Amaryllis Trouble

C.J. Teevan
Mon, 29 Oct 2007 16:48:34 PDT
Thank you for your several answers.  I live in USDA Zone 7.  He however lives in USDA Zone 5.  Here is his more detailed description of his problem, which I got over the weekend:
  "... and I put the Amaryllis outside during the Summer in the same pots they were growing in during the Winter.  I always keep the bulbs  in a part sunlight area and fertilize once a month.  The bulbs are in the same pot all the time.  Once Summer ends and it starts to cool off I take the pots inside.  The bulb leaves start to turn yellow and fall of at the end of September.  Once they do that I place them in the seller (in the same pots) until they begin to grow around the middle to the end of December.

"Now here is the interesting part.  During the bulbs growing season they are actively growing leaves and at the same time the bulbs are shrinking.  During the bulbs growing season when they are growing leaves, the bulbs outer shells or whatever they are start to brown and dry eventually this leaves a smaller green bulb inside the dried outer shells.  During the dormant period the bulbs don't shrink, only during the growing season.  These bulbs only bloom once, from then on they continued to get smaller over a period of about 4 years.  Also the bulbs are never soft or appear to be rotting; in fact they are quite firm and green and appear to be very healthy.    But the outer part of the bulb turns brown and dries up leaving brown dried skins with a continually  smaller green bulb inside of the dried skins.  

"At the end of the growing season the bulb that is left is healthy and green but a lot smaller.  Next year they will get a lot smaller and eventually I think they will just disappear!

"Also I should note that the leaves are always green and healthy and never show any spots, yellow lines etc.."
  I'm noting your reference book and I'll have to get it for my own library, but in the even it does not address this problem, perhaps you can offer some theories about the Incredible Shrinking Amaryllis Bulb.  I do not personally have any trouble with Amaryllis but my cultivation does not seem much different from his.  I do not overwater, I rarely fertilize except with some amending Bonemeal for the potting soil which is once every 3 or 4 years.

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