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Amaryllis and Hippeastrums: Can I make my bulbs bigger?

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Forum: Amaryllis and HippeastrumsReplies: 9, Views: 105
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TrixieM
Mc Call Creek, MS

November 22, 2012
3:06 PM

Post #9340069

Is there a way to restore an amaryllis bulb back to the size of the ones that you buy? If so, how do I do it?

Thanks for any information you can give me!

Kay
bsharf
Palm Coast, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 23, 2012
1:45 AM

Post #9340337

Be patient. The bulbs you bought in the late fall, had a 3 year preparation (basically forcing) by the grower. This was done to insure a spectacular "out of season" blooming. The summer after, you will notice that the bulb doesn't bloom again and is much smaller, which is perfectly normal. It will take several years of good sun, water, and heavy fertilizer during the summer to allow the bulb to plump back up again. My nicest Amaryllis bed is in a southern exposure under an orange tree which provides a dappled shade in the middle of the day. It is irrigated and gets a monthly application of fertilizer in the growing season. I'm using citrus fertilizer with micronutrients because I am actually trying to fertilize the orange tree. I've had some cultivars that produce bulblets before they bloom again or the bulb plumps back up. I have some that have never really recovered or rebloomed, I treat them as foliage in my outside Amaryllis beds. In my case, I've had no luck with getting members of the cybister group to rebloom. You can certainly get your bulbs to recover and rebloom , but it normally is not as quick and as reliable a process as we have been let to believe by the nurseries. I heard that a lot of people, who have to treat them as houseplants, give them 3 years, and if they haven't rebloomed in that period of time, toss them. In your location, you can plant it outside after the xmas blooming, and you still would expect at least a 2 to 3 year recover time. FYI in the South, too much water is a worse problem than too little water. If the bulbs are in soil that isn't draining well, especially during their dormant period, they will rot. I learned that lesson the hard way.
TrixieM
Mc Call Creek, MS

November 26, 2012
3:23 AM

Post #9342682

Thanks so much for your help.

Kay
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

December 6, 2012
6:43 AM

Post #9351174

Plant the bulb physically in the ground, don't sink the pot in. I've had good luck here in Wisconsin with all of them reblooming. Well, they did last year. this year my garden area suffered terribly re: dry and I didn't water like I should and I was gone a bunch. *sigh*...my own fault. I need to just pot them up soon in some kind of container and I'm sure they will do something. :>)
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

December 7, 2012
5:52 PM

Post #9352605

i also wasnt the best caretaker of my amaryllis this last summer..
:( my bad.. but they all survived..even with the hot/dry summer we had too..
my biggest bulb ..papillio.. is larger than my other african ones..?? go figure..
it has 3 side bulbs going now..
anna ..i think i will try your idea of planting bulb right in the ground this next
summer.and i will be a good caregiver too..:)
id like to get all my amaryllis huge again..
i usually get blooms late summer but didnt this last summer..probably because
i didnt pay enough attention to watering and fertilizing..
hopefully this next summer wont be as tough as last..
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

December 7, 2012
7:46 PM

Post #9352692

Oh, and another thing...I break off all the offshoot bulbs. I don't want the bulb putting energy in the "nurtuing young"...I want it to go into the original bulb. The bigger ones I plant, the small ones I just toss.
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

December 8, 2012
5:27 PM

Post #9353288

good insights anna ..:)
have you tried planting bulbs in extra large pots..over right in the soil?
looking foward to spring already..LOL :)
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

December 8, 2012
5:58 PM

Post #9353304

Who wants to dig graves???? LOL No, I put them directly in the ground so they can develop a good root system and "feed". :>)
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

December 8, 2012
6:08 PM

Post #9353310

anna.?? do you add any special addition to soil where u plant the
bulbs? any additional perlite for drainage,fertilizer?
i bet the bulbs do get a good root system with almost unlimited
acess to good soil...
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

December 8, 2012
6:42 PM

Post #9353330

Where I plant them is where my Spouse dumped snow mixed with pig poop when he scraped down the hog floor in the wintertime. I imagine there is still LOTS of pig poop residue in that ground. LOL Haven't had hogs for at least 5 years, but I know the soil there, tho it is not nice black dirt, is good for the bulbs.

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