Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Planting Hippeastrum Bulbs

You can grow your Hippeastrums from either bulbs or seeds...this is how you start with a bulb....

When you plant a mature bulb, you want to make sure the roots are not dry.  Soak the roots only on the top of a jar without getting the bulb wet (if the bulb gets too wet it will cause bulb rot) for up to 24 hours.  You can plant the bulbs outside or inside depending on the hardiness of that particular Hippeastrum and the planting zone that you are in.
Planting bulbs outside:  Make sure you put them in an area where the soil has good drainage.  We usually put some bone meal with the bulbs.  Dig a hole large enough to get the roots into the hole, place the bulb inside the hole and cover the bulb with soil leaving the top portion of the bulb out of the ground.  Water just a little bit.  If the bulbs get to wet it will cause bulb rot.
Planting bulbs indoors:  You can also pot the plant and bring it indoors when the temperature is too cool.  If you pot the plant make sure that there is no more than an inch or two between the bulb and the outside of the pot.....if there is too much room the bulb might not bloom.  Also, make sure the top of the bulb is not covered in soil....you want the upper portion of the bulb uncovered.   Do not overwater...if you  place about an inch gravel on the bottom of the pot it will help with drainage.  Keep it in a nice sunny spot and watch it grow!!  You can place the pot outside in a nice sunny area and bring it in when the temperatures are too cold.

A mature Hippeastrum will have little bublets grow off the mother bulb that can be separated and planted.  It will take 2-3 years for the bublet to grow into a mature plant that will produce flowers and reproduce.

There are a couple of different ways to plant Hippeastrums from seeds....one in soil and the other using a floatation method in water.  This area is something that we are just learning and I hope soon to post our learning experience as we go through the process.