Red Blotch Surgery

AuntJemimaJuly 2, 2013

I recently rediscovered amaryliis after growing them in my childhood. I bought a big load of them and sadly it turns out alot were infected by red blotch. My latest batch of 8 bulbs were all infected... some to a greater degree and some less.

I did get a refund for some and emailed the supplier about the newest batch and awaiting response.

I performed some surgery on some of the bulbs i got refunds on. I peeled all the infected layers off (i might have been wiser just cutting them into wedges and propogating new bulblets but my idea was to save the scapes and peel around them).

They are were all 30-36cm bulbs so most had 3 scapes inside. But as luck would have it i snapped most of them off in the process as i peeled and some were infected so i yanked them off too.

Some of the bulbs ended up just being the few leaves at the centre left covered by one layer of bulb. One bulb started at 32cm/450g and ended up 11.5cm/85g. I ended up with a few kg of bulb waste. Invariably it seemed an inner layer of the bulb would be rotted and infected so there was seldom a case of just peeling one or two layers.

I soaked them after in water with some disinfectant in it as virtually all useful fungicides are banned in the UK, at least for home gardeners.

I have sulfur, cinnamon and some old rooting hormone with captan (which is probably 20 years old and before the ban). I have some rose fungicide spray which i'm not sure will work but it is systemic and i am sure that some of the bulbs still have some stag in them.

They are currently drying out and i've not potted them up. I'm not actually sure what to do next. Should i dust or spray them them with any of the above products? Should i experiment and see what is most effective? Should i pot them or just have them in a bulb forcer for now to see how they do?

I have more bulbs to work on so if there was any better way please let me know.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Batch of 8 infected bulbs:

Bulb surgery target:

I later peeled more of the bulb to set the leaves free and that was a mistake. That or the trauma is making the leaves wilt now. One of the scapes could have remained on but i broke it off by mistake and at this point i thought survival was more important.

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That's really really sad to see what you're dealing with with those poor bulbs, especially since they had such nice roots to being with.

Five or six years ago I made my first cross and knowing nothing about amaryllis I grew the seedling to about the size of a grape (I was so proud of myself!!) and planted them in styrofoam coffee cups with just one drainage hole. Then I watered the daylights out of them for the summer. Result: All came down with red blotch. I threw most of them away but I saved about 3 of them and dunked them in a 3% bleach solution. This burned the leaves and roots and the outside of the bulb. I then took them and put them in plastic coffee cups this time and just forgot about them..Didn't water them and several months later they started sending up leaves, To make this long story a bit shorter, I was able to bring one to flower.

So if you're still experimenting and you've got a couple of whole bulbs it wouldn't hurt to give it a try, all they can do die which they might anyway...

I wish you luck, it's not pleasant to play nursemaid to so many sick bulbs...


    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 10:12AM
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When I did the "surgery" a few days later the everything including the basal plate turned red. :'(

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 4:13PM
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