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new to bulbs

Posted by lavatea TX 8a (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 6, 11 at 0:02

I really love tulips, and I've recently acquired a major interest in bulb plants of all kinds.

It seems many of you have good luck with amaryllis in pots indoors, which seems perfect for me because I'm an apartment dweller. I can plant outdoors in my parents' yard, but I'd love some bulbs here at my own home.

Is there a particular variety that does best indoors?

I currently have 3 peace lilies, some type of what I'd guess is a grass, 1 kalonchoe, 2 orchids, and a pot of pink sorrel that I just dug up and potted from my parents' yard. The 3 aroids are doing OK. The grass(?) plant is doing well. The kalonchoe had to be moved and trimmed up, and it's touch and go at this point. The orchids are new to me, and seem to be doing fine so far. And the sorrel just got potted up yesterday so it's anyone's guess right now.

I have also grown gesneriads in the past (several episcias, several african violets, and a few of their lesser known cousins). And I once started to root a plumeria. It leafed a bit then quit on me.

I would say I'm more of an under water-er than an over water-er. Though my kalonchoe always fakes me out and doesn't need water when I think it will. And the aroids can't seem to make up their minds. One week I'll have to water them several times a week, then the next week one watering will last and last.

Anyway, I tried to grow some Paperwhites I bought at Target, but they just got really leggy and never bloomed. They had a little sack that I thought was the bloom, but it just never opened up. They're outside now, still in the little wicker pot thing. I'm thinking of storing them and trying to force them at some point. Next year? This fall? I don't know.

Do you think I will do OK with amaryllis? They are so beautiful, and I'd love some more flowers around here. I'm not a big fan of the bloom thing the peace lilies put off, so my orchids are the only flowers I've got at the moment.

What are your thoughts on forcing bulbs? Can that be done year-round? Also, what does it mean to keep an amaryllis evergreen?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: new to bulbs

Lavatea, I definitely think you should try amaryllis! Do you have a porch on your apartment? Your amaryllis would do ok inside, but would grow much better if kept outside during your non-freezing months of the year.

Evergreen just means that the bulb is neither forced into dormancy nor goes dormant on its own. When a bulb does not go dormant it keeps its leaves and hence is "evergreen". Bulbs grown in warmer climates or in a greenhouse can be evergreen. I live in north Florida and the bulbs under my oak trees are evergreen because they are protected in winter by the warmth of the trees. The bulbs farther out in the yard go dormant.

I'll let someone else explain forcing of bulbs since I do not practice that. Since all of my bulbs are grown in the ground, they can go to sleep, wake up and bloom whenever they choose.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

RE: new to bulbs

Thanks for the reply. I do have a small awning thing. We have Juliet doors but no real porch. Just a ledge thing but definitely large enough for pots. I'm just nervous about bringing bugs in if I leave the plants outside, but maybe there's a way around that.

Should I just go to a local nursery and get whatever amaryllis bulbs are there? Or should I order from somewhere? I'm not really particular about color. I like the traditional looking flowers most.

I'll also need some potting mix. I may have a suitable pot, but I'm not sure. I'll check down in my storage room.

RE: new to bulbs

I would recommend that for your first bulb, to go Walmart, Lowes or Home Depot. Most of them still have bulbs. They will be labeled just pink, red or white - or just have a picture on the tag. It should run between $3 and $5. Collector bulbs run much more $10 - $40. That is what I would recommend but don't know your budget or level of interest. Some people do dive in head-first... just ask Mariava!!


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