Bulb Mix Curses

J.E. Shields jshields@indy.net
Thu, 09 Nov 2006 16:18:49 PST
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 them
>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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