Hippeastrum "harvest"

Hans-Werner Hammen haweha@hotmail.com
Sun, 02 Oct 2011 13:42:47 PDT

1)When you dig the bulbs, then you should cut the leaves. Just wait one day, then the leaves are no more fully turgescent. If you do not cut, then the leaves will (still) pull water out of the bulb until they die back. To assume that a "considerable amount of energy" be "transported into the bulb" during this process is ridiculous. The work had been done during the season; it is not being substancially accomplished while the leaves die back "naturally".  Another myth is, that the formation of seed pods and the formation of daughter bulbs would weaken the "mother" bulb, resulting in the ridiculous suggestion to remove either ASAP. 

2)Large bulbs are impressive but I am not impressed by them. It is the cultivar itself that counts; I do not require another "Orange Sovereign" or "Appleblossom"; perhaps a nice "Susan" would not be that bad (lol) but regardless of that, what really counts is nice, firm bulbs, with a circular-neck that reveals a lot of leaf bases, which indicates at least 2 scapes (generally 1 scape per 4 leaf bases will appear) rather than an oval-neck. The inspection of the neck is furthermore important as regards "red blotch" that is being indicated through a black discoloration of one or more leaf bases. A grey, merely superficial discoloration of the leaf bases, through infestation with mold, is harmless.

> From: bob.hoel@comcast.net
> Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2011 11:35:25 -0500
> To: pbs@lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: [pbs] Hippeastrum "harvest"
> Each year I plant my Hippeastrum out in the garden for the summer to build up the reserved energy in the bulbs. (I prefer to take them out of their pots and plant them directly in the soil with a good feeding of bone meal for maximum benefit.) Here in the "frigid" north of Chicago, however, the bulbs need to come back in for the winter. Historically I have dug the bulbs in October before our first frost, leaving the foliage on until they have dried back. Is it really necessary to retain the leaves? Has anyone had success cutting the foliage back immediately on digging?
> BTW, I was recently in Schipol Airport (Amsterdam) and observed the many bulbs for sale. What really caught my eye was the 8" Hippeastrum bulbs. Does anyone know a U.S. retailer that carries them in this size? I get nice sized bulbs from Scheepers but nothing like this.
> Bob Hoel
> Chicago area
> 630-279-8510

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