Bulbs on Heat Mats?

anna_in_quebec(z4 QC)November 18, 2010

Does anyone recommend putting bulbs on seedling heat mats for awhile? All my bulbs new and old are fast asleep, and of course I'd love some blooms for the holidays/December. I have limited window space and no heating registers (forced hot air that comes on once in a while - a cold, old house - but it's my house! :) I think I recall someone suggesting heat mats,but maybe not?

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Well, let me tell you, I give a few amaryllis to my father each year and living in an old house, he has the old fashioned cast iron radiators and he has build these shelves that fit over the radiators and lodge under the window sills in front of the windows for the cat to sit on in the winter. He puts his amaryllis pots on these shelves and now that the heat is on, these 2 amaryllis have shot up in record time. I bought one of the Lowe's Oskars and kept it until it started to grow a few inches..gave it to him and within a week it was just about ready to bloom. Bottom heat definitly spurred their growth on. But these were new amaryllis, not older ones that might require a rest, but I'd give it a try..I'm sure it will work.. Good luck


    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 4:25PM
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This is a good idea!
First be aware that you can not shorten the timespan that bulbs require for elongating the scape within the bulb THOUGH, that this depends on a LOWER temperature range and temperature respectively: Perfectly 13ðC.
Bulbs that already show signs of new growth OR that have at least been stored at a sufficient timespan (approx. minimum 8 weeks) at lower temperatures THEN take considerable advantage from elevated substrate temperatures up to 26ðC (possibly even more) for forcing and for rapid growth.
However, AIR temperatures should be maintained lower, 18-20ðC, because then the quality of the flowers will be better. Further, considering the rather poor light conditions indoors, the leaves tend to grow particularly soft, watery, pale and will be prone to premature wilting under high air temperatures AND poor light!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 4:40PM
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Edie(5 NY (Finger Lakes))

According to Dan Klein, one of the local flower experts, heat does speed up hippi's and cool temps do slow them down. So go for it with the heating mats if you have them.
If you don't have heating mats already, there are lots of other methods to get bottom heat, so don't run out and buy them just yet. Save your money to buy more plants. :-) I have a multi-shelf setup with lights on two shelves. Any plant that needs bottom heat goes on the top (unlit) shelf, to bask in the warmth of the fluorescent lights.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 4:56PM
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anna_in_quebec(z4 QC)

Thanks everyone! I will go for it, and I already have several heat mats which i bought on sale last spring for my indoor seed starts. You all have inspired me to go ahead :)

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 5:33PM
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anna_in_quebec(z4 QC)

Quick questions:

1. Should the heat mats be on continually?
2. Should I water now and again, given that the soil will most likely dry out faster with the heat, or should I wait until growth appears?


    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 1:24PM
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Long ago... I cultivated my first Knight Star Lilies in my parents' home, windowsills being heated very well from below, day and night. Although this location was partly shady through a fence composed of Weihnachts-Trees in the garden *lol*, growth was excellent. Years later, in a laboratory (24ðC, permanently!) at a very bright window I received the VERY best results, and I would never experience anything as comparable.
Ad(2)The InglishMAN says: "Water well then sparingly" that this applies for bulbs that are pretreated and actually READY to be forced.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 9:45AM
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Correction to the InglishMAN's saying:

"Water well ONCE, then sparingly"

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 9:47AM
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anna_in_quebec(z4 QC)

Many thanks, Hans!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 1:09PM
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anna_in_quebec(z4 QC)

After almost 2 weeks on heat mats, 2 of the new bulbs are showing emerging scapes! Yes! I took them off the mats,m since I figured they are now going to progress nicely. Should I have left them on perhaps? Anyway - I am happy this method worked!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 10:08AM
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cindeea(FtMyers 10)

Hey anna, can I borrow those mats? It's gonna be "butts" on heat mats tonight in SW Florida...we are getting temps in the 30s!!

I actually keep one at the foot of our bed on cold nights and have to wrestle my 16 & 17 yr old cats for it!! lol

great growing, girl!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 11:40AM
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