Life of Amaryllis Flower

mariava7February 5, 2006

My Blossom Peacock's flower opened a few days ago. It had 5 blooms in one scape and I was so excited to see them all open. Unfortunately by the time the third bloom opened, the first bloom that opened already started wilting. The next day, the second bloom started to wilt too. I am a bit disappointed with this. My other Amaryllis flowers lasted at least a week before they start to wilt. House temperature is in 70 but i noticed that humidity has been in 50s or below 50s. What is the desired humidity level of Amaryllis anyway specially when its in bloom? What can I do to make my flowers last a bit longer?

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Yes the flowers don't last as long as we'd like do they?

Taking off the stamens (and removing the pollen) is supposed to prolong the life of the flower.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 6:07AM
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Does the temperature affect bloom time? The amaryllis I see blooming in my neighborhood in the summer seem to last a long time, but I am unsure as to what varieties they are.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 6:39AM
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summerdew786(z7 to 11)

Good morning!

let me tell you in detail. It might help you in everyway.

Extension treatment: 13- 15 C; large flowered: 10-12 weeks; Double flowered: 6-8 weeks; small flowered: 4-6 weeks

Storage temperature prior to planting: 5 C; allow planty of space between bulbs with low rate air circulation and ventilation; R.H+_ 70%

Advance preparation: Store the bulbs before planting for 7 -14 days with 25-28 C; R.H 80-90%

Planting period: All year around

Rooting medium: Well-drained, moisture-retentive rooting medium or standard potting compost, pH 5.5-6.5

No of bulbs per pot: 1 bulb per pot, pot size dependent on bulb size

Plating depth: 1/3 of bulb neck above soil

watering: immediately after planting water generously, then wait until shoot (leaf or bud) emerges from Bulb
Housing time: after planting

Cultivation stage:

Fertiliser: none

Green house environment: air temperature 21-27 C, soil temperature minimal 20-22 C; R.H. 60-80%

Light requirements: First 2 weeks perhaps no light, then up to 350 joules/cm2/day, then shade

Green house period: Chrismas flowering: 5-7 weeks; january-March flowering: 5-7 weeks; April-Autumn flowering: 3-4 weeks

watering: first 2 weeks moderate, then, when shoot or bud emerges from bulb, water regularly

what I'm doing these days:-

Maintaining a CONSTANT temperature day and night of 26C to 28C (72F to 82F) for optimal results

Bottom heating is preferred.
During the forcing period temperature should never fall below 22C (72F) or rise above 30C (86F)

Make sure that the area is well ventilated and that the relative humidity of the air remains as low as possible.

ok now to delay your flowering place pots at 9C (48F) before opening of the 1st bud. At this temperature growth will virtually come to a halt and the plants may be kept at this temperature up to 10 days.

To make the plants resume growth, move the pot to a warmer area, No water should be administrated while the plants are 9C (48F). To ACCELERATE growth, increase the temperature. Do not exceed 30C (86F)

I try to prolong my flower life by avoid placing them in a direct sunlight. But no doubt at flowering stage you must place the pot in full light but no direct sunlight. After the flowering time you can place the pot in direct sunlight. But I recommend Partial shade. In my case I place them in partial shade after flowering because I live in zone 12.

P.S High light conditions and higher temperatures during forcing will promote shorter stems at flowering.

Happy Gardening!

Best Regards,

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 3:20PM
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Hmmmm...thanks for the info Kniphofia and Ammar. I was kinda thinking about the humidity being the problem. The house temp. is almost constant at 70 but the humidity level lately as I have said has gone to the 50s or below. If we humans start drying up and itching, I'm pretty sure the plants are also affected by this. Except of course for the cacti and succulents or other plants that love low humidity. My small houseplants can be seated in a watered tray with pebbles to boost up the humidity around them to maybe 60%. I just can't think of a way how to give the Amaryllises with their tall flower stalks more humidity. I am NOT buying a humidifier either. For those who let their Amaryllis bloom outside, does your Amaryllis flowers last longer than 3-5 days?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 10:36AM
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anna_in_quebec(z4 QC)

My amaryllis flower in an environment of rarely higher than 65 degrees, low humidity, probably around 30-40%. They thrive and the blooms last for almost 2 weeks. I water them moderately once a week (once around the bulb, without wetting the shoulders).


    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 11:40AM
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Wow...2 weeks!!! Now i'm really getting desperate...uggghhh! I have Papilio and Green Goddess blooming in a few weeks. I'll try putting them downstairs (semi-basement)where it's a little bit cooler, exactly like your growing environment Anna. Hope it works.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 11:53AM
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anna_in_quebec(z4 QC)

Well, I figured anyone can grow an amaryllis the first year they buy the bulb, so I wasn't convinced I had a good environment (which I really would not be able to change significantly) until the 4 bulbs I bought last year successfully grew foliage, were put to sleep, then "reawakened". All are showing big healthy scapes at the moment - Red Peacock has 2 at the same time!
Good luck Marieva!


