New to Hippeastrums

jungle87(Southern Illinois, 6b, 7a)November 5, 2012

Hi y'all I am new to growing Hippeastrums, besides the red lion that I grew about 10 years ago that I managed to kill before I knew a lot about plants. I recently bought some more and want to do some cross breeding. Anything basic I should know about breeding Hippeastrums? I have Apple Bloom, Red Lion, Minerva, Gran Cru, Pink Diamond, and Aphrodite. Also Have Ackermanii, Johnsonii, and Voodoo, but I don't think any of these will bloom anytime soon, they are still smallish. What crosses do you think would be good? Also iv heard some hippeastrums have fertility issues, not good pod parents and such. I have no clue about which varieties produce seed easily. Also I heard something about not crossing 2 red varieties together. I hope y'all can give me some pointers. Thanks

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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Hi!!! There is a lit of good information in the FAQ. Please don't reply to the FAQ message...

There is a bit there about pollinating. Keep in mind that red is dominant, so much of what you cross with red lion, grand cru and other reds will most likely be red. There is some discussion about apple blossom not being a good seed parent (I think...) and doubles are good pollen donors but usually don't have a stigma so aren't typically seed parents. If you are new to this, just go crazy and cross this with that. Don't worry about ploidy as that discussion had gone on for years!!

You are growing the bulbs inside right?? if you feel like saying... Let us know what city you lived near as 1) others who live nearby can help you with area specific growing tips and 2) you never know who might want to trade or give you bulbs as a swap for lunch or a good cup of coffee!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 9:47PM
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jungle87(Southern Illinois, 6b, 7a)

I live in Southern Illinois in a small town called Jonesboro. Yes I am growing them inside I now some people around here plant theres outside during the warmer months. Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 10:49PM
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Hi and welcome to the forum!

Everything Kristi above said is great advice. The reds are most definitly dominate and so are solid oranges (in my experience).

My suggestions to you would be to buy a papilio and put it's pollen on anything and everything that blooms. Papilio has a different ploidy than the others but now and then you can get some viable seeds and when you do than you've got something really special to work with.

In the past I made common crosses and when they live and grow on you will find yourself inundated with seedlings that won't really be anything special but you feel obligated to see them through since you gave them life so to speak. You will end up drowning in seedlings.

Be more selective from the beginning and you won't be sorry 3 years down the road.

You can buy a good sized papilio on EasytoGrowBulbs located in CA and you'll have your bulb in a few days. These bulbs are large so you are just about guaranteed to get flowers. Harvest your pollen and save in your refridgerator and you can use this on your other bulbs when they flower.

If you're not familiar with papilio it is a species with gorgeous flowers that passes on some of it's unique characteristics to it's progeny.

Do some searches in the search box on the top of the forum page and you will find a wealth of information. And, of course read all the back posts..

Good luck and ask any question you want, we always love new folks on this forum!!

Here is a picture of papilio if you aren't familiar with it..most all of us have many of these as when they bloom there is nothing quite like it!


    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 6:02AM
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The last three you mentioned probably will bloom from fairly small bulbs. Many species never develop large bulbs, Nor do an immediate cross involving them.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 9:21AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Lots of the bulbs that I received a bit back don't seem much larger than a golf ball, and Del is right...they bloomed! Most put out 2 scapes. I know Donna had told me they are a bit of a struggle to pamper through the winter. They'll be watered with the other set.

Can't wait to set up larger GH! Bought shelves that are 24" wide by 36" long...lots of room for pots!! (good thing because seems like they multiplied over the summer!!)

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 9:45AM
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I suppose I better buy me a Papilio cause everyone speaks so highly of it.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 11:40PM
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jungle87(Southern Illinois, 6b, 7a)

Thanks ill probablly get a Papilio then, what about the Cybister type Hippeastrums, can you cross those with types that are not Cybister?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 1:14AM
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My suggestion is -
get H.papilio
get H.cybister either as "Chico" or "Reggae"
get H.cybister hybrid "Tango" - has frilly edges, which is a valuable trait -

and crosspollinate them: Cybister types with H.papilio.In either direction. You will obtain the most beautiful Hybrids thereof.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 9:27AM
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In our neck of the woods H. papilio is readily availible as is Chico. Unfortunately Tango is not. Several people have been very successful pollenation Chico and papilio or the other way around. I have several seedlings growing of this cross that were given to me as seeds. I am really excited about them.

