Amaryllis Seedlings Not Growing Leaves

SandraCVAMarch 15, 2011

Can anyone provide some advise on whether I planted my seedlings correctly? I received an amaryllis bulb for Christmas. It shot out 2 healthy stocks with 4-5 flowers each. I pollenated the flowers and the pods developed & matured just like everything I've read said it would. This is the first time I've tried starting amaryllis from seed.

I tried the California method first to figure out which end is which on the seed. They started spreading a single root 2 days after sitting in water. At that point I started planting each one in a 1" clay pot hoping they'll stay happy there until they outgrow the pots. It has now been 2 weeks since I've transfered them from water to pot. No leaves in sight. They've been covered as suggested, soil kept moist. Short of digging one up to see what it's doing---is this normal? All the postings I've found shows leaves sprouting up. How long does this take?

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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Be patient. WOW...2 days for roots is amazing, so maybe the leaves are taking a little longer. The root is forming a tiny little bulb. If the seed is viable, the leaves will come in time!

What kind of soil did you use? I use a very light vermiculite mix, which stays moist and doesn't offer much resistance to the seedlings. I make a little hole for the root and the seed sits on top. With one cross I made I have 99% of the seeds sprouting.

You and your seedlings will be fine!!
WHAT HYBRID was your bulb!?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 8:52AM
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e36yellowm3(7 Raleigh, NC)

I agree 2 days is pretty quick for roots to show! I'm not sure how long it takes for mine to root since I use a "semi flotation" technique - very soggy potting soil with a light layer of sand on top. I've found that it takes ~18 days for the seeds to start to levitate - they push up off the surface of the soil - and then a few days after a leaf starts to poke through. So I would say 3 weeks on the first leaf. Hang in there - a bit more time!


    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 10:11AM
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In my experience I've found that leaving the seeds in the water until they actually form leaves and then planting them in your soil works best for me.. I've done it all ways and I seem to get the best results doing this. In the past I wasn't making such exciting crosses as I make now so it really didn't matter how many I ended up with as long as I got a few. Now, it does matter..I find the same as Del, that too much time in the water with no action isn't good. I've had seeds turn to mush after about 3 or 4 weeks with no rooting action and had to throw them all away..and for me the sinkers do root as Del says.

Good luck with your seeds and if these don't germinate for you I'm sure someone on this forum can supply you with some more seeds for you to experiment with if you wish...just ask..


Just a picture of how long I leave my seeds when possible in the water, changing the water every 2 or 3 days..these have since been potted up in a community tray with other and so far so good....

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 1:23PM
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brigarif Khan

I tried ths method and found it rather cumber some. Why not plant directly in a 4 inch deep tray and leave it there for a year or so.
There are many a way to skin a cat.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 9:20AM
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Well.. for one thing, If I have 50 seeds soaking, not all of them will germinate..maybe only half or I will just take biggest and healthiest and plant them after soaking. If I plant every one of my 50 seeds for a dozen crosses..I'll have to kick someone out of the house and use their space for my seedlings. Some of them will root, and some of them will rot, bottom line... I just don't have the space.

Now, I have received numerous seeds from friends this year and if I hadn't soaked them rather than having planted them each seprrately I would have waited for an awfully long time to find out that only about 1/4 of the seeds actually germinated. Just my opinion..


    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 11:05AM
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I agree with Donna, it's hard to find room with 50 seeds when only 1/4 of them germinate. If we could grow outside I'm sure it would be a bit easier.

I also agree with Donna on letting the leaves grow while soaking BEFORE you pot them up. If you don't let the first root grow long enough it can't transfer into the potting soil properly. I have noticed I loose many seeds if I don't let them grow their first leaf while floating.

Also, when you switch the seedlings over you must keep the soil very moist at first just so there is no shock because of change of atmosphere! I cover the pot with a thin plastic covering for the first few days slowly acclimatizing them to drier conditions! This isn't necessary but it helps my plants.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 1:24PM
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Thanks for all the advice everyone! I found 4 pots with little green leaves shooting up this morning! It's about 3 weeks now, just like Donna said. I only tested the ones w/roots in little pots. The rest are still floating in water, most have sprouted roots. Some turned to mush here too so they got tossed. I used a really sandy soil mix that I bought for my succulents. Read they like soil that drains so thought, what the heck...

I'm glad they're still alive. More encouraged to be patient now :)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 7:58PM
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