"Lumpy" amaryllis bulb

Perham, MN(Zone 3b)

Hi everyone,

I repotted all my amaryllis bulbs about 10 days ago, planning for February blooms. One of them, Flaming Peacock, seems to be 'lumpier' than all the others, as if it is about to decide to become a number of separate bulbs. Does this signal that the bulb is about done as a single flower-producing entity? It certainly is of a good size, about 3.75" in diameter.

The attached photo has some yellow marks near the spots where I could feel the bulb swelling oddly. Sure looks like a bunch of offsets coming on, but if so, there won't be much left of Mom. (The nature of motherhood in general, isn't it!?)

This and several other bulbs are seeing their 3rd winter in my house, having been purchased in the fall of 2011. This and two others tend to bloom twice a year, in late summer (August/early September), and again when I bring them into bloom in the house, late winter, typically January into February or early March, depending on the species. (The 'plain old' but now really enormous and majestic Walmart Sale Red sticks to once a year and appears to be going from strength to strength.)

Any observations about what I might expect from Flaming Peacock are welcome. Of course, I guess I'll find out eventually! But this odd appearance is certainly interesting. Thanks!


Thumbnail by joanlc
Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

You are definitely going to get offsets but I think you're still going to get flowers from the mother. Some people pinch off the offsets as soon as they appear, to put the food resources back into the mother bulb. Some people let the offshoots get some size before removing them and potting them up as new plants. Its a matter of personal preference. Some cultivars are particularly prone to produce offsets. Flaming Peacock could be one of those cultivars. It would be interesting to follow the progress of this bulb over the winter. I'm impressed that you are getting twice a year blooming in zone 3b.,

Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

I’m impressed with twice a year blooming too. The offsets should behave the same way too. Please keep us posted.

I have some limited data on breaking off the offsets versus letting them separate per their own time table. The data was from a matched pair of bulbs (same size, age & health) of the same variety that each developed 1 offset at the same time.

I manually separate one pair making sure the “breaks” were clean, dry and sterilized. Since the break was at the Basal Plate, both got rooting powder to help them along.

I let the other pair be until the offset could be gently wiggled without disturbing the parent bulb thus indicating they had separated naturally. 6 months, 9 months and even 1 year later the pair that separated naturally were larger than the pair forced apart.

I suspect even a small wound / break stressed both parent and offset. Unfortunately there was only 1 test. I haven’t had a similarly matched pair of bulbs develop offsets at the same time since.

Perham, MN(Zone 3b)

Re the twice annually blooming - I don't do anything special. I don't even set the bulbs into the ground in the summer (like I should, and would if I could) due to lack of appropriate space. They just sit in their pots outside in the sunniest place I can find, and I do my darnedest to neglect them, after being very good about food and water as long as leaves are pushing out. The foliage does get somewhat kicked around by wind and by occasionally having to shift the pots, which perhaps causes them to feel a little bummed out and ready to sleep. First sign of them being willing to take a rest, and I'm all about trying to help them to dormancy. They don't seem all that inclined to rest though, mostly. Maybe whatever they're not getting, it's good enough to set up a bloom cycle. I don't think the Zone 3B thing is much of a limiting factor, since they're houseplants until it warms up outside, and once it gets chilly, I whack off the green leaves and they go into the semi-heated workroom in the garage, where they're allowed to dry out in cool conditions. Cutting off those green leaves is hard to do! But maybe it's helpful. Anyway.

I've removed all the offsets from the other bulbs, and replanted the ones that seemed to have some size, and their own root systems. (BTW, do you think I should be diligent in fertilizing them and keeping them growing, so as to get some decent size on them? Or do they just seem to grow at whatever rate they want to, given the same care I give the parents? I really want to succeed in bring a baby to blooming adulthood, just for the gardening challenge of it. I think I'll start another thread about that.) This Flaming Peacock's one somewhat differentiated offset just didn't seem quite independent enough to remove; it looked to me like taking it off would harm the mother bulb. So there it is, until next year.

A few years ago I had an Apple Blossom that developed a whole bunch of offsets - almost looked like a clump of grass! It never did bloom, however, once it went nuts with the side growth, and it was a nuisance as a house plant, so I ended up tossing it.

I'll try to remember to update this thread with new pictures when whatever's going to happen becomes more apparent. Thanks for looking and commenting!

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