kitty747October 30, 2008

I've been doing some research on Cybisters. Does anyone (besides me) really admire them? I read somewhere recently that Cybisters are all evergreen and should not be forced into dormancy -- that they should be grown year- round. But that's not what Veronica Read says. I'm wondering how others treat them. I have about five or so, but have some others on my 'wish list.' Before I withhold water, just thought I'd ask. Mine were new last season and, of course, they came to me dormant. Thanks!

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Hi kitty! I couldn't find any information that says cybisters are evergreen, though I really didn't search through every link... what I can tell you is that the few cybister varieties I have each lose leaves and rest at different times. Right now, my La Paz is resting, for instance.

I would think that if they're putting themselves through a rest cycle, they aren't truly evergreen... but then, Papilio is supposed to be evergreen, and mine recently woke up from a short rest.

I hope someone with more information can help answer your question. I'm curious to know which Hippeastrums are truly evergreen, as well.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 8:48AM
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I am still learning a lot about the "exotics"(trumpets, cybisters, Papilio and other diploids) up till now. What I have observed though is that they have their own growing schedule and I cannot treat give them all the same care at the same time. What I did this past growing season is observe each variety and learn from them. If they are leafing out (new leaves in the center), I let them grow, fertlize and give light. If they stopped new growth, I assume they are resting, give them very minimal plain water just so not to make the potting soil bone dry and still give them some light. They keep their leaves this way for me. Once I see new leaf tips growing, I resume giving them fertilized water and more light. I have never cut out their leaves or put them to cold storage. Some of the exotics are resting now and some are still actively growing. I guess some of them prefer the warmer temps. and some of them like the cooler temp.

My Jungle Stars were not bothered by the 30-40F temp inside the garage and are actively growing. It must have inherited Papilio's liking for the cooler temps. My La Paz would start resting once we get 50F lows. The reticulatums are also starting to rest even if they have not been exposed to temps below 60F. The Striped Panthers just dropped all their leaves, rested for just a few weeks and are now showing leaf tips inside the garage. Go figure!

So I would strongly suggest for you to observe your hippies. I think there is no general rule to follow on how to treat all of them. They will respond accordingly to your own growing practices and conditions. They have their own way of communicating to you what they want or need. Just the other day, one of the Papilios whispered to me, "Maria, STOP buying bulbs! It's getting too overcrowded in here!" LOL!!!

You all have a great weekend!

Be wise with your votes!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 9:42AM
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In the Van Engelen catalog under Cybister Amaryllis, it says, " . . . Evergreen varieties, they should be grown throughout the year in good-sized pots." I have Emerald and Ruby Meyer on my want list from them, but have LaPaz (they offer three Cybisters). Under their "mini" section see . . . "Papilio Improved: Syn. Butterfly Amaryllis. An 'evergreen' variety, . . ." So, according to them, they're both evergreen. Just as FYI, I have coming from RC Jade, Bogota, Alfresco, Showmaster, Harlequin, Papilio Butterfly, and Faro, three of which are replacements (with an order). If I order from Easy To Grow, they will replace Pink Floyd which never grew roots until late July, and I have a credit from Wayside. I plan to order Evergreen from them. That should be about it for this season. Have a number of others on my wish list, but I'm truly out of room. By placing the bulbs outside for the summer, they became very large so needed larger pots which cut into the amount of room I have for them. I do have others on my want list, though.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 10:00AM
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Good information. Thanks! (Maria, my last msg. was being composed while you submitted yours.) Have been very late in getting plants inside this year because of some construction, so my babies were outside during a couple freezes (they were covered). I cut most of their leaves off for the sake of room. Don't know how this will affect the exotics. That was before I read about keeping them growing. Most of mine got repotted since I wanted to use a better mix with more perlite. I just removed some of their soil and repotted. Most of the regular hippis are resting now under the deck that goes from house into the little greenhouse, which is cool with less light, now until around April. Along about Feb., as I see the new buds I bring them out, one at a time, and start treating as houseplants. This worked well last year. What is different this year is that I cut most leaves off. They weren't looking so great but still green.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 10:42AM
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bluebonsai101(6a PA)

I agree that the best advice is to let your plants tell you what they want. H. papilio has more than one variant in culture around the world and from what I understand some are true evergreen and others are not so it depends on the variant you own (by variant I mean where it originated from in Brasil before being brought into culture around the world). H. blossfeldiae is a drop-dead true evergreen for me over the past 5 years....has never even hinted at H. striatum of which I have 4-5 variants are very dissimilar....some have been evergreen for 4 years now and others either get a rest or rot because I tried to treat them all the same. Some never go dormant, but they clearly slow way down, what I think of as a pseudo-dormancy......your plants will tell you what they want :o) Dan

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 10:49AM
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My pleasure....Kitty. Did any of those Exotica X Peaches&Cream make it? If not, I have some seedlings of it growing right now and can send you some in spring if you want. I am wayyyyyy too late with bringing in my hippies also. Or should I say that the weather is wayyyyy to early in getting cold.

