Rootless Hippeastrum cybister

Sun, 22 Dec 2013 09:27:56 PST
Hippeastrums have perennial roots. If they are missing something is wrong. Even if the living roots are 3 or 4 this is enough to trigger the normal physiological processes. 

Most important is to know the normal cycle of growth, in cybister it starts growing in late spring when the weather is really hot. It grows in full sun in well drained soil with the large bulb deeply buried in the soil. It is normal for cybister to have a long neck. If the bulb is received at the wrong time of  the year it is best to start watering at the normal time for that bulb, even  if the first flowering is missing. In subsequent years many flowerings will be enjoyed but the most important thing is to keep the bulb alive. 

> Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2013 11:31:52 -0500
> From:
> To:
> Subject: [pbs] Rootless Hippeastrum cybister
> 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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