amaryllis leaves have not died back yet!

GloxiniaLoverNovember 15, 2011

My amaryllis that i started in the first week of january 2011 has bloomed and grown well, but its leaves still show no sign of yellowing at all! What can i do to help the yellowing of the leaves? i have not watered the plant since mid august, and it has been outside all summer. Please help i love this amaryllis!

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tommyr_gw

Give it more drying time inside out of the rain.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 8:18PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Where do you live, besides zone 8? I am outside of Houston, TX. I'll be glad to talk you through what I do...I have over 200 bulbs and I got about 60% to rebloom last year.

Email me off list (send me an email off my page)...I do something controversial and it works very well for me...and if you live nearby, it should work well for you!

THOSE who have been on the list for a couple of years know what I do, and I'm not wanting to open that can of worms again!

Kristi

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 8:32PM
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joshy46013

Kristi,

I really think it would be great for you to post again, it is very controversial but that doesn't mean it's wrong..

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 10:44PM
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haweha

The leaves of well-husbanded Hippeastrums do not wilt "automatically". It is a strategical mistake, to enforce wilting by withdrawing water. You are best advised, to withhold water, waiting, until the transpiration of the leaves has JUST drawn the moisture out of the substrate, then transfer to the storage place (perfect is 13deg Celsius and 55Fahrenheit resp.), wait one day and CUT THE LEAVES down.(If you cut without precooling, there would be more bleeding from the bulb).

Prolonged storage of water-deprived bulbs with leaves, will draw excessive moisture out of the bulbs, they will subtly lose weight if not even visibly SHRINK. Often I read "the energy is drawn back from the leaves into the bulb" - although this contains a grain of truth, it is totally negligible as compared to the amount of energy, that the leaves had alrerady produced during the season and stored w/in the bulb throughout this whole period.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 7:21AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Thanks Josh and Hans-Werner!

So...I am not the only one who CUTS! Unfortunately, here in TX the opportunity to "cool" just doesn't happen. It can be 82 one day and a cold front comes in and it's near freezing at night...then back in to the 70s the next day!

So...here's what I did (what I do), it's fairly labor intensive. I usually wait until mid-November to do this. Note that my bulbs are growing outside all spring, summer and early fall and by the end of the season are fat and plump...many of the leaves on my bulbs approach 3-4' in length!

First, I make sure that the bulbs get no water for a couple of weeks, so that they are nice and dry. Then, pot by pot, I grab hold of all the leaves at the neck of the bulb, inspect the health of each bulb by examining the bulb and leaves, and then trim the leaves straight accross to be 6-8" above the neck of the bulb. (between cutting each bulb's leaves, I sterilize the knife before moving on to the next one.) At this point, when trimming is complete, I move them into the greenhouse to protect from freezing. And...the lovely green leaves go to the compost bin!

The short, cut leaves eventually die back and at that point, I take a knife and trim the neck straight across and dust the cut surface with Captan powder (others have used cinnamon with same antifungal results). Cleaning up the neck (my opinion) prevents the constriction that naturally occurs, and permits future scapes to emerge easily.

So...that's all, but many on the list don't believe you should ever cut back leaves. I just don't have room to store hundreds of pots of leafy hippis, and when you move them, many of the leaves break anyway. It's my opinion that a controlled cut is better than an uncontrolled break. I'll try and post photos of the greenhouse with all the cut bulbs.

BTW...there are some that I NEVER CUT...such as my Papilo and a few others.
K

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 9:41AM
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joshy46013

I think Kristi is right, a controlled cut is better than an uncontrolled break! If the bulb has grow tremendously throughout the season (which they normally do) I don't see a problem with cutting back the leaves as long as it's clean *which Kristi makes sure of*.

A guy a while back on here insisted that you should cut the leaves all the way back at the VERY beginning of the growing season to encourage more blooming, now I think this is a bit much considering at this stage they're trying to regain all the energy and nutrients they've lost during blooming and they do this by producing leaves.

Some Hippeastrum also die back quickly I've noticed on their own such as Hippeastrum cybister. I think that many hybrids are actually evergreen like Veronica Read states and that's why they continue to keep going where as many of the species just decided it's time to stop and do!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 10:11AM
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jodik_gw

There are several different ways of handling this sort of thing, but I would trust Kristi's advice because she's had a lot of experience, with good results.

It's my thought that the way each grower handles their bulbs will depend on a few variables, the biggest of which is individual environment and climate. In Kristi's case, she doesn't get the kind of solid seasonal changes that I get, for example. I'm in Central Illinois, and we get plenty of cold weather, beginning with frosts at night in late autumn, and moving into winter complete with snow and ice and frigid temperatures. I do have a cool place to put my potted bulbs for a dormancy, should I wish to take that route.

