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musings and winter preparations

Posted by salpal mn4 (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 27, 10 at 4:56

I so enjoy reading everyone's posts on many hippeastrum issues and isn't this an exciting time of the year when we really start to get CHAD and wait to see what is in our local stores and hang out on the hippeastrum forum here!

In past years (being a northerner) I have tried to leave the hippeastrums out as long as possible, (like November even!)trying to take advantage of every last drop of sunlight and warmth. This week I have been taking them in since we've been getting rains and cooler temps, and I'm thinking I'd rather avoid the rot and such, trying to become a more conservative hippyfreak.

I will put most of my lot into dormancy, being space limited. For now I am drying them out and leaving the greenery as is. (wishing I DID have more space) So I'm observing them and musing.

I'm thinking about potential crosses I could make, and wondering about which crosses will bloom for the first time.
I have a slew of pink floyd X papilios, 2 of which have bloomed, and lima X paps and pap X limas and pink floyd X exotic stars and one santos X amputo (complete with dark edges). I had a charisma X self bloom which looked nothing like the parent.

I like others here am now having some issues with virus. This isn't something I've seen before (or didn't notice). I'm curious about where Del's one plant that infected his lot came from. I've heard the Ozzies mention virus and had acquired a couple Ozzy bulbs spring 2009. Does anyone know where the virus seems to originate from or does anyone know of "virus free" vendors?

Also I find it interesting that my papilios, exotic stars, cybisters and hybrid babies originating from these seem very virus free. Is this just chance or are they resistant?

Also, I did treat my soil in August with the systemic insecticide Imidacloprid. I did this because I still find the occasional mealybug (hateful creatures). I hope all here remember that this doesn't treat spider or bulb mites since they aren't insects. I feel some discomfort with the imidacloprid as it systemically affects the flowers and pollen and apparently is being considered a possible source of some of the problems with honeybees. I decided that since my hippeastrum almost exclusively flower indoors my beloved bumblebees, honeybees and butterflies should be OK.

Sorry for the post being loooong. I am a student who works full-time and I just don't post much but do love reading yours. Does anyone else muse over these things?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: musings and winter preparations

I also think about similar things :) here is more info on Papilio being resistant to mosaic virus. I think of myself as a Hippie nut.

Trend in Hippeastrum Breeding
Papilio & Virus info
Jim Shields notes on Papilio

AJ


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RE: musings and winter preparations

  • Posted by ryan820 z5b Denver, Colorado (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 27, 10 at 17:47

Thanks for the links, AJ. Quite useful!

Salpal-- sadly I can't shed light on any of your other questions, however, I can tell you I will be happy to adopt more papilio-related bulbs in the future! LOL Not only do they make amazing blooms but any plant that is resistant to something malicious is welcome in my brood.

This end-of-season marks one year since I began growing all of my bulbs hydroponically. I haven't the time right now but will hopefully compile some of my notes on the past year soon. Mixed results... however, I have also had some great growth this year with my Old Timers (bulbs I've grown for several years). They are all still outside. Temps will occasionally dip into the high 40's for them but no root loss is apparent beyond what has been typical all year.

Happy to see Fall coming, and looking forward to this years new bulbs! There are some amazing ones coming out!

Ryan


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RE: musings and winter preparations

I'm not certain which bulb was the perpetrator,so I won't speculate. I don't think anyone would do that on purpose,so there's no point in Identifying any sources. I had sixteen bulbs isolated because they were newer to me.They were multisourced.
Del


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RE: musings and winter preparations

AJ thank you so much for the links- the genetic diversity thing makes great sense. Isn't it sad to think that the poor native papilio are losing their homes? Hopefully what's left of the native habitat will be preserved, although I'm glad we freaks and nuts are keeping the species alive I really like thinking of papilio as a wildflower.

Ryan that's great to hear you will inform us on the hydroponic method you are experimenting with. I would keep mine out (some still are)longer but for the rain- 5+ inches this month- that with our 40's dips is not good I think.

Del thanks for the reply, you expertise is priceless. From these links AJ provided it would seem HMV has been around awhile. I just thought it odd I hadn't seen it before.


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RE: musings and winter preparations

My first time on this forum. I have an amaryllis, reddish, don't know anything about it but last year I cut the leaves off in Autumn and then brought it in for winter. It flowered again! Miracle! Did I do the right thing? It spent all winter on a sunny table indoors and flowered, then I cut it down and put it out on terrace in sun. Have cut 3 large leaves off. What do I do now? To water or not and when to bring inside?


