What is the best fertilizer for amaryllis?

honeybunny2(Z9TX)January 2, 2011

I currently fertilize my plants with dried molasses, and alfa meal. Can I use this on the amaryllis bulbs, or would you recommend something else. I want to use what would be best. They are freshly planted bulbs. Barbra

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Veronica Read recommends 14:10:27 in her book 'Hippeastrum: The Gardners Amaryllis".

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 3:10PM
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The ratio of that is 1.4-1-2.7, it also needs micro nutrients! I haven't been able to find a fertilizer with that exact same ratio but I assume that getting as close as you can will be benefitial! You don't want too much nitrogen in Hippeastrum (the first number), you want the last number to be the highest(potassium) as this promotes bulb and root growth.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 3:13PM
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mikep_cfl(z9b FL)


Vigoro makes a Palm & Ixora slow release food that is 6-5-12.

I'm planning on trying alfalfa tea on hipps this year to see how the growth hormones that are supposed to be in the alfalfa works. Never tried molasses; I thought it was used primarily to condition soil.

How does the alfalfa work on you other plants?


    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 10:48PM
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ryan820(z5b Denver, Colorado, USA)

I use 1/4 dosage per instructions of my orchid fertilizer and water this with every session. Of course, I grow things hydroponically. Its also a urea-free composition-- phals build up urea and it becomes toxic. No idea if that helps the hippies, but I've had great success with this. I don't know the ratios off hand-- will post later if you're interest.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 12:48AM
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betonklotz(7b Baltic Sea coast)

I use a standart balanced fertilizer in a very small concentration all year round. It's called Compo complete and has a ratio of 6+4+6(+2), does any of you know if the high amount of magnesium (2% MgO) is a problem?

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 5:45AM
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We are going to the coast this morning, I hope I can find the fertilizer that josh recommended down there. I am taking 1/3 of the bulbs, to plant outside. I will take the ones that are blooming true to the label, per previous post.
Alfa meal and dried molasses is what Bob Webster recommended that we add to our flowerbeds. I listen to his radio show every Sunday, and call and ask questions. He said that it provides food for micro organisms, and helps build healthy living soil. It has done wonders for our yard. My husband uses it on the grass, and I use in my sugar sand flowerbeds. My daylilies and hibiscus are still in full bloom, it has really made a diffrence in my plants. I bought a small papillio bulb on line last year, and planted it. Last week when I was adding mulch to the plumeria tree next to it, I noticed all these little shoots coming out the side. I posted on the brugmansia forum, asking about it. Karyn, posted they were called off sets, I will have 8 new bulbs, I believe that the alfa meal is what helped that little bulb produce all these new shoots. Barbra

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 9:16AM
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Nitrogen from ammonia is also bad for Hippeastrum as well, nitrogen from urea and ammonia are only used by plants after bacteria can break them down, in pot culture with bulbs especially this bacteria is bad! I've heard a few call it "Feeding The Bacteria That Feed On Our Bulbs".

Sadly it's really hard to find a fertlizer with the majority of nitrogen from nitrate sources, especially with the correct ratio! ;)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 9:35AM
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ryan820(z5b Denver, Colorado, USA)

GrowMore for Phaleanopsis...eesssss....or would it be Phaleanopsi? LOL Anyway, the balance is 20-10-20 and it has copper, iron, mag and zinc as well. Orchids are sensitive to the micro nutrients but are essential. Anyway, like I said... 1/4th the recommended dosage and it works great.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 9:45AM
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betonklotz(7b Baltic Sea coast)

Josh, why is nitrogen from ammonia bad? I know plants can take up nitrogen as NO3- AND NH4+, but they have to release H+ to take up ammonia and thus acidify the soil.