That is so true Dan with the Papilios. I have two clones/variants that stay evergreen and keep their leaves all year long. Then there is another clone that would leaf out, bloom and then loose it's leaves except 2-4 leaves when it rests in summer. Their fertility also varies from one clone to another. I have right now fully active Papilios with at least 10 leaves, some still resting with 2 leaves, some that are starting to wake up showing leaf tips, and 1 that totally lost all it's leaves when it rested last summer and is still "snoring" right now. It's hard to keep up with them when you have so many different varieties and clones.

Talking about "evergreen" varieties... Merengue still holding up all it's leaves has decided to put up a scape. Very strange for an established cybister to bloom at this time of the year. From my experience with the collection anyway...

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 12:03PM
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Maria, yes the two that I had mentioned are doing great. Right now they're on my kitchen windowsill doing very well. If you have a couple extra seedlings I'd gladly accept them in the spring. At what stage do seedlings thrive after shipping? I started a number of my seeds (in July), but after repotting last week, I feel I'd like to share some of these with others.

Was wondering Maria, how many Cybisters do you have? I'd like to order a couple more this season. They really fascinate me.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 10:36PM
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I doubt cutting the leaves will harm them... they're so adaptable and seem to recover well.

As everyone knows, I grow mine indoors as houseplants... I let them do their thing. I've noticed that the Papilio from Royal Colors rests, losing its leaves... it's just now growing a full set again. My other two never lost leaves, and have continued to grow, albeit slowly.

I think Maria is right... I just observe them and slow the watering and feeding when they drop leaves to rest, and resume when they begin to grow new leaves. They tell me what they want, and I'm careful to respond.

The cybisters are very unusual and lovely in their own right... I've enjoyed the blooms from the few I have. I'd still like to obtain Ruby Meyers at some point... maybe next year.

As far as shipping seedlings goes, I think it depends on the genetic strength of the variety or cross, among other variables... some very tiny seedlings have made it and thrived, and I've also lost a few that I was sure would make it. Once they have a marble sized bulb, I've had good luck with them.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 11:00PM
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Okidoki Kitty! I think I have like 30-50 seedlings of that cross growing nicely by the window. I'll be putting them under light soon and they would LOVE that. They should be ok to ship by spring...I hope.

I also judge their bulb size and "varieties of parents" before I ship them.. I am like Jodi, "marble size" for regular varieties should do fine. Sometimes even if they are small bulbs but parents are strong and robust, they have the will to survive. Of course, prayers help a lot. :-)

I sent a very small bulblet of Exotic Star to South Africa a few months ago in a USPS international flat rate envelope. It was inside an old hard bound "Animal book" of Ana where I cut the inner pages out. It took this Exotic Star bulblet 6 or 7 weeks before my friend received it. I have never prayed so much for the safety of a shipment as I did with this. Now, with a little help of "seaweed fertilizer", an Exotic Star is happily growing in South Africa. Why did I send an Exotic Star bulblet of all the bulblets I have from the collection? Because I know that Papilio being in it's genes will make it a strong one to possibly survive the long trip. And it did.

How many cybisters do I have? Well that is a hard question. I have never really totaled all of them (pots)! I think I have right now around 12 varieties in the collection. Geezzz and more are coming in. And if I go nuts and import some bulbs, that would be MORE coming in. Just like you Kitty, I just love their "unusual" beauty.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 12:00AM
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Here's a "cyber" group pic for you all! It would have been better if they (all varieties) bloomed at the same time. But they don't. Even if they almost look the same (spidery), they have differnt growing and blooming schedule and needs. They are quite challenging but rewards you once you get to know them.

Happy cybister growing!!!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 12:31AM
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And here is my favorite one...

