Bud failure

janartmuseJuly 20, 2014

Hi, I started some hippies from seed two and a half years ago, and two now have decided they are old enough to bloom, but both buds eventually shrivelled up without opening. Any ideas? Is it just because they are too young, or do i have something else going wrong? Thanks, Janine

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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Hi Janine!
Welcome to the list! Two years is really pretty great for setting up scapes. You wouldn't happen to have a photo would you? Did the scape come up just an inch or two out of the bulb, or was it a nice tall 18 to 20+ inch scape?

Also, you don't indicate a general area where you live. Sometimes if bulbs get stressed, sudden heat, etc., they can abort their blooms. It's happened to many of us, and is quite frustrating. A young bulb, like yours, is also more prone to abort a scape.

What was the cross (seed x pollen parents)? Are you growing them inside or out? In pots or in the ground? Was there any "forced dormancy"? A few more details will help the detectives on the list!


    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 3:16PM
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Hi, thanks. I looked back at my photos and the computer doesn't date things properly. However the first picture i have of tiny seedlings is labeled 2012, so it must be early spring. Both Amarylli were blooming during winter. One is Ambience and the other is a big dark red one from Trader Joe's (sorry!). it was an impulsive idea to cross pollinate. I got 2 seeds in the one pod i let develop, gave some to my sister, ended up with 34 plants, a few of whom have died. Some thrive, some go nowhere. I don't know if it is genetic or what. They are all in pots indoors. A few of the larger ones have gone into dormancy all their own, but neither of the two that set buds.

It could be red blotch fungus causing trouble, though I've found that using insecticidal soap has alleviated the problem with my bigger plants, so I really don't know. Could be mite damage? Online research has been scary, the chemicals they recommend, etc. Since I've cleared up the problem, mostly, I also am not sure if that's a cause. The second bud which never got more than an 1" tall could have failed because of this.

The first plant to set a scape appeared totally healthy. Its bud got up about 14" then started to shrivel. oddly, the bigger bulbs are the ones holding back. Any advice would be super helpful. I've also sprayed with Orchard Supply's "disease control" which is a fungicide, in case.

I was wondering if I messed up with fertilizer or too much water or something like that. I don't think I moved the plants into a sunnier spot or anything. I've been giving all my hippies leftover african violet or orchid fertilizer when watering those plants, as I haven't found a fertilizer anywhere specific to hippeastrum.

OK, I will post my miserable pictures of my poor unsung buds. I think I have to do this in two installments....Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 9:50AM
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OK, This is the bud on #2 when I first noticed it.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 9:53AM
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And here it is in all its glory now. I do see new leaves coming up. The brown mess up front is what is left of the bud. i assume it got reabsorbed?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 9:55AM
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I found a photo with both parent plants in it. Ambience on the left in back (on the floor, as it was so tall) and the big red one on the right. Maybe you know who the big red one is. I may have a better photo. i am sure it's something really common. Trader Joe's, after all....

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 10:01AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Ugh. Lots of "red"...fungus-y stuff!! I hate that it has to be so "in your face" red!! The first scape and bud look great. I remember having a problem one time where the bud tissue was so thick and stiff that it never opened and the bloom inside shriveled. Is that what happened to you? I've actually been known to peel them back if the green bud is just way too thick.

You might consider a systemic fungicide.

Still, well done!


    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 10:38PM
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Where do I get a systemic fungicide? What would you recommend? J

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 11:07AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

I think I use a Greenlight product. I think Bonide makes a decent one too.

Ace Hardware, HD and L sell them....

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 4:43PM
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I'll try Ace Hardware. We have a really good one nearby. Thanks, J

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 9:40AM
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