A. mandonii, papilio,cybister, reticulatum var straitum

radhavallJuly 11, 2014

Hi all,

I am usually in the fragrants forum. I acquired these bulbs recently. I have them in potting soil and they are doing good so far. I am wondering if there is special soil preference and cultural tips I may benefit from. I have also ordered few more bulbs for oct. arrival from one of the bulb companies. mostly cybister hybrids. Thank you all so much for any insights..

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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Hi! The first message on the list is a sticky containing answers to many of the frequently asked questions...that should get you started.

Who did you order your new bulbs from? Looks like you may live in Florida; if so, lucky you as these do great outside in the ground.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 6:52AM
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Heck yeah! You get to grow your bulbs right in the garden! How fortunate!

I concur with Kristi... there's a lot of great cultural information contained within that "sticky" pasted to the top of this forum.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 9:52AM
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Thank you so much for your input..
I am in south florida and I think at least 2 bulbs rooted themselves through the pot into the ground. I have generic amaryllis in ground for years, but I am nervous for these species bulbs. When it pours here it really does and I was worried about too much water etc.

Here is a little clip on youtube about my amaryllis..

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing in ground, my generic Amaryllis..

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 1:32PM
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Nice! It's a beautiful border of Hippeastrums!

You could keep your species types in pots if you want to... I'm forced to grow all my tender plants and bulbs in containers due to our winters... the 'sticky" at the top of the forum contains some really good tips on medium, feeding, ensuring good drainage in pots, etc... growing in a garden situation is very different than growing within the confined space of a pot.

Gosh, I sure wish I could grow a border of Hippis like yours!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 7:00PM
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Thank you so much, Jodik. I look forward for them every year. Rest of the bulbs I ordered from Van bourgondien will arrive in oct, I think. So I was planning to get my soil ready..

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 8:48PM
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You have very different environmental conditions from those I deal with... you have much milder temperatures in winter, hotter temperatures in summer, much more sun, and you'll probably need to water yours more than I would... therefore, you'll need a medium that is a bit more moisture retentive than I would use, and you'll probably find yourself feeding them a bit more often because of the amount of water you'll be flushing through the soil to keep them happy, if you get my meaning.

Plants are never a one-size-fits-all thing... because of differing conditions... like differing climates, differing individual micro-climates, differing container sizes, etc...

That means, in essence, that advice on growing plants and what actually works will differ for each grower... and we have to adjust various things to fit our own individual situation.

It sounds more difficult than it really is.

We simply have to be observant... and it's very helpful if we have knowledge of the basic conditions a particular kind of plant needs and likes. There is no such thing as luck, or being fortunate when it comes to gardening... a green thumb is nothing more than applied knowledge.

Hippeastrum bulbs can be grown a couple of different ways... they can be scheduled for bloom when we want flowers by forcing a dormancy, or we can let them grow and bloom on their own natural schedule. I've chosen the latter method, which is less work for me.

Typically, my bulbs slow growth in the autumn and winter... and I adjust watering and feeding accordingly... and they begin active growth in spring when the days begin to lengthen and the sun is closer to us... again, I adjust watering and feeding for their active growth... they typically bloom in spring or early summer for me. After blooming, they put forth lots of green to gather energy for their next cycle.

In your climate, you'll probably need a medium that's more moisture retentive than something I'd choose. Since my bulbs are forced to be in containers, and they spend part of the year indoor, I want a more porous, fast draining medium that won't allow them to stay too wet for too long a time period. I make my own medium, using various ratios of fir bark fines, coarse perlite, granite chips, and a handful of premium commercial potting mix for the right balance of aeration and moisture retention.

If I lived in a climate like Florida's, I'd probably have to adjust ratios of the ingredients I use to be more bulb-friendly in such an environment.

I've linked an article below that was written by our local bonsai expert and container gardening guru, Tapla... he explains, in layman's terms, the basic science and physics of how water behaves in soil, and how it's all relevant to root growth and health. If a plant's roots are healthy, it is reflected above the soil in the plant's health.

The article he wrote contains some very interesting and important information on growing in the confined spaces of pots. I think that even if you find the medium recipes not quite right for your climate the way they're written, you'll at least gain some good and important knowledge from reading the article. Understanding what goes on underneath the soil surface is very important to keeping the plant healthy and happy above the surface!

