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Help my Amaryllis bloom again

Posted by LHLUIS none (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 11, 14 at 18:00

Hi, I purchased an Amaryllis back in December of 2011. It bloomed beautifully as you can see in the next picture.

 photo IMG_04411_zps9ac58a50.jpg

Since then I've never been lucky enough to have it bloom again. That's over 2 years without blooms. It always has leaves on it. I never fertilized it and just kept watering it. It lived on the sill of a south facing window. I never knew if it had gone dormant, which I doubt, because it always had green leaves on it. I never took it out of the pot nor did I place it in a cool dark basement.

Last August, I moved from New York City where I lived and purchased the plant. I cut off the leaves and pulled the bulb off the pot and packed it in a plastic bag.

I now live in Panama City, Panama in Central America. It is hot and humid here most of the year. The night time temperature does not go below 72 here in the city. In the day it can be hot, up to 100 degrees. I planted the bulb after it spent about 4 months in a plastic container. It has tons of leaves now as you can see in the next picture.

 photo IMG_52391_zps35e86f2d.jpg

I noticed that the leaves are not as firm looking and green as they were a couple of months ago. Does that mean that they are going to turn brown and fall off? I don't see any new leaves sprouting out. It's never had 7 on it at the same time either. I just started fertilizing it in the last two weeks with miracle gro all purpose plant food 24-8-16. I am watering it every other day very lightly, trying to keep it moist and not wet. It's in a balcony so it doesn't get rained on.

Keeping in mind that I now live in the tropics where the temperature is high all the time. My questions are:
1. Do I need to force it into dormancy? How is that done?
2. What can be done to make it bloom again?
3. I've read elsewhere that people put the whole pot with the bulb inside their refrigerator. If I choose to do this, when should I do it and what is exactly the procedure to follow? Do I cut off all leaves or wait for them to drop naturally? Do I make a straight cut across to have a cleancut? how far down? Can I put it (bulb planted in pot) inside a plastic bag before I place it in the fridge? How long should I keep it there? and what do I do when I bring it out?

Bottom line, will it ever bloom again?

Thanks

Luis


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help my Amaryllis bloom again

Luis,
The first message on the list contains the frequently asked questions, and includes information on how to get your bulbs to bloom again. Living in a tropical climate is no different than many of the people on the list who live in places such as Vietnam and other spots that are warm. I myself live in Texas, where we have three very warm seasons and one cool season. This year was very cold!. The beauty of Amaryllis is that there are ust as many ways to do things as there are people who grow them.

If it were me, first I'd enjoy that gorgeous view out the window as much as I could every day…preferably with a glass of wine. In the autumn, I would stop watering the bulbs and let the leaves die back. I would then trim them up cutting straight across the neck just above the shoulders. Be sure to dust the cut with Caspian or cinnamon.

Many people do not cut their bulbs, but I do. Wide open necks gives ample room for the new leaves to come out when they start to regrow.

I would then place the entire bulb and its pot in a cooler place in your home. A closet should do. Refrigerators are not optimal as sometimes there are fruits that give off gas, which will cause the blooms to abort, or there may be cold spots in the refrigerator and your bulb could be damaged. A cool dark closet should be just fine for 6 to 8 weeks. After that take it out set it in the window and give it some water. Keep it on the dry side until you see green. These bulbs love to rot if they're kept too wet.

I myself have several hundred bulbs, and only about half bloom every year. That means that there are half that don't bloom every year and some that don't bloom for a couple years at a time. There are no guarantees, and unless you buy new bulbs every year, it's hard to predict re-forcing blooms. If you put your bulbs out on the balcony so that they get lots of good sun and water, they should go into their own normal cycle of blooming in the springtime. I can fairly well predict that mine will bloom naturally March through June. I suppose your cycle would be six months different.

Hope that helps!
Kristi

This post was edited by kaboehm on Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 6:59


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RE: Help my Amaryllis bloom again

Kristi, thanks so much for the advise. There are only two seasons here, A dry season Dec-May (there is minimal rainfall and low humidity with daytime temperatures in the mid 80's) wow I did move back to paradise! A wet season Jun-Nov (it rains frequently and humidity is high with daytime temperatures going up to 100). That being said, when you suggest I stop watering to let the leaves die back in the Autumn, you mean around September?

There is no cool dark closet here, I could place it in the mechanical room where the AC evaporator and air handler are, or in the laundry room where it's still 80 degrees?

From January to May there's no direct Sunlight on my balcony, only bright daylight, will that matter?

What months do you think my blooming cycle would be?

One other question, since I doubt I'll find a nursery that sells bulbs here, if I were to grow Amaryllis from seeds, how long does it take before you can actually see it bloom if all goes well?

Thanks again.


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RE: Help my Amaryllis bloom again

Luis, I didn't pull up a map to confirm that you are in the Northern Hemisphere. If so, yes September. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, I always have to remember the "6-month rule". September is the start of autumn for me, but I have friends in zones where March signals the start of autumn.

It's there a way to construct a small attractive shade structure with screen to provide some shade? My bulbs' summer growing area houses a shade structure for that reason.

Just be a bit creative and I bet you'll be rewarded with blooms!
K


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RE: Help my Amaryllis bloom again

Hi Luis!

I think a mechanical room may still be to warm. If not cool, how about just a little cooler? The refrigerator is an option, but I'd probably take them out of their pots to save space. Do a search on this forum for bananas and you'll find the list of fruits that you need to steer clear of in the refrigerator.

With really good care, you'll have blooms in about 3 years from seed.
K


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