Staking amaryllis

wildebloem(8 - Oregon)November 12, 2007

There was a recent comment about staking amaryllis. Last year, I bought some end-of-season "Double Record" bulbs that were in rather wretched shape. I potted up four of them in a communal pot. They produced flowers before they produced roots and when they got so topheavy they started bailing out of the pot, I staked them with standard orchid stakes, pushed deeply into the soil. It worked well to keep them upright through bloom - see below. The stakes are easily replicated with welding rod wrapped around a broom handle, by the way.

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ryan820(z5b Denver, Colorado, USA)

Why do the call it double record? I bought one this year...it has yet to see its pot. I'm waiting so I have something non-brown or non-snowy in the midst of January.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 11:09PM
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cindeea(FtMyers 10)

wilde-I found some similar taller bloom stakes at HD with a loop at the top to support the leaves. Also at a plant trade I had here at my home and orchid loving friend brought me some phal orchid hoops that also help support upper plant and leaves. I am working on a couple bloom and bulb supports that I hope to patent. In Florida I get tremendous green growth, and although I have never had a stalk snap as others have, I do get heavy leaf droop, so support is a real issue for me. When I get a bit further on my development of my supports. I will gladly share with those willing to pay postage to give my designs a try.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 2:40AM
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hopflower(z8/z15 CA Sunset)

Wonderful picture (again), wildebloem. I see a darling bunch of Lily-of-the-Valley tucked in the back, too. I bet the fragrance is outstanding in your greenhouse!

I cannot grow them well here, although I do have some in the bottom of the refrigerator, and will put them out soon in pots. You need to keep them completely in shade here in northern CA, and they only last about two weeks at most.

How tall are those orchid stakes?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 10:24AM
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wildebloem(8 - Oregon)

Cindeea, the original stakes I have were Phalaenopsis and Cymbidium stakes. Some have the round loops in the photo, others have slim loops. I have found the round ones to work best.

Hopflower, the stakes are up to 2' tall ("Double Record" is pretty short), but if you make them yourself, you can make them any size you want.

I love my Lily-of-the-Valley all right - white, pink, double, single, small, large, you name it, I love them all. Grow some in pots all year and bring them in in January to force.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 11:31AM
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soultan

I saw this communal pot in your larger picture of the green house. I liked the idea. These bulbs look very good together like this, even though they have different scape height. Or maybe that is why.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 4:01PM
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palmcoastgarden(9a)

I bought 24" green metal plant stakes with loops at Home Depot today for 69 cents each. A lot cheaper than the fancy Amaryllis stakes sold in catalogs. I cut some off for shorter scapes, and left some at 24". It does away with the plant ties and bamboo stakes that I was using. The green stakes look good in closeup photos.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 6:46PM
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hopflower(z8/z15 CA Sunset)

Yes, indeed; and great idea. Now I will have to troop off to my local Home Depot and get some stakes.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 7:41PM
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paxfleur

Hey Wildbloem, I was wondering how you forced your lily of the valleys indoor? =) I have a clump that bloomed earlier this Spring and now the leaves are turning yellow. Would I be able to force their roots again indoors for winter if I dug them up? If so, will they require refrigeration? =) I tried looking it up online but most people order their bulbs/roots for forcing indoors and no one really discusses re-using roots/bulbs earlier from the season. Thanks! =)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 8:29PM
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wildebloem(8 - Oregon)

I keep all of the Lilies-of-the-Valley I force in pots all year. I have done so for years and years, and they do not seem to mind. I bring in the pots in December or January (after we have had a couple of good solid frosts) and transition them out again after bloom.

By the way, if the blooms have trouble clearing the leaves, place them over a heat source - but not too close.

So far, the double seems to be the most reluctant to bloom. The regular (Convallaria majalis) and the pink (C. m. "Rosea") are pushovers. I do not have enough experience with C. m. "Bordeaux" and other large types to know how they like the treatment. So far, so good, but it may be beginner's luck.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 11:12PM
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cindeea(FtMyers 10)

PCGarden I couldn't find the stakes again at HD, but I found the 24" and shorter ones at Lowes. They sure are cheap enough and look much better that baggiw twist ties.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 11:36PM
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paxfleur

Wildebloem, I have the plain white Convallarias. If I dug the ones I have outside and put them in pots, do you think they would be able to bloom by Christmas? How many do you usually fit into a pot? I know that they propagate through pips or runners, does keeping them in pots keep them from propating efficiently? Thanks for your sharing of knowledge. =)

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 1:21AM
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hopflower(z8/z15 CA Sunset)

Wildebloem: I brought my tiny rhizomes in and have them in the fridge. They are fine in pots and forced in the house; in fact, some firms sell them this way for Christmas. WFF does on occasion; and this year I am going to grow them indoors, too. It is outside in spring they don't do so well around here.

Mine are the common white ones; I have never tried to grow the pink.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 1:56AM
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jodik_gw

Lily-of-the-Valley is my favorite fragrance... I wear it all the time! Now I'm going to have to get some pips to force indoors!