Jungle Star

Which by the way is classified as "Papilio" in Veronica Read's book.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 12:39AM
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Great story about the Exotic Star bulblet. That was a lonnnnnng time to wait. And I sure would like to have a few more of the Exotica cross. I've been having trouble just trying to find out which ONES are Cybisters. Sounds like you have a very large collection. I'd like to have more, and do have a wish/want list, but don't know how I would winter them over. Placing them under that little deck (it's about 4 feet by 12 feet) has served them well. It stays cool under there until about mid-Feb. Then they start to grow buds. It's pretty full under there now. At some point I'd like to trade some bulbs which are off-sets to make room, but need to make sure what they are first. These are from 2000, when I lost so many to rot and I lost interest in keeping their tags with them. Since then they have produced many small bulblets, which are now quite large. As for Cybisters, I'd like to get Ruby Meyer, Merengue, Lima, for instance. My Chico is growing an off-set (yeah!!!). I think a whole pot of those would be outstanding.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 12:42AM
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Thanks Kitty! That's Merengue in the bottom and Lima on the right. After growing Merengue for a season, it is looking to be a "stronger" variety. My Lima on the other hand got sick and will need to be replaced. :-( Good old Ruby Meyer is "finicky" in my growing conditions. I might get me a new bulb of this and hope it's a different clone.

Kitty...Don't you have a bright window to grow your Chico this winter? My Chicos are actively growing right now. I think maybe Chico likes this cooler temps and drier conditions. I adore Chico's flowers...well formed, behaved and nice color combination. It also produces the tiniest seeds like Night Star.

I also like Night Star. It has a different look from the other cybisters. And that pink/white color combination is so pretty for me. Unfortunately, my Night Stars did not leaf out good for me this season but gave out bulblets. I am still learning what it wants.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 1:40AM
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Maria, your cybister photography is just wonderful! Thank you for sharing those! That was a great story about the little bulb, Exotic Star, and its trip to South Africa!

The cybisters are unusual and beautiful, and I don't think I could choose a favorite!

Kitty, did you get my email? I wasn't sure it was sent to the right email address...

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 8:50AM
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Maria, once again our posts got crossed. Those pictures are awesome. You are a fantastic photographer (probably because they know you love them so much). Thank you so much. What a nice birthday present - those pictures. Yes, today I turned 74, but that's only a number because I still feel about 25 (only much wiser, but with a ton of stuff still to learn).

Jodi, yes (thank you) I did read your msg. yesterday. Just no time to properly respond. Must try to dig the rest of my dahlias since it's rather mild outside. My fear is that someday they will get frozen into the ground, which could happen. I used worm "tea" this season on them and it made a huge difference. Later on we're going up to my son's house for pizza or something. Also, I'd like to stop by my orchid guy and give him some of my half-dead orchids. I'm sure he can make them smile again.

You all have a beautiful day now.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 9:55AM
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Happy Birthday Kitty!!!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 4:59PM
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Happy Birthday Kitty!

Today's my eldest daughter's birthday too! She turned 21 but still is "my baby". Well, all of my 4 daughters are "my babies" but there is just something special about a first born child. Kristal has always been a good daughter and "sissy" to her sisters. She just passed the LPN exams and will be done with the RN program in May. An RN at 21 years old. I'm so proud of her. She said she'd build me a greenhouse once she's working as an RN already. What else can you ask for in a daughter...LOL!!!

Cybister flowers for you Kitty! Gosh this thread is making me miss my cybisters. I hope Merengue would hurry up with her "unexpected" flowers.

Residence and Bogota

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 11:31PM
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Ooh! So gorgeous, Maria! Cybisters photograph well, but I know it's you behind the camera that makes them the beautiful pictures they are!

Happy Birthday to Kristal! And hello to all your other beautiful girls, Maria!

I know you must be as proud of Kristal as I am of my son, Chuck... he'll be graduating Drake University next year, and has had a huge contract with Walgreens since last year! He'll be a pharmacist, and he'll also be able to practice law if he chooses, once he takes the exam! He has pulled a double major since he began school, and he has also maintained a 4.0 gpa! I'm so very proud! And he's done it all on his own!

And a Happy Birthday to Kitty! I hope you get your dahlias lifted... I'm working on lifting cannas and glads!

Maria, my La Paz has been resting for quite a while now... do you find that yours rest longer than other bulbs, or do cybisters in general rest for longer than hybrids? I'm wondering because it seems like La Paz has been sleeping for a long time! When should I repot it? When it awakens? Or can I repot now to help it awaken? I'm realizing that I don't really know very much about the cybisters... I've just been treating them as they like, by watching their progress.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 7:00AM
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Thanks so much for the birthday wishes! It was a good birthday, and I tried to feel special, but it gets hard to be happy about birthdays when one is 74. I was appreciating the fact that I still feel 25, though. It IS a blessing, indeed.

Maria, thanks so much for the beautiful cybisters and you ladies are correct to be proud of your achieving children. 4.0 is something to be very proud of, and to be a full-fledged nurse at 21 is amazing.

