Hippeastrum Vivisection

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Maybe I should have posted BEFORE trying this on newly arrived cybister 'Evergreen'...alas, it's too late, and now I'm keeping fingers crossed that it works!!! Has anyone ever tried dissecting portions of a hippe bulb, and successfully created new plants?

Thumbnail by Emma75
DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Close up of big momma, post-surgery. She's currently recovering on a glass of water prior to being planted in her new home!

Thumbnail by Emma75
Zephyrhills, FL

Emma, many growers of Hippeastrum have cut bulbs many times. The most important thing is to have a portion of the base attached to the bulb segments.I sterilize mine with a ten percent chlorox solution,then put them in Ziplock type bags of damp perlite.
Del,Zephyrhills

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Thank you so much for that info, Del! It made sense that it WOULD work, since I've accidentally split bulbs when transplanting, and they've recovered well enough. Splicing and dicing without doing any research was a bit impulsive - nice to know I'll probably have baby Evergreens in no time!

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Emma,

Just make sure you let it dry out really well before you plant the bulb, you should also sprinkle it with some fungicide if you have it to avoid rot.

Did you plan on potting the bulb up?

Josh

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Josh, thank you for that info - I'm actually planting it outside, as soon as I decide where I want it (just arrived from the grower the day I decided to hack the poor thing into pieces). For right now, it's still sitting on a glass of water, but maybe I should put it in the garage for a week or so before planting? The great thing about living in central FL is hippeastrums are usually evergreen, except in the coldest winters - they lost their foliage for about a month last winter, but then all came back with gorgeous new growth :~)

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Emma,

Lucky you, if only I could grow my Hippeastrum outside all year round! I'm excited to see what will happen with these new "babies", you'll have to keep us updated on the process, give us tips and share your experience! What have you done so far with the bulb chips?

Well, the bulb is prepped to bloom right now, can you post a picture of what the bulb looks like now?

Thanks :)
Josh

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Josh, I have the mother bulb is in my kitchen - per your advice, I did reduce the water level so the actual bulb could dry out, without depriving the roots of water. This morning, there was a new leaf beginning to peek through. The babies are under grow lamps in my garage, in a self-watering plant tray. Both the mother and splices have turned a rosy-red shade where exposed to air, which is new for me (anytime I've accidentally massacred a bulb, it's been with a spade and was replanted ASAP). When I cut the splices, I used my sharpest paring knife so I'd get the least trauma to the plant.

I'd be thrilled if this works well for me, so I'll definitely keep you posted! Since the splices will remain under the grow lamps indefinitely, I'm keeping fingers crossed that they'll begin making roots fairly soon.

Thumbnail by Emma75
DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

In glass:

Thumbnail by Emma75
DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Grow tray:

Thumbnail by Emma75
(Zone 9a)

Del, can you elaborate on the zip lock bag method? Do you not pot up the pieces until you start to see new roots???
Thanks, I am giving a talk on propagation shortly and would love to include this info.

Zephyrhills, FL

Ardesia, I didn't mention it, but I do use a strong solution of captan to dip the bulb segments,before placing them in the bags. The last time I did this I used plastic stackable drawers with deep drawers,to place the quart zipper bags in. I blew the bag full of air,then finished zipping it.I pulled the segments out when the leaves were getting too long for the bags. I probably should have two weeks earlier. It took about 75 days at eighty degrees Fah room temp,for the segments to have roots and leaves.If they have either roots or leaves,plant them in fertile soil and they will develop the missing component. Keep them quite damp for a week or so,as they adapt to less humidity.
If you are cutting more than one bulb,either sterilize the knife in a strong chlorine solution for twenty minutes, or use a different, clean knife to cut each bulb. I just had the sad experience of throwing away 120 beautifully growing bulblets which had the mosaic virus.
Apparently, I had a virused bulb and used the same knife to cut several bulbs.Mosaic virus does not go away, nor is it curable at this point.
Mosaic virus has been shown to be transferable to plants in the tabacco smoke of smokers. I don't know how, but I read that statement which a scientist made.
Del

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Del, that's very interesting! Does this mean having the segments planted as I do, under lamps in consistently moist seed starting mix, will not producre viable new plants? Or will it just take longer?

Thank you as well for the info about mosaic virus - I've never heard of this, but with hundreds of hippes in my garden (and garage, at this time), this is really important info to be aware of! I'll definitely be more careful in the future with new plants.

(Zone 9a)

What do you think about dusting the pieces with sulfur? Would that be too strong?

Zephyrhills, FL

I don't know what the ramifications of dusting your bulbs with sulphur would be. I know that Captan and Thiophanate Methyl work well. Captan is fairly cheap. The other is $60 to $90 a quart,$260 to $300 a gallon,depending on source.
Soil is acidifyed for long term by adding sulphur to it. Magnesium sulphate(epsom salts) for short term.
Del

Zephyrhills, FL

I realized I missed part of your question.
The reason for the bag is to produce high humidity so that the bulb scales don't dry.
You get a higher survival rate with the closed atmosphere.
Del

(Zone 9a)

Thanks, sulfur has natural fungicidal properties and is often used to dust cut ends on iris or daylily divisions.

Columbia, SC(Zone 8a)

Out of curiosity, does anyone use cinnamon to dust their bulbs? I'm an orchid grower, and it works very well with them...when separating plants, snipping roots, etc. Supposedly it's a natural antifungal / antiseptic.

Also, I have one hippeastrum that's sent up two spikes, but suddenly the bud that's opening looks like it's "pouting." I'll attach a photo (it's the one on the right). It looks listless to me...like it's about to fail just before fully opening...which would be awful. It's Hippeastrum "Zombie," supposedly a dwarf double sonata-type. The one on its left is in the same environment, and is obviously doing fine. Any insight?

One more thing (these are a new venture, so bear with me). Should hippeastrum bulbs feel less firm to the touch while they're blooming? It seems logical, since the flower just escaped the otherwise overcrowded bulb. Both of these seem a bit soft to the touch...on the top 1/3 of the bulb that's above the planting medium. Thanks for any help...

Thumbnail by SCBegoniaGuy
DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

SCBegoniaGuy, I'm sorry I can't answer your questions - hopefully someone will. Soft hippe bulbs always make me nervous, but I don't really pay attention to the consistency when they're blooming. In my garden, I palpate regularly if the foliage isn't doing well, and if it's getting soft I dig it up and move it into my makeshift nursery. I'm very intererested in the cinnamon dusting - thank you for that info on using it with orchids. I'll definitely try it next time I have to divide mine!

Update on my mother bulb, which was planted in the garden this morning. It popped up a second leaf yesterday, so I checked the bottom of the bulb (see attached photo). Though the exterior portions where I removed the segments below it are turning black and withering, the interior portions began pushing out and down with new growth. Now that it seems to be growing relatively rapidly (all things considered), I needed to get it planted to the roots can settle in before FL's version of "winter" sets in :~) As far as the segments, 5 of 6 are unchanged, but one is becoming a little "slimy" on top, so I think I'll try Del's zip bag method with that one and maybe 2 others - it'll be interesting to see what happens with two different methods from the same bulb!

Thumbnail by Emma75

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