I just saw that my fertilizer is made up from 4,5% nitrate and 1,5% ammonia. I guess that's not so bad.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 5:09PM
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Nitrogen from ammonia is very largely influenced by temperature on how it's taken in by the plant, it also feeds the fungi and pathogens that harm your bulb as well.. Nitrogen from nitrate is better absorbed by the plant, here is a quote taken from PBS lists

"In Narcissus poeticus (Vickery et al, 1946, cited in Rees) they found that
the plant tissue analyzed as follows:

Bulbs grown on nitrate as source of nitrogen, 15.9 g N per 50 bulbs
Bulbs grown on ammonium as source of nitrogen, 14.0 g per 50 bulbs."

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 12:39PM
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A quick look at my fertilizers made clear to me why i've been having such average to poor results with my hippies, Eucharis, Hymenocallis and lillies lately....
I used Miracle Grow that is NPK 20 20 20... oh, dear.... and it gets even worse... the one i've been using the last months (also Miracle Grow) is NPK 18-9-11....

I gotta have a fertilizer with more pottasium. In fact, i have just ordered Canna's PK 10 10 (has no nitrogen) I think i will alternate both a normal (no miracle grow) fertilizer for indoor plants (half dosis or less) when it's important that they get leaves after blooming and the other the rest of the time (also half dosis or so) to encorage flowering, and bulb/root grow. I hope it works....
They have here also DMC's fertlizer for bulbs it has NPK 7-4-9 + 3 MgO, is organic too (so they say) I want to try this one some day, but this one is not available in liquid form. I would hav to mix some with the container soil.
Could magnesium in DMC's fertilizer be a problem for hippeastrum plants?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 4:43AM
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I use orchid food half strengthor 20-20-20 half strength.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 6:00PM
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666 was used in the field trials of hippeastrum for new hybrids in south Florida by the Univ. of Florida in the 1980s & 1990s. It is a low nitrate SLOW RELEASE fertilizer with micronutrients. I noticed that the most growth is after bloom stage when the new leaves come out and new roots grow old roots grow longer and bulbs get their larger size. This occurs in the first 1.5 to 2months after bloom. I only recommend putting a half tsp on top of the soil immediately around each bulb under the loose leaf mulch (not composted). If you use more than this it will go into your soil eventually to the aquifer very fast if you have sandy soils like we have in Florida. I do not dig it in. The bulbs do not need much fertilizer. This is for out door plants.

For potted indoor hippeastrum use 10 inch pots(for root depth) and half sand in your mix. Use rocks or styrofoam peanuts in the bottom with a few stiff leaves to keep the sand from sinking around the rocks for good drainage and more air under the roots. Use 1/8 teaspoon 666 on top of your pot 4 times a year a water from the top nit the saucer once every three weeks. Bill
f you plant in pots,

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 11:25AM
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i started using alfalfa meal tea on my plants this yr
and they love it..everything..vegys,tropicals..and of course my amaryllis..
i use a water soluable 6:4:12 fertilizer.. 1/2 dose..i add my alfalfa meal tea,and a little pinch of kelp powder..
my papillo didnt bloom this summer..but sure are putting
out nice leaves..and bulbs have plumped up nicely..:)
so..hoping this fall i'll get the blooms..

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 10:16PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

So Bill talks about a 6-6-6 fertilizer. I was able to find 4-4-4 today. Jobe's organic all purpose I believe is the name. It also has calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and bacteria colony forming units of numerous kinds of bacteria.

Sounds pretty good to me. In the spring my pots get hit with the fertilizer from the Bayer 3 in 1 to last them through the summer. I don't fertilize with each watering as they are on their own sprikler zone on a timer and watered 3 times a week for 10 minutes. Seems to have only gotten better since this year I increased the coverage with a second head.

OH...back to the fertilizer question. So, since this is 4-4-4 would I use 50% more to deliver the same as what's in a 6-6-6?


    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 8:07PM
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since this is 4-4-4 would I use 50% more to deliver the same as what's in a 6-6-6?

Curiously asking,wouldn't the 4 4 4 NPK also need to have 75 % less micros available to use 50% more in comparison ratios to the micros of 6 6 6 ?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 9:16PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Oh... Good point. Don't want to overdose on micronutrients. Hmmm well, will apply 444 as directed. 666 sounds ominous!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 8:25PM
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