Rootless Hippeastrum cybister

Nicholas plummer
Sun, 22 Dec 2013 08:31:52 PST
Earlier this autumn, I purchased a Hippeastrum cybister 'Chico' from one of
the large commercial bulb companies.  It arrived dormant with a few
dessicated roots, so I potted in a mix of about 50% stalite, 50% potting
soil and kept it dry.  When the inflorescence appeared, I started giving it
a little water. That may have been a mistake.  Yesterday, I knocked the pot
over, and the bulb rolled out.  The dessicated roots have rotted away, and
there is no sign of new root growth.  I have repotted the bulb into pure
gravel, just to hold it steady.

What should I do now?  If this were a rootless orchid, I would cut the
inflorescence to avoid exhausting the plant and to encourage new vegetative
growth.  Can a Hippeastrum bulb be allowed to bloom without roots?  Should
I keep it dry until I see leaves or continue to water occasionally?  My
only other Hippeastrum are some recently germinated seedlings and some
plants that I got from Telos and the PBS exchange while in growth, so I
don't have any experience managing rootless bulbs.

Thanks for any advice.

Nick Plummer
Durham, NC, Zone 7 (where it is unusually warm, and the first daffodills
are popping up through the mulch.  Massonia depressa is in bloom in the
greenhouse, and Veltheimia bracteata is in bud)

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