Rootless Hippeastrum cybister

Eugene Zielinski
Mon, 23 Dec 2013 21:37:51 PST
My feeling is that your bulb will be fine if you let it bloom.  As for the
roots rotting, I suspect they were near death when you purchased the bulb.
Several years ago, when I lived in Augusta, GA, I bought a H. cybister
Chico bulb, also practically rootless, at a local nursery.  I potted it in
LECA (Aliflor or Hydroton), with the neck exposed, and the bulb did quite
well, blooming every spring.  During the summer, the plant was kept
outdoors in good sun (western exposure) and received water at least three
times a week.  In winter, I kept it indoors and watered it infrequently
(twice a month?) and it would lose its leaves.  It would bloom in early
spring (if I remember correctly) on a three foot (one meter) stalk which
made the plant look awkward, but the flowers were worth it.
LECA is Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate -- brown particles about 1/2
inch (13 mm) in diameter.  You can pick it up in hydroponics shops.  There
should be several of those in the Durham, NC area; if not, I know there's
one in Charlotte.  Some nurseries may carry it too.
I have no experience with Stalite (expanded shale) but it may be just as
good as LECA.

Eugene Zielinski
Prescott Valley, AZ

> [Original Message]
> From: Nicholas plummer <>
> To: Pacific Bulb Society <>
> Date: 12/22/2013 9:32:11 AM
> Subject: [pbs] Rootless Hippeastrum cybister
> Earlier this autumn, I purchased a Hippeastrum cybister 'Chico' from one
> 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
> a little water. That may have been a mistake.  Yesterday, I knocked the
> 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?

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