Hippeastrum "harvest"

Robert Hoel bob.hoel@comcast.net
Sun, 02 Oct 2011 09:35:25 PDT
Each year I plant my Hippeastrum out in the garden for the summer to build up the reserved energy in the bulbs.  (I prefer to take them out of their pots and plant them directly in the soil with a good feeding of bone meal for maximum benefit.)  Here in the "frigid" north of Chicago, however, the bulbs need to come back in for the winter.  Historically I have dug the bulbs in October before our first frost, leaving the foliage on until they have dried back.  Is it really necessary to retain the leaves?  Has anyone had success cutting the foliage back immediately on digging?

BTW, I was recently in Schipol Airport (Amsterdam) and observed the many bulbs for sale.  What really caught my eye was the 8" Hippeastrum bulbs.  Does anyone know a U.S. retailer that carries them in this size?  I get nice sized bulbs from Scheepers but nothing like this.

Bob Hoel
Chicago area

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