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Amaryllis Help!

  1. Jan 3, 2012 #1
    I was given an amaryllis bulb in early December. It came in a box with a large peat pellet, a pot, and the bulb. I planted it, and it started to grow. It's got one flower stalk, and some leaves, but recently the leaves have flopped over and are turning yellow at the base.

    I think it's normal for the leaves to die back after blooming, but the flower hasn't even opened yet. I've never grown one before, and don't want it to die before I even get one flower. See the attached picture for what it looks like.

    Any advice?
     

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  3. Jan 3, 2012 #2

    Evo

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    Is it getting enough sunlight? How about soil, too wet, too dry?

    ZapperZ has great luck with them.
     
  4. Jan 3, 2012 #3

    Astronuc

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  5. Jan 3, 2012 #4
    What's enough sunlight? It's next to a South facing patio door, so I can't give it any more light than it has.

    I don't know what's too wet or dry. I generally wait until the soil is mostly dry, and then water it. It's still damp right now, so I'm pretty sure it's not underwatering that's the problem.

    Also, I keep it a little chilly in my house, ~17 or 18C, and it's probably more like 16C by the door.
     
  6. Jan 3, 2012 #5

    Moonbear

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    It's been a while since I grew one (my cat attacks indoor plants and I gave up cleaning overturned pots) but I don't think I've ever grown them in direct sunlight, rather in a bright room but away from the window, like on a table in a sunny room. I think they were ones that liked staying wet, so don't let it dry between waterings.
     
  7. Jan 3, 2012 #6

    AlephZero

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    Most beginners over-water plants rather than under-watering them.

    It's best to water these by standing the pot in water rather than watering from the top, otherwise the neck of the bulb can start to rot. That may be what's wrong with yours.

    I would be brutal and cut off all the dying leaves (to stop any disease organisms spreading further) and cut right back on the watering. There should be enough food supply in the bulb to produce a flower, unless the flower stalks also keels over. If it's grown that much in about 4 weeks, you are more than half way to getting a flower. If it "thinks it's going to die", that will encourage it to get a move on and produce flowers.

    Unless it starts to grow some more leaves, you have probably ruined your chances of getting it to flower again next year, so it's probably best to start again with a new bulb rather than try.
     
  8. Jan 3, 2012 #7
    So I have Moonbear telling me to water more, and AlephZero telling me to water less...

    I'll move it back from the window, so it doesn't get so much direct light, and see if that helps at all.
     
  9. Jan 4, 2012 #8

    AlephZero

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    Read carefully. Moonbear said "don't let it dry between waterings". That might mean either more or less! It's hard to judge how much water a peat block actually holds.

    There is a certain amount of luck with these "growing kits" depending where you buy them from. The bulbs will have been kept at low temperature for a few weeks before they are packaged up and shipped to the retailers, and as soon as they get back to room temperature they want to start growing. If they then spend two or three weeks on the shelf in a warm shop before you plant them, that does them no good at all.

    Edmonton Alberta is only half a degree further north than where I live in the UK, but I would prefer to grow them for Easter flowering rather than Christmas, because of the longer daylight - about 12 hours rather than 8 in mid winter.
     
  10. Jan 4, 2012 #9

    fuzzyfelt

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  11. Jan 4, 2012 #10
    It had started to grow before I potted it. It was given to someone else, then sat on a shelf for 2 or 3 weeks before I asked them if they were going to plant it.

    I'll try leaving it until the top dries out, and watering from the bottom. It's also farther back, away from the sunlight now. Here's hoping.

    On the bright side, the flower just cracked open, so it seems I'll get at least one flowering.

    Thanks for the advice, everyone.
     
  12. Jan 4, 2012 #11

    AlephZero

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  13. Jan 4, 2012 #12

    AlephZero

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    :cry: :cry: :cry:

    Without the leaves, it won't be able to keep growing to recover its energy and flower again next year, but it might survive to produce just leaves next year and flower the year after that.

    From the Wiki page on hippeastrum:

     
  14. Jan 4, 2012 #13

    fuzzyfelt

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  15. Jan 4, 2012 #14
    If its next to a window you should move it away from the window at night as the temperature drop can affect the plant.
     
  16. Jan 4, 2012 #15

    Evo

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    If I'm not mistaken, don't the amarylis they sell at the stores ready to bloom usually only put out a single bloom the first year?
     
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