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RE: musings and winter preparations

Jacqui,
Welcome...I'm afraid your post might get lost in this thread, but I'll reply. I'd stop watering and let the leaves die back (they may yellow and whither...) if there is a danger of frost, or the night time temperatures are closing in on 7C, I'd cut bring them in. The chill is a signal to them that winter is coming, and under good circumstances, they should bloom again. So...stop watering, keep cool (but not below 7C) for 6-8 weeks, then, trim up any loose ends and bring out to that sunny table. Once she has a drink of water (in French, is the bulb female or male...I could see arguments for both) and if you are lucky enough, they will bloom again.

You want to let some of the stored energy from the leaves go back into the bulb, so it's best to let them die back on their own. I've had to cut them back, and the bulb still blooms the next spring.

Kristi


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RE: musings and winter preparations

Hi Kristi,and thanks for your message which I did get. Will do as you suggest and stop watering now. Bulb in French (Bulbe or oignon) is masculine. Interesting! I am not sure from your name where you are, but I am sure in English it is Neuter. IT. Thanks again, Jacqui


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RE: musings and winter preparations

Jacqui....I am laughing...oignon, smelly with many layers (masculine for sure) ha ha ha!!

While the bulb is actively growing (spring, summer) make sure and feed with a good fertilizer to encourage the bulb to get bigger and grow many strong leaves. Bulbs with at least 8 leaves seem to do better at reblooming.

I am in the US (Texas)...and we don't assign gender to objects (except the dog, cat and sometimes the car!)Most of the time I refer to my bulbs as "she" since they are curvy and round and give beautiful flowers! "She is the most beautiful amaryllis I've seen". Even the hybrids with "male" names become female at my house!
:-)
Kristi


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RE: musings and winter preparations

In German it's the same, Zwiebel (or more specific Blumenzwiebel ~ flowering onion), but that is feminine ... ;)

Jacqui, I didn't get what you did exactly ... after the bulb flowered, did you cut the leaves (or just the flowering stem) again?

I let my bulbs rest really late so that they'll get plenty of light in spring when they awaken build new leaves.
Other than Kristi wrote, I've read that it's best to cut the leaves once the soil is really dry. The bulbs need steady uptake of water to make potosynthesis and the amount of nutrients they may be able take from their leaves is quite small compared to their normal uptake of artificial fertilizer. You may force the plant to take from the reserves in the bulb and you really don't want to do that.
No offense Kristi, that's just what I read and would like to add to this discussion.


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RE: musings and winter preparations

You shouldn't cut the leaves period, they'll naturally fall off or with a slight tug. If you give them no water and put in a cool dark place they'll yellow the leaves naturally.


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RE: musings and winter preparations

I never cut off the green leaves when they are at their prime. I have been known to cut of leaves that are all yellow and withered; the plant has gotten all the nutrients they are going to get and leaving leaves to rot is just an invitation for pests here in TX where the winters can be warm.

Please re-read my advise to Jacqui..."I'd stop watering and let the leaves die back (they may yellow and whither...)" Josh...how is that different than what you are saying??HUH!?! Some of us don't have cool dark places. I bet Floridians face the same problems! Up north, it's a different story, so sometime people in the south do things that others don't. Bulbs may be evergreen here...!

I do see that I said if there is danger of frost "I'd cut bring them in" CONFUSING...it looks like I changed thoughts mid stream. I meant, I'd cut off any dead or dying leaves and bring them in. Then I said to trim up loose ends just to tidy them up and get ready for more blooms.

At my house, before they go into the greenhouse they get trimmed (cut straight across) so that the neck does not constrict scapes or leaves for the next year and they all get dusted with Captan powder. They are pampered all winter and as soon as there is any green they start getting water.

I am sorry that this list has gotten so that every one is attacking everyone, so much so that many people have quit posting! It's really taking the fun out of it. There is no ONE PERFECT way to grow or treat amaryllis. What works for me may not work for you. I am not perfect, nor do I profess to be. I have all made mistakes with my bulbs (or at least I am willing to admit I have!)...and I try to teach others from that experience.

Respectfully,
Kristi


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RE: musings and winter preparations

Why is it that I can't respond too? Betonklotz said that he read that it was good to cut the leaves, I was throwing my two cents that I think they're suppose to come off naturally. The leaves are take in light which gives energy to the bulb. Whether you live on the equator or not I'm sure there is a spot that's cooler in your house than a window sill.