In my case, I would bring my pots indoors before the first frost. They would go into the back of the basement where it's cool and rather dark, and I would not water them. I could opt to cut the leaves back, or I could allow them to die naturally.

My personal way of handling several of my bulbs is to treat them very much like a normal houseplant, allowing them to grow and rest as they see fit. I keep them in an east facing window, and they normally bloom in early spring, followed by leaf growth and recharging, which is then followed by a winter rest. They lose their leaves, and this is my signal to apply less moisture and allow them their nap. As the days lengthen again in early spring, they bloom again.

Some growers un-pot them and store them for winter, some have refrigerators dedicated to bulb storage for forced dormancy, some folks schedule their bloom cycles and dormancies for specific times... I let nature take its course.

I believe the Hippeastrum is native to South America... the species, not the hybrid.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 4:13PM
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SummerPerson

Thanks to everyone that posted above. Letting the soil dry out for a couple of weeks and then cutting the leaves back to 6-8" above the neck of the bulb makes sense to me.

I went out this afternoon and did that to mine.

Kristi, when you get to this part if you have time, will you post another picture of one of your bulbs after you do this? "The short, cut leaves eventually die back and at that point, I take a knife and trim the neck straight across and dust the cut surface with Captan powder (others have used cinnamon with same antifungal results). Cleaning up the neck (my opinion) prevents the constriction that naturally occurs, and permits future scapes to emerge easily." (I am wondering about how much you cut?)

I live in central Missouri and do not have a place to provide a cool spot for the Amaryllis plants. Now they are sitting on the floor of my small greenhouse which is now being heated. It's getting that time of the year, down to 26 degrees tonight. Kristi, what you are doing probably will work in my situation. Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 6:12PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

OK...tried to post this and it got eaten by cyberspace:

Here is before the trim (from 2010 season):

Here's the current season (trimmed last night):

And here's what the bulbs looked like this spring, after resting all winter. Look at all the scapes and the nice, clean necks!!

I'll post photos in a few weeks when I trim this season's down to their necks. BTW, I have had all these bulbs for years, and have only added a handful each of the past few years. I had a rebloom rate of over 50%.

K

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 8:11PM
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SummerPerson

Kristi, thanks for sharing your pictures. You have a neat little greenhouse setup. Probably from all of the postings above, us newbies are starting to get the idea of how to keep Amaryllis plants growing so they will bloom more than the first time when they were purchased.

If you can post a picture after you trim the neck of the bulb that would be great.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 10:51PM
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haweha

From this perspective the "Sweet Lillian" look like a miniature "Melusine" it is awesome and it is cuuute!
Does the umbel at the right side comprise 5 florets? Then I must get one bulb of this cultivar!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 6:25AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Dear Hans-Werner,
Sorry to disappoint you, but I think it just had 4 florets. It is a sweetie! It was a special gift from an on-list pal.
Hope you and your Hippis are staying warm.
Kristi

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 6:35AM
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joshy46013

Hans,

I had a 'Sweet Lillian' that had 5 flowers per scape and from a small bulb it had 3 scapes, it was surely a very vigorous flower-er (hehe)

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 8:30AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

You know....looking at it now, it does look like it was 5 flowers. I was looking at a smaller screen on my laptop in poor light. I'll bet it did. I don't keep that careful of records. I did the first few years...bloom dates, number of scapes, number of blooms, etc.
K

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 9:11AM
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dondeldux

I'm salivating at all those lovely blooms..even if they were last years! I have darn near as many pots as you do and I'm already getting antsy waiting for buds to emerge. Have already been blessed with an early Exotic Star and now a Blossom Peacock (ole reliable) is poking up..but, the rest have to have their rest ho-hum...

Unfortunately, my Valerie Maree..out of three bad pods, and one so-so pod yielded about 12 possibly viable seeds. I have soaked them and most sprouted, but they look strange..only 2 so far look normal..I did sooo want to share..:-(

Donna

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 10:24AM
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jodik_gw

Just wonderful, Kristi! You do, indeed, have a great setup going, there! :-)

Sweet Lillian is one of my favorites... I enjoyed its blooms so much that I got a second one!

Great pictures, Kristi!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 10:48AM
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tracyb433

Thank goodness for this site! I have always cut back the leaves on mine, which was about 3, and they rebloom very nicely. I had just received about 30 bulbs that belonged to my mother who recently passed. I just went thru and cut all the leaves off and was reading up on the net and everything kept saying never cut the leaves. Geez, I felt sick. So I feel much better seeing people do cut the leaves back. Thanks a bunch guys.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 12:45PM
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dondeldux

Hi Tracy,

Good luck with your newly acquired bulbs and when they do bloom for you it will be all the sweeter knowing how your mother loved them, and she must have loved them to have had 30 bulbs! Hopefully, you cut the leaves later in the season rather than in mid summer..Kristi cuts hers in late fall before the cold weather sets in or threat of hard frost.If you can, post some pictures when they bloom, we addicts around here can never see enough pictures of other folk's blooms, as well as our own..

