Flowering Amaryllis in Peril!
Dear Good People of the Hippeastrum Forum,
I am a new member and I have really benefitted from the enlightening information I found throughout the forum, and its wonderful FAQ!
Yet as even with that wealth of tutorials I still feel unsure of how to proceed in order to complete the attempted rescue of my sick bulb, I turn to you! My bulb is a "mass" bulb that I received as a kit for x-mas. It came with the coconut medium, which I have (unfortunately) used. At first, all was swell, the bulb produced a magnificently tall floral stalk with 4 gorgeous white and pink flowers (the double kind). There are 4 leaves growing somewhat "on the side" of the main bulb, yet inside it, these have remained the same for many days now, same went for a 2nd stalk, which showed its bulb rather quickly, but stayed short, as it still is (only 3 inches), somehow, even if it looks like it's already opening some, and the flower bulbs are visible. 2 days ago, on a whim, and after reading up on the care of the bulbs to *keep* them, I touched the bulb and it was soft! I became worried when I peeled some of the layers off from the exposed portion of the bulb, discovering some brownish rot. I then carefully dug him out of its pot, and saw that the rot had attacked the roots, so I rinsed everything, and while peeling off the sick 1st layers, I discovered more interlayer brownish/bright red rot further in, so I peeled some more, until the layer seemed 'ok' to me. He still has some mostly white roots left, which gives me hope, the basal plate, now dry, seems free of rot, except maybe on the side in the cut-off part of the layers I had to remove, and the bulb is mostly shiny and white now. I have left him sitting in the top opening of an empty kleenex box close to the window, with a side open so that his roots/basal plate will be able to dry some, as I have seen many of you mention the need to let the salvaged bulbs dry before repotting in "intervention" testimonials on the forum.
With the context layed out, here are my questions: since he is in the process of flowering, is it ok to wait 4 days until I repot him, as the fungicide I have ordered will not be there until then? Should I let him dry some more with his roots out in the air, or should I put his roots in a bowl of water inside the kleenex box? The fungicide is liquid and sulphur-based, I plan on bathing the bulb, but as there seems to be some suspicious-looking tissue close to its "neck" (still a bit of reddish rot-looking tint there) would I spray this part as well, even though it's not great to have moisture go inside the bulb layers? Finally, I was thinking of repotting him in a mix of Fafard Connoisseur Tropical plant + some Fafard Orchid potting mixes, to emulate Jodik's mix, in an unglazed terra cotta pot. Does this sound ok to you or do you think there is a better plan for me to follow?
Lastly, I have another bulb from last year who is producing very beautiful leaves this year (since I only belatedly learned how to care for the bulbs post-flowering and put him on a no water+dark dwelling too soon, but I bet he'll be great next year!), I am *very* tempted to repot him as well, with the same mix as the one I was to use for the "sick" bulb, would it traumatize him too much to do it now, or do I really have to wait until he's dormant? I was hoping that by giving him a larger pot he would have a better chance to grow during the nice seasons when they come!
I apologize for the extra long post (& the poor picture -and unmanucured fingers-, I had to take it with my computer, and did not get how to upload more than one picture from the instructions at the end of the FAQ... So I took a picture to try to show roots+flower bud+new leaves (on the far right) together! The other stalk is the first one that I cut off when the flowers were 'done' doing their thing. I have more pictures I could post of the basal plate, if needed.) and many mercis in advance for any helpful advice you might provide. Happy gardening!