Since coming to this forum, my Hippi bulb collection has exploded, I'm now collecting orchids, hoyas, AV's, Mandevillas, Christmas Cactus... and now I'm thinking of getting pips of Lily-of-the-Valley to force... I swear, I'm going to get in trouble! And just so you know, I'm blaming everything on you guys! Hehe! :-)

I'm loving every minute of it!!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 3:44AM
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wildebloem(8 - Oregon)

Thank you for the notes on stakes. I will have to poke around the local Home Depot.

Paxfleur: I do not know how cold your area is, how large the pips are, etc. If your area has had a cold period, I would just dig the pips you want to try, pot them up, see what happens. I grow mine in shallow high-fired clay (i.e. not very porous), up to 13" wide planters. I just guesstimate the number of pips the pots can comfortably hold, make sure they all have sufficient room to grow. (I do grow any of my potted plants packed far more tightly than I would grow them outdoor.)

The usual suggestion is to plant out the pips after forcing them once. I have found they do not mind at all being grown in pots all year - I have grown some of the same plants (the regular white and the pink) in pots since 1997. I pot them up as they expand, and if they really overrun the pot, I plant the excess in the garden.

I grow and force Pleiones, the little ground orchids, in the same manner, by the way...

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 12:07PM
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jodik_gw

Forcing the Convallaria pips sounds easy enough... the only problem I will encounter is where to find pips this time of year... I doubt there are enough in the garden to dig up. I planted a few pips about 2 years ago, but they haven't really taken off... moving them is on my list of "things that need doing", but it keeps moving farther down the list... It might be wise for me to wait until spring, purchase some new pips, and plant some in pots and some in the garden... that sounds like a plan!

I have so much going on now that I shouldn't even be thinking of starting another project... even if it is just potting up a few pips!

Wildebloem, your greenhouse must smell fabulous! I'll bet you spend a lot of time in there! I know I would if it were my greenhouse!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 7:32PM
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hopflower(z8/z15 CA Sunset)

The Lily-of-the-Valley rhizomes are in stores now, in my area.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 7:35PM
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paxfleur

Hopflower, so how are you forcing the Lily of the Valleys? I'm a little confused.....so I have a group of them outside that bloomed earlier this Spring, their leaves are currently turning yellow due to the colder weather. If I was to dig that group up and pot them up, should I leave that pot outside to get a bit more of the cold weather or should I just bring that pot indoors and see if it does anything? What do I need to do to force the Convallarias to flower indoors and how long do I need to do it? Thanks! =)

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 7:45PM
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hopflower(z8/z15 CA Sunset)

Yes, I can see why you would be confused. I live in California, and even though it is northern CA where I live we do not get snow, for instance. We have colder winters than say, southern Cal; but not as cold as Oregon. I have a hard time growing Convallaria outdoors; I get about a week or two of flowers (!) and they have to be grown under a large plant to provide shade;(like a honeysuckle vine that is way overgrown). You, on the other hand, probably get very cold winters and snow, don't you? They require cold to flower. I dug mine up out of the garden and have had them in the fridge (in a sealed ziplock bag with some soil) for at least three months now. This was to mimic nature. Heheh! I hope it works. Now, I plan to put them in a container with some good planting medium that will hold moisture well. Something with a high percentage of peat moss is probably a good choice. Then I read somewhere you can soak the pips in tepid or lukewarm water for a couple of hours. The pips should swell a bit and become hard. Then you plant them about 1 1/2" apart with just their tips peeping out the soil; like paperwhites in a soil mix. Then water well, and keep the soil evenly moist. Place your pot in a cool area - 60-70 F(no more) degrees is the best- with the lower end of this range producing taller, stronger plants. Low light is preferred; do not place them in direct heat/light or a sunny windowsill.

After blooming has finished leave the foliage in place (like daffodils); don't cut it off. You can cut the little flowers if you like; just leave the foliage in place while they are growing. Transplant to a shady area outdoors when the weather is mild, if you like. Or put them where you normally grow them. These may take a year to recover from forcing, though, like a lot of forced bulbs.

I would try a few and see how they do for you; and leave some in the ground. That way, you can see what works for you and when you should take them.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 8:13PM
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hopflower(z8/z15 CA Sunset)

paxfleur: Here is some more info on it as well; pretty much as I described, but something else might grab you that you like!

Here is a link that might be useful: Convallaria Coaxing

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 8:42PM
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wildebloem(8 - Oregon)

Jodik, I love fragrant plants and try to always have something fragrant blooming. This week, a tuberose opened, joining the citrus, gardenia, and some jasmines.

Good link on forcing Lilies-of-the-Valley, Hopflower.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 11:30AM
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hopflower(z8/z15 CA Sunset)

Thank you, wildebloem. I thought it might help to keep things clear and simple for a first-time Convallaria forcer.

I love fragrance, too, and that is why sweet peas are my first choice, also because of the frilly and delicate blossoms. The citrus you know I love, and gardenias are heavenly. :)

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 5:48PM
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