Bulb Mix Curses

Warren Glover extropian@optusnet.com.au
Thu, 09 Nov 2006 22:51:54 PST
Re Jim Shields' outline of Len Doran's irrigation formula for Hippeastrums. 
I confirm completely Len's recommendations. Nitrogen as Ammonium [NH4] 
encourages root rot fungi, especially in high organic potting media. Calcium 
nitrate is Len's recommended ingredient. Bulbous plants, and particularly 
Hippeastrums, love calcium in generous measure.

When I was breeding Hippeastrums [Amaryllis at that time because of Hamilton 
Traub and William Tjaden] I used an irrigation solution developed by Len 
that he had worked out to the degree that the particle size of the medium 
was critical for optimum benefit.

I used it with my regular potting mix and it was utter magic. You could 
watch them grow! I've presented this formula several times at members' 
requests in the past 4 or 5 years. Would those members care to give a report 
on its efficacy?

Warren Glover
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "J.E. Shields" <jshields@indy.net>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2006 11:18 AM
Subject: Re: [pbs] Bulb Mix Curses

> Linda,
> Eventually you are going to have to feed those bulbs.  However, something
> with a balance like 6-12-12 is the wrong fertilizer mix.
> Bulbs use lots of nitrogen (N) and lots of potassium (K), but only a 
> little
> phosphate (P).  I suggest you use something like N-P-K 15-5-15 or 
> 20-10-20.
> Len Doran was an agricultural engineer for years whose hobby was 
> collecting
> wild Hippeastrum all over South America.  He worked out many years ago 
> that
> Hippeastrum species need a lean potting mix (which is what Alberto has
> described) and feeding with high N (as nitrate), very low P, and high
> potassium (K).  Len recommended using a very dilute liquid feeding every
> time the bulbs were watered.
> You can use the same methods with Haemanthus and many other bulbs from 
> arid
> climates as well.
> Dutch hybrid "amaryllis" (Hippeastrum) may well be a different story.  In
> South Africa, Hadeco Pty. grow them out in open fields in what looks to be
> a sandy loam soil and with plenty of irrigation.  They did not tell me
> their fertilizer program!
> Best regards,
> Jim Shields
> in central Indiana (USA) where today has been beautiful Indian Summer
> At 02:44 PM 11/9/2006 -0700, you wrote:
>>I wonder if I should be fertilizing them?  Would a tomato fertilizer work,
>>like a 6-12-12?  Would one application worked into the mix when I repot 
>>Linda Foulis
> *************************************************
> Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
> P.O. Box 92              WWW:    http://www.shieldsgardens.com/
> Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
> Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA
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