So, with all the great information you have access to, from the "sticky" at the top of this forum, and the article from the Container Gardening Forum, you should have an excellent amount of cultural and other information to draw from!

But if you still have questions about something, we're only too happy to try our best at helping!

Happy Reading... and Happy Growing! :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Container Soils - Water Movement & Retention

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 11:19AM
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Thank you so much.. I do appreciate all your advice, and the time you took to write up detailed information. So far my bulbs are doing good. i am hoping cybister and papillo will bloom for me when season comes. Mandonii is a baby and may take a while..

Thank you again so much for your input.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 2:41PM
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My pleasure! I'm always happy to share what I've learned over time, and if I can save someone from some of the disappointments I've experienced by sharing that knowledge, then it's well worth the effort!

Part of the problem within the world of gardening is the large amount of fallacy and old wive's tales that keep floating around, recirculating and resurfacing generation to generation... and another problem is that the commercial gardening industry exists to profit, not necessarily to help gardeners grow their plants of choice optimally.

Like any other industry, profit is the driving force, and that means the quicker plants die, the quicker they will need to be replaced or other plants bought... which means growers will also need to purchase more supplies, like soil, pots, etc... and then there are all the "handy" little gizmos sold, supposedly to make growing easier... though the majority aren't needed and many do not do anything positive for the plants. Those little glass watering bulbs are a prime example... they're supposed to help with watering, but they are useless. Another item is the fertilizer advertised to make plants bloom... the bloom formula... there's really no difference between that and other plant food, but since the public buys into it, they package and sell it.

Anyway... I wanted to include more information on the Papillio Butterfly... which is actually kind of an epiphytic type of Hippeastrum. Meaning, it can be mounted with moss, or grown in a wire basket with moss... much like an orchid! They can also be grown in a decently aerated medium, like other bulbs.

I've included a link to a past thread from our forum, with pictures showing Pat's Papillio growing mounted on a piece of wood, using moss. I believe he lives in Texas, which would be a climate closer to your own. It's really an interesting picture showing a very large, healthy Papillio! If I'm not mistaken, he also has a large specimen growing in a big wire basket, though I can't recall if there are pictures of it anywhere...

Just an interesting little alternative that some people use to grow Papillio Butterfly, though certainly not necessary if a person doesn't feel comfortable doing so. I've thought of trying to grow one mounted, but I would like to have an extra Papillio bulb, just in case the one didn't like being mounted in my climate!

I'm kind of partial to cybisters and species types, though the majority of the bulbs I have right now are hybrid varieties. I also branched out a bit into other amaryllids, and I keep pink and white Rain Lilies, Crinum, Sprekelia, and a few others... I'd love to replace the Scadoxus I had, which was a beauty when in bloom! I'd also love to obtain some Nerine, some species type Gladiolus, and others from South Africa and South America.

The better the care they receive, the faster your bulbs will reach maturity, and bloom for you. Patience is a huge part of gardening, whether you're growing plants in pots, or in a garden setting. Take good care, and have patience... and your bulbs will reward you!

Happy Growing! :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Mounted Papillio

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 11:33AM
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Thank you for all the info..
I have another A.papillio ordered that is coming on Oct. So maybe I can think of growing it epiphytically, or in orchid bark.. I was thinking A. calyptratum is the only epiphytic bulb..

So I have been reading on H x johnsonii.. can you identify if the flowers in the video are those?? If not, I am planning to obtain a few of johnsonii..

I am very grateful for your time and writeups..

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:42PM
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Again, my pleasure... gardening is too fun and too rewarding to keep it all to oneself! :-)

The linked site has loads of information on the various tender amaryllids, including some decent pictures of H x johnsonii... they're in alphabetical order on the page.

I can't really tell what you have in your border... the sun light makes them look more orange than they probably are in person... but if you compare the photos to what you have, you'll probably be able to tell better than I whether they are, indeed, H x johnsonii.

A quick Google search of H x johnsonii should bring up tons of links, plus a ton of images to look through, too.

I had a pot of H x johnsonii at one time, but they fell prey to the dreaded NBF, or Narcissus Bulb Fly... which sneaked in through holes in my window screen and decimated half my collection. I was so upset and disappointed when I found out that's what was killing my bulbs... and I did manage to salvage some. I now use a preventative systemic in all my pots... especially the ones I take outdoor for summer.

