Frustrating Papillios

brigarif KhanApril 4, 2012

I have a few Papillio bulbs growing in pots as well as in the bed. I have FAILED to get them to bloom every year (some years I don�t get any bloom). They are growing in same conditions as others.

Any advice will be appreciated.

Arif

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npublici(Zephyrhills,Fl)

Arif, Last year a very small percentage of mine bloomed. This year most bloomed.I don't know a secret to getting them to bloom. I just know their bloom is not reliable. Some people,here in Florida,get them to bloom in the fall,however mine bloom in march,when they bloom.
Del

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 10:10AM
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dondeldux

Up until this years mine were blooming regularly..this year nothing so far..I guess they're just finicky..most beautiful people are...

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 10:25AM
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houstonpat(9a)

Join the crow y'all. Most of mine had real short scapes this year, though all the mature bulbs are blooming. I have a 24" square cedar box with 8 mature bulbs planted in it. 2 bloomed with long scapes and 4 buds per scape the other 6 had short scapes and only 2 or 3 buds per scape. Maybe it's "Solar Flares" :)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 5:11PM
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brigarif Khan

Were these new bulbs or old repeters?
Arif

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 11:47PM
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hippiezep(11)

I share your frustration. I've bought bulbs of Papilio butterfly from Royal Colours for three consecutive years, and they have all failed to flower, and eventually died. I wrote and told them and they sent a non-commital reply saying yes they can be difficult (but did not offer a refund or replacement). I bought other varieties called Misty, Rembrandt van Rijn and Rio Negro - these all flowered shortly after they arrived, but did not survive another year. The only one flowering this year is a variety called Exotic Star which has just come out:

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 9:55AM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

My papillo bloomed last year (new bulb). I put it into the garden, and it has huge robust foliage. But no bloom this year=(

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 9:52AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

This is a really fun and informative discussion! I've had a papillio in my Hippeastrum area of my garden for four years. It gets the exact same treatment as my other Hipps, including H. striatum and H. 'Mrs. Garfield' and all of the others (save one no-name Cybister I got in a trade three years ago) bloom, but the papillio just refuses so far. Good to hear I'm not alone.

I'm not really planning on doing anything about it, but knowing it's not just me, or a dud bulb, is good to hear. Thanks for sharing!

Take care,
Grant

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 2:39PM
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berkeleysgr8(8B)

I have two Papilios... and they seem pretty finicky. Even trying to get them to put out lush greenery seems too much to ask. I don't think I have had more than 6 leaves on either plant. Good luck... and lots of patience! -Tina

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 8:29PM
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npublici(Zephyrhills,Fl)

I have discovered a few things about Papilio-the hard way.They like medium shade in Florida.They are more sensitive to too much moisture than most bulbs.They require good drainage.They will rot.They do better in pots than in the ground,even though the soil is sand.They will grow quite well as epiphytic plants,as long as the roots are often wetted.They go dormant in the heat of summer,but retain their leaves,almost always.They require that the bulb be larger than four inches across to bloom.I have never had them bloom from one smaller.They use more fertilizer than any other species or hybrid I have grown.They will grow very well with often applications of liquid fertilizer at half strength. They will fill a fifteen gallon pot in three years,with offsets.They set seed from hybrid pollen,of any ploidy, more readily than most species.One or two of the seeds of the pod will often be viable.A few of the seeds will have the embryo outside of the black tissue like seed coat.Most of those won't be viable.Papilio will open its pods while still very green,so a close watch must be kept near the ripening time.It is rare to have a Papilio seed pod totally change color,upon ripening.Papilio has strong dominance,no matter what it is crossed with.I have never not been able to tell that I am seeing a Papilio seedling.They do not like being dug up and moved,more than many others,especially when not dormant.They will put roots down two feet,but almost always have roots above ground.
Del

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 10:33AM
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houstonpat(9a)

I think you are pretty much accurate Del. Arif, they are rebloomers from years past.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 5:37PM
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dangles

i dont know if u know that papillio bulbs do not like to be fertalised but grow tham in a mix that is high in organic material that should get them to flower happy growing danny

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 6:44AM
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joshy46013

I agree with Del, papilio seems to be a heavy feeder.

They're from the cool Atlantic forests and they're naturally epiphytic species which needs a large root run.

