Growing Hippeastrum calyptratum on an epiphytic mount

Jacob Knecht
Sun, 02 Jan 2011 02:38:30 PST
Greetings bulbophiles,

About 8 months ago I decided to mount a Hippeastrum calyptratum
seedling.  Although it is a naturally epiphytic species, I have never
heard of any being grown in cultivation out of pots.  I decided it was
time I experiment growing one epiphytically.  I strapped it to a piece
of virgin cork oak bark with fishing line and added a thin layer
coco-fibre atop the roots.  I placed it inside a "greenhouse" of sorts
(actually a growth chamber designed for growing orchids, see:…).  The
growing conditions align with what orchid growers consider
intermediate temperatures.  It has been receiving partial sun (at
least 2500 foot candles) and high humidity (always above 80% r/h) with
decent air movement.

I have been more than pleased with how well it has responded.  It has
grown dozens of new roots, many of which have attached themselves
firmly to the cork.  The roots love being in open air and this is not
surprising because I have found that when this species is grown in a
pot, it concentrates its root mass within the very top layer of the
medium.  Pamianthe peruviana (also an epiphytic bulb) grows in a
similar way.

It is still a few years from blooming size, but I am so happy to see
it doing so well mounted that I thought that I should share my success
here in case others would like to try this method.  It is really nice
not to have to worry about root or basal plate rot now.  The mounted
plant can never be over-watered.

I have added some more information and pictures to the wiki of my
mounted seedling.  See:…

The roots appear green because there is algae growing on them. Also,
when this picture was taken the roots were still moist, exaggerating

Hau'oli makahiki hou / Happy new year!

Jacob Knecht

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