Yes, I did get all my dahlias dug. At least I got them up to the garage door. They grew amazingly well this summer and produced huge tubers. For sure, that worm juice I used on them did the trick. Will include some pictures soon, but today I gotta run and plant a few bulbs and hope to mow some grass, after giving my big doggie Tala her weekly bath. Just weighed her the other day and she's over 125 lbs.! My white husky is over 77 lbs. -- both too much, but they're not fat.

Have a great day everyone.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 1:00PM
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Been going over this thread again. The more I look at these gorgeous blooms, the more I want. And the more I'm realizing that all cybisters are not the same, even though they bear the same names. That Jungle Star is breathtaking! But is it a Papilio? Or is it a cybister? If anyone has a good source for ordering cybisters, please let me know. Have been looking, but so real luck so far. Now, is Jade Serpent a cybister? And are Jade and Jade Serpent one and the same. I had ordered one from RC, then last night I ordered one from Wayside, and the bonus is another one, so I will have three (a nice pot full is they're all the same. Does anyone have a source for the names of all cybisters. Looks like I'm all questions, but have so much to learn.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 6:18PM
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Jodi...I have had La Paz for almost 3 seasons now. It rests earlier than the other cybisters in my growing environment BUT wakes up earlier than the rest too. Last year, after giving out a late summer bloom(almost fall), it rested for a while and then woke up and gave out another bloom in like Dec.(feautured in thread for Cindee). I keep it "evergreen" and grow it inside during winter. It would lose some of it's lower leaves and keep most of it. Sometimes, watering it really good once with plain warm water and placed in a warm and sunny place wakes it up. You can repot (don't disturb the roots) it now while it's asleep. Or try to wake it up and if it responds by showing a new leaf tip, repot it. Most cybisters like the warmer spring like temps. (70s). I keep all of my cybisters "underpotted" as they like the drier side.

Some cybisters sleep for a long time also. My Ruby Meyer slept for a long time, woke up and leafed some, did not bloom for me last season, this season it did gave me 1 scape late summer/early fall (October). I don't know if all Ruby Meyers are like this or I just bought a weak bulb.

Kitty...Jungle Star is classified as Papilio in Veronica Read's book. Papilio is one of it's parents and I think H.cybister is the other one if I remember right. It has inherited most of Papilio's characteristics. Robust growth, likeness of the cooler temps, leaf growth/structure (fan-like and behaved),it's flower colors and gracefulness. I still need to document Jungle Star's blooming schedule if it will be the same as Papilio's. Take a look at them together...

Papilio and Jungle Star

Jade Serpent is a sonatini. A South African hybrid classified under miniature (small flowering) and not a cybister.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 8:53PM
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I would get and always get my cybisters from Royal Colors if they have it. The bulbs they send are sure performers and usually have no problem getting established in my growing conditions.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 8:59PM
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Thank you Maria... I think I may carefully re-pot La Paz. It's under-potted, but maybe a bit too much. It's grown since I got it, and it could use a size larger pot and some new medium.

Yesterday was monthly "girl's day out" shopping... Psyche and I take off to Champaign after caring for the kennel dogs and horses, and we spend the day shopping for supplies and groceries. We stop at all the stores that have garden departments to check out their sales, and I always look for bulbs and clay pots! Not one store had more than the usual common three Hippi varieties. It was a little disappointing.

Walmart did have the types Cindee mentioned, including Flamingo Star... they want $10 each for those, but I was hoping to find cheaper bulbs like last year's $2 bin of Red Lion bulbs. Maybe it's just early... Meijer's didn't have any Amaryllis displayed at all!

We did come home with some giant purple Allium bulbs and Fritillaria Crown Imperials in red/orange. We found a 75% off sale at Home Depot... we bought 3 Holly shrubs, a Hydrangea, and a ground cover rose with deep carmine red flowers... very nice! I also grabbed a few more clay pots and saucers... I know I'll need them for Hippis!

Psyche mentioned that she had found a website that had Green Goddess, and if I didn't already have that one, she'd order it for me for Christmas! I don't have it yet, so I was thrilled! I've been wanting Green Goddess, but hadn't ordered it yet. I'm excited to add this one to my collection this year!

That was my weekend... and now, if the weather holds for a few days, I can get the rest of the spring blooming bulbs planted, plus the new shrubs we bought, and get everything mulched.

Then, I can concentrate on getting my indoor jungle in shape for winter!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 7:14AM
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I would like to get hold of some cybister seeds. Any reliable references? I have just started and my first seeds are at the 2 leaf stage so trading is not possible. Thanks

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 6:03AM
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