I asked this question in another thread but I decided to start a new one :) What's the earliest you've had a Hippeastrum bloom from seed? What do you do to encourage quicker blooming?
Our dear departed member (forgive me if I spell his name wrong...Laurier...in Canada) had seedlings bloom in just under a year.
This was an amazing feat and he was going to publish the work; however, his illness got worse and he passed away prior to publication. Please Josh...look up the thread and give it a read.
Please be advised that this is an extremely sensitive topic - I am, as a courtesy, giving you advanced notice. He had corresponded with many list members off the list and so they may be able to share some of the hints that he had, but his growing conditions were extrememly well controlled.
I really appreciate this information, I'm sorry for everyone's loss.
This is an incredible accomplishment, absolutely incredible! I've always assumed that it was impossible to bloom in under 3 years until recently I saw that 2 was possible yet very unobtainable. I will for sure search for anything I can find. Laurier seems to have been a very incredible grower and I'm happy that he got to share some of his ways with you guys, it must be very special :)
I would not generally exclude maiden blooms after 1 y for some, few cultivars that this is impossible for the majority of Hippeastrum hybrids though, particularly for TETraploid hybrids.
24 months from sowing to maiden bloom is realistic, particularly for DIPLOID hybrids.
If you will keep the substrate WARM (24ÃÂ°C constantly)
provide good light (do not put the seedling toooooo densely crowded) apply dilute feeding with EVERY watering, then more than 50% of your seedlings will put forth their first scape, after continuous growth and first reposal at 13ÃÂ°C after 20 months
Dear Sir Hans,
Thanks for the excellent advice! Hope you are doing well! Great to hear from you!
I sent you an e-mail :) Thank you so much for the wonderful advice!
Greetings from Germany,and thank you so much for your almost instant feedback, and for your appreciation. At first and generally, I suggest that we should discontinue the era of "Sir" now - as nice as it was, it was disturbing to another garden friend though. So, I apppreciate to be Hans-Werner (pronunciation: [HunsVairnair]
My suggestion and "promise" is actually based on EXPERIENCE. I forgot to mention this. Besides some kindergardens of DIP seedlings, I had even (12) seedlings of (18 of) a TET knight Star lily in blooms (=67%) after 2 years, but this was a particular case, because the parent ("PapDon1", selfpollinated) was a special, "regenerated" TET out of crossbreeding H.papilio with "Donau" iow:
DIP x TET, and it was very VIGOROUS.
From the few documentaries on "hippeastrum kindergartens" that I perceive them occasionally, I can conclude, that the main imperfectness, that it will considerably delay growth and maidenblooms, respectively, is sowing seeds / replanting tiny seedlings into SHALLOW containers/trays. You will accomplish the major success with pots or balcony boxes, that are 12 and more cm in height.
It is crucial, to make them seedlings grow as fast as possible, FROM the very start on. Watering should be applied as "CYCLING"[namely between wet and dry] that is, RINSE thoroughly, until a lot of water drains out of the bottom holes. With a volume of lukewarm water, including dilute feeding, that equals 1/2 to 1 container/substrate volume (!) Then, let the the substrate dry until its surface will become bright again. Although this sounds trivial, I can conclude from the appearance of the substrate surface in pictures, that this measure is generally not consequently applied.
I regret that my OWN breeding activities were / are largely impaired through my DEPRESSIONS. Solely to indicate this CIRCUMSTANCE that it is intended as an explanation for you, but not as an ignition for DISCUSSING this issue. Things appear to be getting a little bit better now, though ;)
Wow, thanks for the good advice! Now that I have a greenhouse to work in, and can water and fertilize as needed without fear of furniture damage, I am ready to work at pushing my babies to better development. I am excited about the potential!
May you remain in improved health and able to drop in for visits with us. They are always enlightening to me.
Many thanks Mr. Hans-Werner for the excellent advice. I agree whole heartedly that many growers place their bulbs in pots that are too shallow. I had a H. papilio cross that bloomed without special care in 2 years, here in East Texas. However, my excited success led to overwatering, without sharp drainage, and the eventual loss of the bulb.
I know better now.
Glad to see you back on the forum. Patrick