Why you should cut bulb necks in the fall!

kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)April 26, 2011

I got this bulb recently and the scape was already starting to poke out...but this is why I cut all my bulbs down each fall. This is Dancing Queen...what a shame! It's now blooming with the scape still inside the bulb, not attractive or healthy. Will be an invitation to interior ROT! :-(


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brigarif Khan

Yes, Why?.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 1:04AM
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With all due and deserved respect - I miss the reason->effect relation, in this case.

"Cutting the neck" is a good measure, in order to inspect a bulb, before you put it into storage. If the area is not completely white, and rather reveals red spots, then this indicates an infection from bulb scale mite, along the leaf bases.
If you do regularly treat/cure the growing crop, alternately with a systemic acaricide (Dimethoat) and a general-purpose, superficially working insectide (synthetic Pyrethroid like Cypermethrin / Imiprothrin) then you can omit cutting the neck, but I would recommend it even though.
Do not forget to cure or at least disinfect the freshly cut, raw surface. I apply up to 50 g of crystallized ALUMEN [KAl(SO4)2 x 12 H2O = mild disinfectant] per L water together with 2.5 mL Rogor or such other normed Dimethoat preparation (400 g/L in Cyclohexanon)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 8:38AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

I find that as bulbs age and grow, the necks get sucessively narrower and tall. This (at least at my house) restricts the scapes from emerging. By trimming the bulb down so that the neck is not narrow, it allow scapes to emerge without being pinched and the bulb doesn't split (the bulb doesn't always split, sometimes the scape can't get out so it just withers and rots in the bulb).

Sorry Hans-Werner, but I'm not sure what an insecticide has to do with the structure of the bulb, but do agree that it is good practice! I trim up bulbs as part of the fall maintenance and dust the cut surface with Captan. I do use a good systemic insecticide and saw no signs of mites or insects. Since I overwinter in a protected environment (the pop-up greenhouse) and the bulbs get no water during the winter, I don't have to worry about water getting into the bulb.

Maybe this is all just my preference, but as we all know with Hippeastrum hybrids, what works for one may not work for another. It's standard practice for me and prevents aborting of scapes and bulb injury.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 8:46AM
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>>necks get sucessively narrower and tall. This (at least at my house) restricts the scapes from emerging.

I cannot exclude, that this might apply for SOME hybrids.
However! I assume, that the problems that you observe with "long necks" are due to another problem.

What I can say about rupture of fleshy bulb scales through expanding scapes is, that the infection from bulb scale mites is responsible for this. (This answers the Q what the use of an insecticide has to do with the structure of the bulb)

What systemic insecticide do you apply?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 12:30PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

I use the Bayer 3-in-1 product. Other than the batch of bulbs that have arrived this season with diseases, I have never encountered red blotch or mites. Yes, I have been lucky, but I use the systemic religiously. I have received several unhealthy bulbs this year, and other than Exotic Star an a couple others that seem to grow longer necks, I've never had a problem with scape entrapment. Only in new bulbs that I get that haven't been cut down as far as I would typically do.

Sounds like I am just getting unhealthy bulbs this year.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 12:58PM
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I've never had this problem, I don't trim anything down, when the leaves die back I just gently tug and the pop off. I noticed on my bulbs that the scape doesn't get to mature sizes until it's out the bulbs, when it first emerges it's much smaller and gets larger as it gets taller. I've had some bloom closer to the bulb that were new acquisitions, I've heard this is from too little moisture?

I have noticed that many bulbs I got this season were infected with mites...

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 2:35PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Do species do this too? I know this is your first year with the hybrids...just curious. I've never had so many sick bulbs arrive at my doorstep.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 5:17PM
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I haven't had any trouble with my species doing this but that doesn't mean they don't. I do notice that as the bulb grows quickly many times the outside scales may rip a bit.

I have had lots of trouble with the hybrids I bought this year, I was starting to wonder if it's always like this and if it's worth buying them :( I was really disappointed with the amount of bugs and disease I got with a VERY reputable dealer that everyone absolutely loves. They've been the best I've seen overall... The majority seems to have had mites. I've also noticed virus in quite a few hybrids which can really only be expected with mass plantings and I'm sure they don't clean the tools after every chop to the leaves considering many grow on a very large scale. Some plants I got are absolutely beautiful and I've decided to keep very few, I would probably say I've spent a good thousand dollars on bulbs this past season...


    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 10:03PM
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