I've tried nothing but to offer advice as I see fit, you guys all continue to criticize me for posting and trying to help, why does everyone keep jumping down my throat? Is it because I don't agree that you should cut healthy leaves off of a growing plant? Or that I think it's important to exterminate plants with active viruses that can spread to others? If me posting my opinion and trying to help others grow their plants to their very best is taking to fun out of "learning" then what the heck is this forum for?

What's the problem here?


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RE: musings and winter preparations

To all...Let's see if this logic makes any sense!...if you look at the bulbs that you get (when you order) they have fat white roots (signs that they have been fresh;y dug from the fields) and they have no leaves. Many of mine have been cut straight across like with a machete(sp?). I am going to guess that since we get them in late Sept/early October...and they are ready to bloom (counting backwards), they dig them out of the field around late July, whack off the green leaves, let them dry, chill them for 6-8 weeks and ship them. Then we get them, plant them and they bloom? Do the professional growers (wish there were some on the list...chime in!!) let them go dormant in the fields. I doubt they have that luxury as they would need to stop watering in June...just at the peak of growing season.

SO...this illustrates the point that leaves are cut! If the bulb is all plump and fat, cutting off leaves won't hurt it. When the racoons invaded my flower beds and broke off leaves, those bulbs, which had been well fed, recovered perfectly fine. Last winter when I had some hold outs that hadn't gone dormant, I thought I'd experiment and WHACK OFF the leaves (didn't have room in the greenhouse for 4'tall amaryllis, only pots of bulbs). My greenhouse was full of blooms this spring. FULL!! Even the bulbs that got whacked bloomed with all their heart and due to the cool winter, the colors were amazing.

I am thinking about buying a machete this year and filling a spray bottle of straight rubbing alcohol....in between cutting leaves (yellow or otherwise) I'll spray both sides of the blade with alcohol. I'll pretend I'm in the fields of Lisse!!

Saying you shouldn't do something PERIOD is a lot different than saying it's something you've read. Even though these posts are hard to read tone into, your tone is pretty clear.


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RE: musings and winter preparations

There are different approaches even within container gardening and "all year round outside". Each one is fine at least if it works for the conditions you've got at home.
We should just keep in mind that everybody is growing under different conditions when we throw in our two cents.

I have only my windowsills and when I want to make sure that my plants are rebooming I can't leave them in my heated room over winter. So I'm bringing them in their pot once the soil is dried out in a cold basement. Also I notice that not only the old leaves get yellow but often the newer ones also get leathery in autumn possibly due to the reduced light. For me that's a sign that the plant doesn't seem to enjoy the growing conditions and the leaves are about to reach the end of their lifespan.

If I had a cold floor and bright windows there for my plants, I'd let the good leaves stay, but since I have none I'm bound to the basement.

Jacqui, perhaps you could tell us more about your growing conditions. I think even in the south of France you've got some frost in the winter, right?


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OK, I'll try and step lightly here. The theory I work with is that any green leaves are still feeding the bulb and the more food the bulb gets the better the flowers are. I have to bring them in for the winter and I keep them in as bright of light as possible if they are actively growing, and water accordingly. Any plant that drops leaves is allowed to rest and water is reduced; I only water enough then to keep the soil from turning to powder. I tend to allow spent leaves and even scapes to remain attached to the bulb until they are dry enough to come off with only the slightest of tugs. Once a resting bulb resumes growth I begin watering heavier again. I find by plants are more vigorous when I don't force them and let them bloom when they wish. Some species, papilio for example, and their hybrids are evergreen and won't rest on their own as it is not necessary for their growth cycle. That doesn't mean you can't cut off spent leaves before they are completely dry, or that you can't cut all the leaves off when summer is over to ship or store or force them. Most of the food is already in the bulb. My recommendation is to leave the bulb in its pot if you are forcing it so the roots don't completely dry out. Otherwise it will have to grow some new roots before it can begin really active growth, but even this isn't essential. There are may ways to go about growing Hippeastrum, but I think all would agree that they need lots of light and food (and appropriate water) during the summer growing season in order to flower well and reliably in subsequent years.


