Can you make this antique bloom (Hippeastrum Petiolatum)

Tue, 04 Feb 2020 05:43:08 PST
Hi Tom and all,

First, Hippeastrum like a lot of light.  If they are a houseplant for you,
they need to be in a bright window, or maybe outdoors in the summer.
Morning sun and late afternoon sun with mid-day shade would be kinder to
your houseplant than full day direct sun. They also, most of them anyway,
need a rest period sometime during the year to trigger flowering.  Give
your petiolatum at least 6 to 8 weeks of dry rest in winter, and see if
that doesn't encourage it to show some blooms.

Good luck!

Jim Shields

On Tue, Feb 4, 2020 at 7:41 AM David Pilling <> wrote:

> Hi,
> Tom Schafer, who lives in the North East of the USA, wrote to the PBS
> website asking how to make a 19th century bulb flower.
> You can reply direct to: or to the list.
> "I inherited a Hippeastrum Petiolatum from my late friend who inherited
> it from her grandparents when they died.
> They had received it as a wedding present in the late 1800's.
> My friend did not have a green thumb and she kept it pot bound in the
> same pot for years.
> She fertilized weekly but I don't know what she used.  And the plant
> blossomed for her at least twice a year with upwards of 15 stalks!!
> She loved it and wanted me to have it when she died.
> I have had it for about 10 years now and I have had no luck whatsoever
> with it. I did not know what it was (nor did she) so that didn't help
> but I cared for it like I would a child!
> Occasionally it would send up a flower or two and that's all.  And it
> kept looking worse by the month.
> (At one point I had it planted in a bark mixture used for Clivia because
> I thought that that is what it is.)
> I somehow decided on making some new potting soil on my own (1 part
> perlite, 1 part peat moss and 1 part manure).
> I pulled the plant all apart in the spring of 2018, used my soil and put
> it on my porch for the summer and it looked (and still does although
> it's now inside) wonderful!!
> But not one single flower.  I did read that after they are transplanted
> they may not blossom for a year or two and that they like to be pot
> bound so that could be the problem.
> (I have attached a picture.  I divided it into two pots when replanting.)
> I decided that I used too much fertilizer and over watered it in the
> past (on all of my plants) so I cut back.
> And on this plant I only occasionally gave it 10-10-10.  I am using
> Jack's Classic all purpose 20-20-20 water soluble plant food at half the
> recommended dose.
> I have not given it anything since last fall but with spring hopefully
> arriving in a few months, I thought I should start again thus my
> question to Pacific."
> There is a photo in the scrubbed link below. The PBS wiki has a page
> about one of these bulbs from the 1920s
> --
> David Pilling
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James Shields   
P.O. Box 92
Westfield, IN 46074
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