Will my bulbs bloom again?

mmscJuly 4, 2014

Hi!
Two years ago I bought a bunch of amaryllis bulbs and planted them in containers. It was late summer, but they set leaves and flowered right away.
After the flowers dried, I expected the bulbs to go dormant, but they just went into cycles of producing new leaves over and over again.
Last summer was incredibly dry and hot, so 25 months later they finally went dormant for the first time. I dug them up and they look really healthy and HUGE - I'd say bigger than a handball.

Their natural cycle here in Brazil is to flower in september and then the leaves die by late march. Is it possible that they didn't bloom these past 2 years because they were adjusting, since during the 1st year they were completely off their natural cycle? Or could it be something else?

Also, should I leave them in their containers or is it better to keep them completely dry?

Thank you!

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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Hi! When you buy bulbs they have usually been stored in such a manner so that when the customer gets them in their hands, they're ready to bloom. This is what happened with yours! Many people on this list grow their bulbs as evergreen, and don't force a dormancy.

Typically, the bulbs will go dormant during the cold part of the year. During this time, they don't need water, and it's okay to leave them in the pots as long as they stay dry. Otherwise, they may rot. If you feel more comfortable taking them out of the soil during the dormancy, that should be okay too. I leave mine in pots in Texas so I don't have to continually repot and disturb the roots. I have pretty good luck getting them to bloom again. In their natural cycle, after they've been dormant, you'll see them start to green up again. Typically they will send up a bloom scape, but some may send up a few leaves first. Once you see green, you can start watering again.

Good luck!!!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 2:45PM
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Lulu Ho

Hi, I purchased an Amaryllis back in December of 2011. It bloomed beautifully as you can see in the next picture.

Since then I've never been lucky enough to have it bloom again. That's over 2 years without blooms. It always has leaves on it. I never fertilized it and just kept watering it. It lived on the sill of a south facing window. I never knew if it had gone dormant, which I doubt, because it always had green leaves on it. I never took it out of the pot nor did I place it in a cool dark basement.

Last August, I moved from New York City where I lived and purchased the plant. I cut off the leaves and pulled the bulb off the pot and packed it in a plastic bag.

I now live in Panama City, Panama in Central America. It is hot and humid here most of the year. The night time temperature does not go below 72 here in the city. I planted the bulb after it spent about 4 months in a plastic bag. It has tons of leaves now as you can see in the next picture.

I noticed that the leaves are not as firm looking and green as they were a couple of months ago. Does that mean that they are going to turn brown and fall off? I don't see any new leaves sprouting out. It's never had 7 on it at the same time either. I just started fertilizing it in the last two weeks with miracle gro all purpose plant food 24-8-16. I am watering it every other day very lightly, trying to keep it moist and not wet. It's in a balcony so it doesn't get rained on.

Keeping in mind that I now live in the tropics where the temperature is high all the time. My questions are:
1. Do I need to force it into dormancy? How is that done?
2. What can be done to make it bloom again?
3. I've read elsewhere that people put the whole pot with the bulb inside their refrigerator. If I choose to do this, when should I do it and what is exactly the procedure to follow? Do I cut off all leaves or wait for them to drop naturally? Do I make a straight cut across to have a cleancut? how far down? Can I put it inside a plastic bag before I place it in the fridge? How long should I keep it there? and what do I do when I bring it out?

Bottom line, will it ever bloom again?

Thanks

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 4:38PM
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