Personally, I think H x johnsonii is a very beautiful variety... it appears a little more trumpet shaped than many others, and I like that. The red and white pattern is very nice, too. Plus, they look great in large groups!

Before I saw Pat's Papillio mounted on wood, I didn't know they could be grown like that, either... but he said that in the warm, humid climate he lives in, it's the perfect environment to try it. If I could, I'd get one just to grow in a wire basket with moss! But it wouldn't survive the winters like that, here... so, I might kill it if I tried.

Instead, I use a very aerated medium made with larger particles... fir bark, coarse perlite, crushed granite pieces... closer to bonsai or orchid medium... and I keep a close eye on moisture, checking often.

Happy to share information... you'll find the group of folks here to be very nice, glad to help, and everyone is a bulb addict! LOL!

Happy Growing!

Here is a link that might be useful: Hippeastrum and Others

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:02PM
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Hi Radhavall,

Kristi and Jodi gave a lot of good information. The only thing I would add is that gardening in this beautiful, sometimes swampy state (said lovingly) is different than northern gardening and often requires a somewhat different method. If potting plants that will be kept outside, a large bag of prepared potting soil, amended with course sand (stability and drainage), and perlite (drainage and aeration during heavy rains), and the addition of a handful of Ironite (thank you Houston Pa)t should work for you until you make your own improvements to it - and of course a good fertilizer during growing season. I like a time release fertilizer because of the heavy daily summer rains. The dry cool winters are ideal as they require little care (in fact I am very careful of watering as it can cause rot in the cooler weather). This is a good time clean up pots. Calyptratum is happy growing in sphagnum, in a net pot in a tree year round.

Of course, if you are planting in the ground this all changes - but you seem to do this well :)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 7:48AM
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Thank you jodik and jstropic..The only reason I wanted them in pots is, so I bring them in when they bloom... Dreaming of a flower that is not there yet!! I will try more porous mix.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 6:33PM
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Speaking of Florida, and of fragrant plants... I'm so excited! I have a Plumeria that's just about ready to open blooms! I can't wait!

I received it as an 8" stick/stem piece from a dear friend in the southern states several years ago, and I rooted it, and have nursed it along in what I'd consider not the best of growing conditions... and it's finally going to reward me with blooms! I'm not sure what I did right, but it seems happy!

It has a wonderful inflo on top sporting many individual flower buds! I think it's a white variety, and I know it will smell very lovely! I can't wait to see them open!

Porous is good when it comes to drainage for containers, and for the exchange of gases and oxygen at root level, essential to root health... but take care how porous you make your medium in your particular climate. And take care to check your plants often to see if see if they need moisture added.

In a hot climate with more sun, a porous medium may require more watering, and feeding, more often... than it would in a climate like I live in, where it's not quite so hot and the sun isn't so fierce.

But I think if you read the article Tapla wrote on "Container Soils - Water Movement & Retention" you'll gain a good understanding of the concept of using a more aerated medium... and it's the concept that's most important to keep in mind.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 8:19AM
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Being able to bring them in is one of the best things about having them in pots. The other reason for me is that I like to move them as the sun changes in summer and winter. I'm thinking of building an area with shade cloth so they are in a more permanent place - we'll see.

Jodi, I love plumeria's. I have a yellow one that smells like peaches. Hope yours has a wonderful scent.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 5:56PM
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Ooh! Peach scented! How lovely!

When waiting for buds to open... any flower buds... it seems to take an interminably long time! It's tough to remain patient, waiting and watching, checking them every day to see if they're closer to blooming!

I can now see the slight pink tint to the outside of some of the Plumeria buds... they should start opening soon! I'm fairly certain it's a white variety, and I can't wait to find out what sort of scent they have!

Living in the northern states, I'm forced to grow anything tender in a container... I'd have tons more tropical plants if I could grow them in a garden setting, but space is an issue when autumn gets here.

I'd love to grow bananas, lemons or limes, oranges, and other assorted tropical fruits, but I'd have no where to keep them once they gained some size! Hippeastrums and Plumerias are about as large as I can get, and I'll have to keep the Plumeria pruned to a manageable size and shape!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 8:56AM
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