Do a search to see if you can find the thread containing pictures of the final product of this cross by haweha above and you will drool! Maybe he will find the thread and post the link for you to see, (I'd do it but I have to get supper) ;-) you will be enthralled!


    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 5:23PM
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Oh.. and to answer you question about pollenating papilio with non cybisters, give it a whirl, sometimes you get lucky and might get a pod that appears to be full of seeds only to find that most or all are bad. But now and then you can find a few good seeds in the mix and then you might end up with something extra special.
Last season I put papilio on Benfica and ended up with about 10 or so extremely thin seedlings which I planted out in the ground this spring. Unforunately all but one got devored by something. But the remaining one looks good. Lesson learned don't plant special seedling in the ground..usually there isn't a problem as I've done it before but, with this particular cross there was..must have tasted extra sweet!

Believe it or not I have some papilio x Sweet Nymph! Really! Just a handful unless it selfed itself.. one thing for sure when papilio is the seed parent you are at least assured that it's half papilio!!


    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 5:34PM
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jungle87(Southern Illinois, 6b, 7a)

Well I ordered a Papilio, La Paz, and Bogota. I probably should have got a Chico ohh well maybe another time I have to many Hippeasrums right now anyway. I head La Paz was a bad seed parent, what about Bagota? anyone know? I was thinking about using the Bagota and the La Paz pollen on the Papilio.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 12:43PM
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That should work..just keep one thing in mind that when a bulb has no roots as in a new bulb it is more difficult for the seed pods to grow to completion..harder on the bulb. It can be done and quite often there is no trouble but, just be aware that polleating on a bulb that has already rooted is always more successful..just a though...

Last year I bought a new Evergreen (cybister type) and there were probably 7 flowers on the first stalk which I tried pollenating and all failed. A few weeks later another stalk appeared and there were fewer flowers and I tried again and this time I did end up with one pod that produced a few seeds and so I have just "3" seedlings of Evergreen x Exotic Star that are doing splendidly. I am excited and am already envisioning what the flower might look like....

Fortunately for me my first papilio that came from Ebay was already rooted and it already had a bud!! How lucky was that!!

Good Luck...

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 3:19PM
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jungle87(Southern Illinois, 6b, 7a)

I just ordered a Chico and a Graffiti.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 12:27AM
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Yup, you've got it you'll have all kinds of material to work with..Good Luck!!

As I probably mentioned before try papilio with Chico..and/or the other way around..Hans has posted some gorgeous results of this cross..

I don't have any seedlings using Bogota..can't remember why but it might be that it bloomed at time when I had nothing to put it on!


    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:14AM
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lenanen(z3 Finland)

Hi Jungle,
I have used Bogota both ways, as a seed and a pollen parent. It wasn't a super producer but successful anyway. There wasn't H. papilio influence in the crosses.

Now I have 'Exotic Star' (two of them) and H. papilio (two of them) and a 'Jungle Star' and I will definitely use Bogota on all of them should the opportunity arise.

Best of luck to you!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 12:49PM
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jungle87(Southern Illinois, 6b, 7a)

Yep I got it bad but I can't get anymore at least not this year. I need to get a green house way to many plants, my house is a mess in the winter. I will try Papilio with Chico I saw they are gorgeous. Well it's reasuring to know someone has had luck with Bagota, there dosen't seem to be much info about hybridizing with it. I got my La Paz, Bogota, and Papilio today in the mail from Easy Grow bulbs, the Bogota and the La Paz bulbs are huge, papilio is smaller which I figured since it's a species. All look very healthy will be planting them in a few days when I find the time. :) I still have a Chico from easy grow bulbs on the way and ordered a Graffiti from Eden Bulbs. A Few of my Hippeastrums are going to bloom soon one is Minerva and the other one is either red lion or apple blossom I think I mixed the bulbs up ooops well ill know when they bloom. Thanks everyone for all the tips and advice I appreciate it :)

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 1:25AM
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jungle87(Southern Illinois, 6b, 7a)

Well I got all of my bulbs in now except for the Graffiti I ordered. I also picked up an Opal Star. My Minerva and my Apple Blossom are going to bloom in the next day or two.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 1:33AM
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