Hippeastrum culture

Diana Chapman rarebulbs@suddenlink.net
Thu, 13 Jun 2013 08:52:53 PDT
No, I don't.  I just use dish soap with bleach to wash the pots and 
benches. I just fill up a wheelbarrow with soapy bleach solution to wash 
the pots, and it goes really fast.  I wash the bulbs in water with just 
a dash of dish soap to break the surface tension.  If I do find any kind 
of rot, I scrape or cut out that part and dust with sulfur.  Sometimes, 
if I think the bulb might not make it, I clean it thoroughly, removing 
all damaged tissue and twin scale the rest of the bulb, since some of 
the species I have are in very short supply and I don't want to 
sacrifice even one bulb.  If I have plenty, I just throw the damaged 
bulb away.  In the past I have used Cleary 3336WP, a systemic fungicide, 
which is very good, but to buy it now I need a pesticide applicator's 
license and I don't want to go that route. It would be very burdensome 
to take the classes and file monthly reports for a small business like 
mine, and I have found these practices I have outlined to work just as 
well, maybe better.  I have two young helpers one day a week who do the 
washing, and they are very organically oriented, so they have been a 
good influence.  One worked right through her pregnancy in my 
greenhouses, so I was also motivated to phase out the use of chemical 
solutions.  I have been very pleased with the results.

>   Diana:
> That's great advice.
> Do you disinfect with any commercial product during your cleaning process.
> Arnold
> New Jersey
> On 06/12/13, Diana Chapman wrote:
> I have modified some of the cultural advice posted yesterday and added
> some tips on specific species. I will add to this in the future.
> I have had people ask me how I keep my Hippeastrums so healthy. I must
> emphasize the yearly repotting and cleaning. We repot all the bulbs in
> winter, clean the bulbs, removing any dead tissue, dead roots, and all
> the outer dry tunics, scraping off dead material from the basal place.
> Sometimes I dust with sulfur when I do this, otherwise not. The pots
> are washed, and the benches washed also, and the bulbs repotted in fresh
> material with the old potting mix discarded. I used to use fungicides,
> but have not had to for the past two years. I keep my bulbs much drier
> than most bulbs. The only problem I have had with rots is when the
> medium is too moist. There are some species that like moisture (H.
> blumenavium, but maybe it's not a Hippeastrum after all!). Old potting
> mix gets compacted, fungal disease can build up, so the repotting is
> very important. It is a very big job, and my helpers and I do it in the
> winter, but my collection is very valuable to me.
> blog: http://www.thebulbmaven.typepad.com/
> Diana
> http://www.telosrarebulbs.com/
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