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HUGE bulbs

Posted by patann Z5 AnnArborMI (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 24, 09 at 23:34

In case your Home Depot does the same, mine here in SE Michigan has the hugest (?) hippe bulbs, with 1 or 2 blossom spikes, I've seen in any store. They are about $15 and come in a very thick round glass vase with big river stones. There's "the red one," "the white one," and possibly Minerva. As a newbie, $15 would work for me . . . I can use the vase for a large candle, and the river stones anywhere. They also have their clay pots on sale and I see they are made in Italy, which I find to be stronger.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: HUGE bulbs

We don't have a Home Depot near here but, looking at Lowes I looked over their 5.98 bulbs and even looked in the boxes and got some about as big as a softball with offshoots. They wouldn't even fit in their little pot included.

RE: HUGE bulbs

  • Posted by jodik 5 Central IL (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 25, 09 at 5:44

"They wouldn't even fit in their little pot included."

Which is probably a good thing, considering many don't come with any drainage holes! I've also noticed that they're getting cheaper and more thinner walled... as plastic pots go.

I'm all about breathable clay, anyway. I just recently purchased a few clay pots made in Massachusetts, so we'll see how well they hold up against Italian clay. I do notice a few very slight differences in clay from various makers.

Bulb size at our Home Depot was rather large, especially for kit bulbs... but that's where I picked up the one with the suspicious looking hole in it, which I believe to be NBF damage. They don't usually have bulbs pre-planted, and I wonder if that's more a regional thing. The only place that has them in pots already is WalMart, and they looked terrible.

In any case, it's highly recommended that anyone purchasing kit bulbs take them out of the box and inspect them prior to buying... you want to get the healthiest bulbs possible, with no rot, no sign of mites or disease, and the firmest flesh. I usually take my time, and open box after box, looking for the best bulbs they have. The clerks look at me funny sometimes, but I don't care... I have precious little money to spend on bulbs, and I don't want to waste it!

RE: HUGE bulbs

Yeah I know what you mean. I put holes in the bottom of the pots and used them for some hibiscus seeds. That's what I did when I looked. I found the biggest and healthiest of each type I was interested in. The boxes aren't sealed or anything so it is as easy as flipping the cardboard notch to peek in. I saw two with rotted basal plates.

I prefer my Hip to have more room as well to spread those roots despite people saying they love to be compacted up.

I'm trying out some clay pots too. Our local grocery store had nesting sets of three that sold for 45.00 during the summer and were 5.00 a set for their leftover sets last week. I am giving them a go to see how they do.

RE: HUGE bulbs

  • Posted by jodik 5 Central IL (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 25, 09 at 13:48

I can usually find the plain unglazed clay pots for around $1.97 apiece, or thereabouts, for an 8" size... I forgo the clay saucers and buy the thin plastic ones, which hold a bit more overflow water. I like the porosity of the plain clay... it's healthier for the roots.

More room for roots is a good thing, as long as your medium is porous and aerated well. Since Hippeastrum bulbs hate to sit in lots of moisture for long periods of time, using a peaty, decomposing soil in a large pot could be potentially detrimental.

As I'm sure you've read by now, I use a very open, fast draining medium, and this is perfect for use with the larger, roomier pots. It actually holds on to more moisture around the root ball than you might think... bot not for an overly long time. Rot due to fungi is a big issue with Hippeastrum bulbs, and it pays grow them in such a way that fungi has less of a chance to grow and multiply.

I do save the plastic pots, but I usually use them for other purposes, or outdoors with annuals or seed starting. I just don't like plastic for my bulbs, though I can understand how it's better for the retail business.

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