seems a bit out of season for
forcing them in the north. are you
in the south (then it would be a
little bit late, but probably ok).
mine are just dying back as i've
withheld water, now that the light
is fading and it is getting colder.
they will take a few months to die
back and dry out the leaves, late
january i give them a drink again
and they start back up. i don't
want to start them too soon as
there isn't much light to give them
the energy they need to flower and
for mine the stem keeps growing. the
bud pushes out of the bulb and keeps
going up for 20-30 inches before the
or are you saying the flowers are
if that is the case i'd say not enough
water, sunlight or nutrients. they can
take a fair bit of water when they are
yes tulips do the same thing. but they
are not forced into hibernation like the
amaryllis by the withholding of water. it's
the heat of summer and the cold of winter
that run the tulip growing cycle not a
forced drought. the only time tulips
should be dry is after they have died
back in the late spring and early summer
(the best time to lift them), but during
the winter months the soil should not
be left to dry out as that will kill the
roots and probably abort the flower.
for amaryllis it would interrupt them
from going dormant if you watered them in
This is a bulb in a box Armaryillis. There was already growth when I
opened and planted 2 weeks ago. It is not in bloom and maybe it is my
imagination that it is the flower not just leaves. There are 2
plants , or it looks that way, coming out of the bulb. I just have no
experience with forced and or indoor bulbs like this
when it starts growing there will be some leaf growth
with a flower stalk, the flower stalk does not look at
all like leaves so you'll know it if you have one.
usually the first thing out of the bulb is the flower
stalk with a few small tips of the leaves and then the
leaves gradually come along as the stalk gets taller.
multiple sprouts are common.
Typically not enough chill time before flowering for the spring bulbs -- late
planting, a warm spell in the winter or a warm spring may be doing this to your
tulips. Consider planting cultivars that like warmer climates.
With amaryllis, it's high light, high temp or reduced watering that
makes for shorter inflorescences.
The first question is whether this is Amaryllis belladonna (often called
'naked lady' because it flowers when not in leaf) or some species of
Hippeastrum (commonly called 'amaryllis'). See my
<http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_hippeastrum.html to distinguish
"Amaryllis in a box" is usually Hippeastrum. This sends up a flower
stalk at the same time new leaves sprout from the bulb. Indoors, the
bulb requires strong indirect light (e.g., in a north window or behind
shade cloth in an east or west window).
Hippeastrum should be planted outdoors only in mild-winter areas. While
a light, overnight frost will not really injure them, they cannot
withstand an actual freeze.
Indoors or outdoors, Hippeastrum can be an evergreen bulb and thus
requires some water year round. In a good location and with adequate
water and fertilizer, it may bloom 2-3 times a year. Water should be
withheld only if the bulb goes dormant by itself without being forced
into dormancy. On the other hand, A. belladonna does go dormant, which
can be forced; it blooms once a year towards the end of its dormancy.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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