Josh

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 5:43PM
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berkeleysgr8(8B)

Hmmm... maybe I should try repotting one of my Papilio into a tall black glazed pot that I had originally grown cymbidium orchids in. That would allow the roots to go very deep, compared to how they can grow in the average plastic pot.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 1:59AM
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mariava7

Papilios love organic fertilizers.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 3:18AM
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npublici(Zephyrhills,Fl)

I grow all, but a few species, in compost made of bones, eggshells,leaves and grass clippings,mixed with sand and perlite.It isn't that Papilio doesn't like fertilizer.It's that it will damage the roots if too much at one time is used.That's true of others,but more so of Papilio.I suspect it would be true of most which will grow epiphyticly.That is the reason I use half strength liquid fertilizer.I live in the city, so I'm limited as to what might offend my neighbors.
Del

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 8:47AM
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brigarif Khan

The three in 14inch pot have not bloomed but the one bulb-let in 10 inch pot has surprised me.
It seems my Papillio is of a different strain, it is much greener and middle two petals are not as broad even the anther is green From Amaryllis 2012 From Amaryllis 2012

Any comments
Arif

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 1:27AM
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berkeleysgr8(8B)

The green papillio is a very striking color combination. I like the ligher papillio and the greener variety equally... both are unrivaled beauties! Has anyone tried growing them in just coconut husk chunks? It would be an airy medium that would also retain a decent amount of moisture.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 5:42PM
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billums_ms_7b(Delta MS 8A)

I grow mine in compost rich clay mulched heavily with live oak leaves. Since I've been putting down compost for years and also letting the oak leaves I add as mulch every year compost in place, I no longer fertilize anything in that bed.

I started with one bulb and it has done an excellent job of multiplying and it and it's larger children bloom every year.

The bed where these are located is on the west side of the house, so they are in heavy shade until the afternoon, when they are suddenly blasted with sun. Then, about five hours later, they are shaded again by my live oaks.

They are also located pretty close to the drip line for my roof, so they get plenty of water when it rains.

I have a lot of other cultivars in sunnier, drier areas and none of them multiply and bloom nearly as well as these.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 8:04AM
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dondeldux

And this is a lovely Exotic Star..not papilio...but I'm sure you know that...very beautiful.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 3:31PM
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billums_ms_7b(Delta MS 8A)

Nope. However, after listening to you guys, I think I won the mislabeled big box store bulb sweepstakes.

More attractive, IMO, and less fussy. I'll take my mislabeled Exotic Star and be happy with the mix up.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 12:29AM
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dondeldux

You're right, Exotic Star is second to none..I've had mine for 3 years now and this year I got 3 scapes from her..one of my all time favorites and as you say, definitly less fussy.
But, keep trying for a papilio, she's worth all the extra fuss and work when she does decide to bloom...

Donna

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 7:17AM
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amaryllisstudygroup

Papilio are epiphyte/geophytes that grow better if the roots are planted and the bulb is on top of the soil in a pot or tghe garden. It will not rebloom in a pot unless it is in a small 6 inch or less pot or has enough bulbs to "feel" crowded. Put a piece of tile or sliver of broken pot immediately under the bulb base [If your pot mix or garden soil is stiff with sand, you might not need this].

Because of your hot climate in Kandahar, Arif, a blue or green not red shade cloth or net may help your flowers last longer even if they are under a tree. Shading the ground (or soil surface in pots)around your bulbs with 1 to 6 inches of oak leaves or pine straw, but NOT WOOD CHIP MULCHES OR SAWDUST will help to keep the top of the ground from drying out in the hotest summer sun.

The Museum of Thomas Edison's Winter Home in Ft. Myers, FL replanted the amaryllis bed that Mina Edison [his wife] enjoyed 80 years ago in April 2011 with half older amaryllis and half new hybrids. The bulbs had pulled themselves about 2 inches deeper than they were planted by late November 2011 due to the extremely loose soil found in much of south Florida. This is similar to what I have observed in West Palm Beack, Miami, Naples, FL, etc. The chief gardener immediately replanted the bulbs on top of the soil with a piece of 4 inch tile only 1 inch under the bulb.

I have also determined that pots in hot climates [and cold in cold winters] can accumulate extra heat from the the sun that will damage the microscopic hair roots on the surface of the visible roots so that the plants (not just amaryllis) can not take up water and the dissolved minerals and fertilizers for nourishment and growth. This is why people see the yellowing leaves and say "the sun myleaves". Actually the hair roots were cooked and the plant is starving and dying of thirst.

So The worst hot pots are terra cotta; next is glazed pottery; next is concrete. The best pots are the newer very light foam pots with a hard shell. They last longer than they did only 5 years ago. Not using saucers and putting the pots in direct contact with the ground and especially in the shade of trees will help reduce overheating and drying. E. William Warren

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 1:31PM
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