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should i cut off sprouted bleached leaves?

Posted by petrushka z7b (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 2, 14 at 19:36

i normally store my bulbs bare after the leaves die out, but this year the leaves were still fully green and not declining when i had to go away for quite some time. so i left them with leaves and in their pots in the dark in the bathroom - to decline slowly.
they were dry and went thru some cool weather in the 40s while outside (end of november).
dec was unusually warm especially around xmas and i guess they woke up.
i got back and found that some started sprouting in the dark. all are showing either leaves or flower buds or both. i watered them slightly and put them on the kitchen counter. no sun at all, just daylight. after a few days flower stalks are greening up a bit - so they should be fine.
the leaves are greening up too, but they are very weak long and spindly...up to 18"! and bending over - they'll never become normal.
i usually prefer to stager blooming in groups for flowering over a period of 6-8 weeks.
but i guess now i have no choice but to let them all grow?
should i cut off the long bleached leaves though?
a few are just 1-3" - may be those will come out allright?
i am planning to put them all in western window in dappled sunlight to strengthen the growth, but am afraid to burn them.
i have some with flower buds (some with 2) without leaves, some with white leaves AND flower buds. and some just leaves.
also sev bulbs have offsets that sprouted 10" white spindly bent leaves too.
any advice on what is best to do?

This post was edited by petrushka on Sun, Feb 2, 14 at 20:10

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: should i cut off sprouted bleached leaves?

If it were me, I'd give it more time for the leaves to turn green. The worst that can happen is that they die and then the bulb will just send up new leaves if the bulbs are as healthy as you say. And, as you say, keep them out of the sun for a while as it might burn them.

Good Luck and post a picture of the if you can.


This post was edited by dondeldux on Mon, Feb 3, 14 at 20:49

RE: should i cut off sprouted bleached leaves?

Leaves do not have to cut, they must be neatly tie up to a peg, without breaking. Please put in a bright place but not in direct sun.

RE: should i cut off sprouted bleached leaves?

i did just that :).
so for 2 days now they are by the window. it's a corner west-north, very bright light. no sun since we have snow/rain for most of the week.
the next question: how do i water?
they are in last year pots: deep and narrow to accommodate the long roots(6" wide on top, 4" at the bottom and about 10" high). i gave them some water, but sparingly first, then after 2 days gave a little more.
i should have good roots there, based on other years - so they should be taking up water.
but i usually don't start watering well until after a month of potting up bare bulbs (waiting for new roots to develop).
but i have blooms pushing out now - don't they need water?
how much? my medium drains very well, has a lot of orchid bark and perlite too. and since the pots are deep - am thinking that just a little water will go a long way.
however, they were not watered since nov, so should be very dry. and the bark is hard to rewater when it's bone dry.
my temps are on the cooler side for now - 60-62F nite, 62-65F day.
here's a pic of the whole set: 6 bulbs.

RE: should i cut off sprouted bleached leaves?

another pic - close up of the bulbs.
only one does not have a bud - the one with the longest leaf ironically!
optimally i would like to slow down the bud development at least a bit to stagger the blooms. you can see that some buds are just showing with no leaves.
i think i need to uppot at least a couple with offsets - they are pushing at the rim of the pot. but i'd rather wait after the blooms are done. may be even after it's warm enough to put them outside?

RE: should i cut off sprouted bleached leaves?

When they grow scapes that should be watered some more. If you dry up the flowers can be small or even dry out. But too much watering is not necessary. I water when the top layer of soil dries 1-2 finger deep.

RE: should i cut off sprouted bleached leaves?

Especially where they seem to be in plastic pots, its very easy to over water.
Your bulbs look nice and healthy and the leaves seem to be greening up nicely, it would have been a shame to cut them off!

I also would wait for repotting until after your bulbs have finished blooming and at that time you can just lift them carefully into a larger pot. Only remove the offsets if they are a good size (golf ball) or you can just leave them attached and just carefully lift the entire root ball without disturbing the roots into a larger pot. They should be just fine.

Make sure you post pictures when they bloom and I wouldn't try to stagger their blooming at this point, they are doing so well, just let them do their own thing.


RE: should i cut off sprouted bleached leaves?

thanks, everybody :).
i turned on the baseboard heaters to raise the temps somewhat ( a few degrees) near windows - so the new roots will get going faster. i test the soil with skewers for watering too - don't want to rot them out!
i should get a few blooms next week!
i like them in clumps - so i'd prefer not to separate the offsets, however the baby bulbs are completely below the soil level! that kind of worries me. but there's no way to lift them either. may be in a wider pot they'll come up closer to the surface?

RE: should i cut off sprouted bleached leaves?

so i have 2 quads open. they all seem to have much taller stems - about 24"-26" to the flower. even the ones that did not have the flower bud out yet when i put them into the light. is it normal? does the height increase with years?
these are common HD minervas that i have been reblooming for years. the one on the left is huge: 7"x7".

RE: should i cut off sprouted bleached leaves?

i managed to straighten out my longest bleached leaf - it was bend in inverted U shape about 10" tall. i slowly unbend the leaf and then taped it in concave shape in sev places - it grew in quite strong, as if it was always good.
the one in the middle is the former bleached one. it's still with a crutch for now and may be ever.
of course in summer i have to support most of the leaves or else they'll break. they get huge and i have wind on the balcony

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