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I just found this on a grower's site, so it's apparent in Europe that they do cut the leaves. I agree with Minkus and Bentonklotz in that there are numerous practices... "Cut the foliage in October oe November and leave dormant until they begin to grow"

To each his own...we should do what works for us no matter where we live!
K


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RE: musings and winter preparations

Well I seem to have stirred up a hornet's nest. The only trouble is suddenly loads of irritating adverts have appeared on the lefthand side all the way down and I can't read all your useful comments. Does any one else have this same problem and let me know how I can get rid of them. Jacqui


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Jaqui, which browser are you using? If you have Firefox (which I wouuld recommend) install Adblock Plus

Here is a link that might be useful: Adblock Plus download


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I can't even reply without being directed to iVillage!!

Hey...controversy is normal when you have a group as passionate as we are about our bulbs. IT'S OK to agree to not agree...some just disagree more loudly than others (and we have all been guilty of really expressing our passion!)

Don't hesitate to ask questions. This is the best list to ask for any help on growing Amaryllis!
Kristi


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Hi everybody, and thanks for the help. The horrible adverts have disappeared and I can now read your messages. I do have Firefox but they went away on their own today. They were also on another forum for birds which I go on. My one lonely amarrylis is and has always been in a smallish pot, at the moment in semi light on the terrace. Last year I brought it in as we do get down to 0 degrees C. But do I water or not during winter? Jacqui


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RE: musings and winter preparations

Dear Jacqui,
If it is actively growing (warmer months) you should water...perhaps it will act as an evergreen, which some do and then they bloom on their own in the spring. If it is cooler and you want to force dormancy (for blooms early next year) I would move the pot to a cooler spot (10C?) and withhold water until the spring time. The leaves should turn yellow and whither within a few weeks and you can cut them at that point and tidy up the neck of the bulb so that it's clean. Some people dust the cut surface with an antifungal...but if you only have 1 bulb, try using a light dusting of cinnamon powder (so I've heard on this list). Keep the bulb somewhere cool and dark for 6-8 weeks. Then bring it out to the table and the sunlight. It seems some people wouldn't water until they see growth and others would give a drink to encourage growth. I'd be more apt to water when it starts to grow so that I don't encourage rot (I live where it is humid).

A lot of growing amaryllis as a hobby is trial and error and you can see that there are many practices that work!
:-)
Kristi


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You guys crack me up- I said MUSING not hyperventilating...deep breaths...deep breaths. The question was whether Jacqui cut the leaves before summer and we probably all agree that's a bad plan.
I find it interesting to hear how forum members from different parts of the country and world deal with "winter".


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Everyone, I think it's an asset to this forum that some people are so highly opinionated...makes for spicy reading...nothing dull about this forum, I for one, think its great!! From time to time we could all lighten up a bit but a spirited exchange of ideas is fun to read and we can all learn something even it we don't always agree with one and other.....after all, we don't have to live with one another......

Donna


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I just posted a good quote in another thread...sums it up nicely!

Tone is just hard to read in these posts, and some do go overboard (I have been the guilty party...)...but we love them all! Who couldn't love someone who shares such a passion for our Hippis!
:-)
K


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RE: musings and winter preparations

Dear All, thanks again for all your help. In reply I offer you a little present. Have a look at my children's book presentation on Youtube called "The Little Christmas Tree"
Go to Youtube search bar and type in
Liberty Xmas Tree Final Version.
I am a semi retired children's book designer and illustrator. The pix are from my garden, drawn by me, and the tree is REAL! Sound etc included. Comments? Thanks and Happy Christmas. Send it to all your friends as the more hits the better for me to get it published. Jacqui


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RE: musings and winter preparations

How touching Jacqui....almost brought tears to my eyes as I'm not a proponent of cutting down beautiful trees to die later and end up in the compost heap...I know...they are a crop that is harvested just like the food we eat. But, I'm a tree lover....Toby, my computer lap cat was watching it with me but I must say, he didn't like it when the birds started chirping and jumped down. Well, you can't please everybody...........Thanks for sharing!!

Donna


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Jacqui,
Please go to my page and send me an email...I need to talk to you about children's books.

Thanks!
Kristi


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RE: musings and winter preparations

Thanks Donna for your kind comments. Sorry about the cat.
The dog in the pix is my little dachshund, Sidney and the cat is my long deceased cat Orlando, and the child's voice is aa 7 year old daughter of a friend of mine called Liberty.
Thanks everyone for such enjoyable chats. Jacqui.


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For a 7-year old, she read very well! I really liked that it was from the tree's point of view. Very cute and inspirational!
Kristi


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