    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 1:43PM
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lora_in(z5 central IN)

Hi Maria,
If these are bulbs planted this season they dont have a full set of roots under them yet. Next bloom season they will probably last a lot longer. I keep mine under conditions similar to Anna's and yes,the blooms last much longer,10 to 14 days if they aren't pollinated. Lora

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 9:52AM
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brigarif Khan

The life of a flower is affected by temp and polination.The flowers forced to bloom in winter last twice as long as the ones flowering in season (end of March). The spring here is very short.
Nothing much I can do about.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 12:45AM
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What I've noticed in my limited experience is that heat from sunlight cause the flower to whither quickly within a couple days even in a cool room. My dim unheated room makes the flowers last over a week. The plants that have established root and leaf growth also seem to have flowers that last longer even when exposed to heat and light.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 11:55AM
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Thank you all for the infos. Yes I have noticed that Dancing Queen that has been with me for 3 years now had flowers that lasted a lot longer than Blossom Peacock that was just planted this season. Most of my bulbs were just recently acquired, I guess I'll be satisfied with what they give me this season. I'll place them in a cooler area too and see the results. I can't wait, my Papilio's got 2 scapes coming up. Wooooohooooo!!!!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 12:29PM
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ewohryn(9-N Cntl FL)

Make sure your pot is 10 -12 inches and deep not shallow.
Your mix should have rocks in the bottom and at least half coarse sand so it drains well. Coolness slows the plant down and can stop it after the scapes start up not shorten the length of flower time. You may have wetness or dampness
in the bottom of the pot. Bill

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 12:57PM
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Green Goddess just opened her blooms yesterday. I placed her downstairs where it's constantly 60 degrees with 45% humidity and no direct sunlight. Papilio is about to open up her blooms soon too. I'll be counting the days and wish this works out well. Will post the results in a few days or hopefully weeks.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 8:46AM
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I experienced that flower-life also depends on variety. I just list a few. Aphrodite, Matterhorn, Red Peacock - long for me. Papillio, Papillio Improved, Prelude - short for me. So just listing 3 of each, I have already made my verdict.
Also, I agree, that bulbs that have more established root system tend to bring up healthier scapes and longer lasting blooms. Ludwig Dazzler just shivelled its flower for me. Almost nothing. I planted it out. I was surprised that the bulb was literarily just sitting in the pot. There was no root formation whatsoever. No wonder it could not support blooms. But on the other hand, some of you might have seen my picture of the Green Goddess I intentionally let to go to bloom without being potted. Long scape, healthy, wonderful flowers, then later even seed pods... So now be clever... Bulbs are like pets or people. They have preferences and individualities... Some of them are fighters and some of them just simply want to give up.
Chianti also gave me small flowers that died quite quick. I planted it out a few days ago. Now it started to bring out a third scape out of nowhere. So I will have my second bloom in the flower bed. What a sweet revenge. I'd take this kind of revenge any day. I hope this bloom will be healthier though.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 12:39PM
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You know... come to think of it... my Minerva blooms lasted a very long time the last time she bloomed. I can't remember exactly how many days, but it seemed like she had blooms forever!

And if I remember correctly, the very first time she bloomed, which was many years ago, the flowers didn't last as long as they do now when she blooms. By the same token, Apple Blossom put on a nice show last year, but not as long lasting as Minerva. Apple Blossom is a young bulb compared to Minerva.

As for light and ambient temperatures, I'm stuck with what I have right now... I'm currently in a small upper apartment, although I do have north, south, east and west windows, with large trees outside the south window that shade it nicely. Most of my plants that require more light are in the east window, and the others are in the north and south.

I would have to say that the temperatures fluctuate quite a bit due to the large window AC unit and the heat unit in winter. It's definitely more dry than humid.

Even without optimum conditions, my amaryllis and other plants seem to do well. The only plant I've lost so far was a geranium I brought in last fall and tried to winter over. I believe that was my fault, though... I under watered it!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 4:36PM
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I remember wintering geranium in Hungary. We simply brought them in and put them in the cold, dark hallway. They got water once in a while, but really scarcely. Then when Spring came, we just planted them out.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 5:42PM
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I know several people that simply toss their geraniums in the basement or garage to overwinter, and they have excellent luck/results. One woman I know has had the same geranium mother plants for many years. She brings them inside when the temperatures lower in autumn and then takes cuttings for new plants in early spring. She also grows awesome glads and caladiums... every time I try to winter a geranium indoors, I either kill it or it gets so spindly and sparse leafed that in the end, I toss it out because there's no way I could get even one cutting from it, and it's a lot easier to buy new geraniums in the spring!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 12:34PM
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It is almost the toss-method that we used at home as well. It was scarcely watered, almost never got any light, and it was in cold. Not freezing cold, but pretty cold cold. And if I am right, there were plenty of cuttings in the Spring. Though it is true, that these were common, everyday geraniums. If you are trying to deal with some hybrid varieties, they might need special treatment. As I am getting older, I am discovering that most of the common varieties of plants are slowly disappearing and interesting, sometimes even bizarre versions become the standard. Look at just the miniature petunia. It is all over the place. 10 years ago I have not heard of something like that...
I left Hungary 7 years ago. When I left, we only knew a few varieties of amaryllis. Mostly Minerva, White-Red striped, Red, and the rare White... It's sure come a long way since. Now I can identify several hundreds of distinct varieties. Very interesting. How easy to mess with nature.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 12:00PM
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Yes it is... it is TOO easy to mess with Mother Nature! Just like every other industry, it has become all about the money.

Take mums, for instance... they all used to be quite winter hardy, but plant breeders began breeding more toward flower color, shape and size... and didn't include hardiness when they were messing with the genetics!

Most geraniums sold nowadays are seed geraniums, not the zonals. Zonals are rather on the expensive side, if you can find them. Those are ones most people keep over winter in their basements, and then take cuttings from in spring. Mine were probably seed geraniums, which are alright, but known for petal shatter among other things.

The more research I do on Amaryllis, the more varieties I find. I'm sure I can't identify THAT many, but the number I recognize now is growing!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 10:04PM
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I own 129 varieties up to date. I can identify all of them. But I gathered pictures of other 341 varieties that I still have to lay my hands on. And they are not all. I could not save some pictures from protected sites, and some varieties had faulty picture link or had no picture at all, and there are 138 pictured variety from Maguire Australia, and some more without pictures. I just wrote for them asking if they ever sell to the US.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 3:05AM
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