Don't be a stranger around here, we always love the company..the kind you don't have to cook for...! ;-)

Donna

    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 3:07PM
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jodik_gw

I think we have to remember that a lot of what's written on the internet is written from an industry perspective... and the internet is open to anyone and everyone for writing, so much of what is written is not vetted. We have to read and take it all with a huge grain of salt and a lot of common sense.

This forum is, I think, by far the best place to get real information based upon grower experience... and it's also written from the perspective of the individual climate and environment... meaning that what I would do in the north will be different than what a southern grower would do.

I am sorry that you obtained your new bulbs in the way you did, Tracy, but glad you have them as a memory of your Mom. I hope they give you many years of blooming joy. And yes, welcome to the forum! Stick around... there's lots of great information exchanged here, and the photos posted are always wonderful.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 9:30AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Tracy....where do you live?? You didn't post a zone!! We can give you better information for your particular growing conditions if you include your location in your profile!
Thanks!
K

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 10:23AM
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SummerPerson

I was looking through the new posts on this forum and came across the greenhouse pictures again. Kristi, I was just wondering if you ever have to heat your greenhouse during the winter? I am just curious. It's getting that time of year where weather.com is showing mid twenties and low thirties for nighttime lows in Missouri. It's probably just a matter of time and we'll be seeing that lovely snow. I have a small greenhouse, built small so I could afford to heat it during the winter. I've already had to heat it some.

It's just kind of interesting the different climates just within our U.S.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 12:09PM
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jodik_gw

I'm in zone 5b, Central Illinois, and I couldn't imagine what it would cost to heat our little 10'x12' greenhouse over winter! I got ours emptied before the first frost, which was a while ago... although now, the temperatures have been mild, in the upper 50's and 60's... and it's late November!

In fact, I have a Colocasia rhizome I'd like to get put to bed for winter... but the plant won't die back!

Don't you just love Kristi's setup? I'd like to have her climate... (sigh)

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 4:12PM
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SummerPerson

I guess if we all moved down to the southern states, they would be overcrowded. We'd miss having to shovel and drive in snow.

My greenhouse was built by a construction person and is built with polycarbonate, but it is smaller than yours Jodi. I am not sure of the size. It's nice but small. It heats with a small electric heater. I keep a second small electric heater in it so it will hopefully kick on if the main one fails. There has been a few times when it gets zero or below zero that I've ran both heaters.

It's been unusually mild temperatures here. Today it started out warm but the temperature is dropping. I heard the dreaded words "snow flurries" for tonight. I think our beautiful warm weather is coming to an end.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 5:47PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Hi All...yes, I have an electric heater that keeps the bulbs a toasy 40+. And, I have a back-up "Little Buddy" propane heater after Noni recommended that I get one in case of electrical outage on a really cold night.

ONE OTHER THING that I think is really a great advantage if you cut the leaves back, and then subsequently trim the neck up, you can tell if there is any internal problems with the bulb. If you just let it die back, you have no idea what's going on IN the bulb, but if you cut the neck down, you can see if all the layers are healthy or...GASP, if there is the start of any problem. If I see any black or brown layers, then I can either 1) leave it alone and hope it's nothing, 2) cut a little further till I see all healthy tissue, or 3) if it's a really precious bulb, do a little more cutting/bulb surgery and pour on the powder to ensure healthy healing.

I'll try and send photos tomorrow. Pouring rain today ...YAY!

Kristi

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 10:15PM
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jodik_gw

That's a smart idea, Kristi... trimming the neck would allow for a quick health check, and you'd at least be able to see what was happening from the top. I should employ this idea... I think I will.

I stopped driving years ago, after a major accident, so I get to avoid all that wonderful winter diving! I do not miss it, I can tell you! :-)

But I do think you're right, Summer... the temperature seems to have dropped a bit, and we're getting rain. I just hope it doesn't turn into ice!

I think it would take more than just a couple of small heaters to adequately heat our greenhouse... it's probably best for us to keep it in use only three seasons of the year. But I would definitely think about getting a back up heater in case of power loss, like Kristi has... if I were to heat this thing.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 11:17AM
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SummerPerson

That's something I need to do, check on a backup heat source that is not electric. I've had all summer to do that, but no, that would have been too easy.

Krist, where you wrote, "3) if it's a really precious bulb, do a little more cutting/bulb surgery and pour on the powder to ensure healthy healing," you are probably referring to Captan powder, but Cinnamon would also work?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 3:37PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Several on the list also use cinnamon as Captan isn't available...yup! I have some photos to post, but can't get Photobucket to upload the last 4...will keep trying and post when I can. Will probably start a new thread!
Kristi

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 4:23PM
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