do in the basement overwinter for spring planting. That would be the ideal way to do it, if they last.
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Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
Amaryllis Roses Annuals Composter Hybridizer Cat Lover
Garden Ideas: Master Level
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cwhitt
Jun 16, 2017 6:59 AM CST
They should last just fine in your basement - I store some of mine in the fridge and some in the basement, and all of them do well. They need that resting period.
Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
Salt Spring Island, BC (Zone 8b)
Dahlias Region: Pacific Northwest Cut Flowers Keeper of Poultry Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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islander
Jun 16, 2017 12:08 PM CST
Thanks!
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Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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crawgarden
Jun 16, 2017 3:15 PM CST
I stored my Sonatinis in a container with the soil in the basement, they did fine in the spring.
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Name: Barbara
Palm Coast, FL
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bsharf
Jun 17, 2017 8:07 AM CST

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Can't you pot them up in the house the first winter, as window sill plants, and plant them outside in the spring. That way there's no risk of the bulbs rotting while dormant in your basement. They'll revert to normal bloom times once they are in the ground. With the cool wet winter's you have, you may need to use a raised bed situation or use a quick draining soil in the flower bed. In zone 8B, some mulch on the bed, with a frost cover if needed, should get them through the winter. I think that they will do very well for you.
Salt Spring Island, BC (Zone 8b)
Dahlias Region: Pacific Northwest Cut Flowers Keeper of Poultry Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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islander
Jun 27, 2017 11:39 AM CST
thanks @bsharf - I may just plant them up and keep them as an indoor windowsill plant the first winter. I tend to have saturated soil so I'll have to build a raised bed and plant in spring so they get well established for the first year. I'm hoping these Sonatinis are good performers.
He who plants a garden plants happiness.

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