A Tale of Two Hippys

Brian Whyer brian.whyer@btinternet.com
Sat, 21 Jan 2012 09:42:11 PST
1 A gift just before Christmas . Box with red flower. Pot, compost in a bag, bulb with a few rudimentary roots. Potted it up, moistened the compost; now has 4 longish (~18”) leaves and is solidly rooted in the pot. No sign of flower stem as yet.
2 Half price in garden centre sale ~3 weeks before Christmas. Box with green flower (Evergreen). Contents as before, but when bought had long flower shoot 9” out of ventilation hole in lid of box. Carefully I cut away the box and removed the bulb, flower stem at right-angles of course, just a few very short roots. Carefully potted up and over the first week or so slowly straightened the flower stem, relative to the bulb. 5 good flowers. As this died another flower stem, 5 good flowers. As this died another flower stem, 11 good flowers, out now. The bulb has now shrunk to about half its original size, looks like a badly knitted sock and feels, if I try to lift the bulb, to have few if any new roots.
If it does not flower itself to death hopefully it will recover, as I think this is the most attractive “Amaryllis” I have ever grown. Usually I keep these for a few years and then throw them away covered in red blotches. I may try hardy this time. Both bulbs started as smallish, ~3" diameter.Any advice welcome.
On the same theme my local village greengrocers has frequent batches of special offer plants. Around Christmas these included potted “Amaryllis”, mostly white or red (labels). Large bulbs all in bud. When I looked closer I could see almost all had flowered once recently and had the old stems removed. Not sure what you call bulbs, “second hand”, “pre-owned”, “nearly new”?
Brian Whyer, Buckinghamshire, England, zone ~8ish

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