Do you have a pot of Amaryllis plant that never seemed to flower for years?
Have you seen any sitting by the corner of your garden, forgotten for ages and you really can't remember how the flower looked like?
Wondered how the bloomed ever looked like when somehow hands over the bulb giving up on them, and taking them thinking that one day - just one day - luck will be at your side and you might just perhaps enjoy the bloom one day?
Well, this is my side of the story with the Amaryllis flower.
I have been keeping them for years and never once saw any bloomed. All the more some of my gardener friends passed me their bulbs giving up hope in seeing their blooms too.
The closest bulb blooms that I ever got to enjoy are those rainlilies but that's it.
And so, the experiment goes - I had tried few different methods:
The first was the trimming off all the leaves just above the crown.
This worked exclusively for the Rainlilies but was not successful for the rest of the other types.
Then the 2nd experiment was giving them a heavy dose of organic fertilisers.
Still nothing happened except for their beautiful boring leaves, apparently there were little bulbs sprouting from the main bulb.
(I want flowers not offsprings!!!)
And so I went with the 3rd. uprooting all of them, turning over the soil and replanting them - removing all the little offspring and adding more soil and fertiliser. I thought just probably when they go through the process of uproot and replanting - the shock might just cause them to bloom.
Few months passed and nothing happen.
By luck, I chanced to come across a gardener who put in details about forcing the Amaryllis bulb.
Imagine the joy that I had in getting them to bloom!
I must thank Ha Xuan from Veitnam (Tuysonvien - Where I Garden)
for the force blooming details.
You can click the link (name above) for more details for this information.
If you have a pot of Amaryllis bulb in the tropical region and they never seemed to flower for ages, you can force bloom them with this simple process:
1) Before selecting the bulbs for the processing, inspect that they have at least 6 healthy leaves and must not have bloomed for the last 10 months.
2) The whole process may take around 4 months, if you would like to have these blooms appear during a festive season like Christmas or Weddings - you can start prepare them 4 months ahead to get these blooms appear.
3) Dig out the bulb from the soil or pot. Make sure you don't damage the roots in the process. (note: its better to plant it in a pot as when required all you have to do is overturn the pot and knock out the soil carefully, this way - you can shake off the soil with minimum or no damage to the bulb and roots)
4) Cut off all the foliage leaving a "neck" of about 3cm above the bulb.
(Again alternatively, you may also choose to leave the whole plant from the soil and let the foliage to dry up naturally - that way all the nutrients will be stored back to the bulb but this may take another few weeks and sometimes months for them to dry up)
5) Wash off all the dirt from the bulb and hang it upside down, in the shade to dry for 1 week.
The ones above are Blood Lily - not successful with this process
(well, I have to try it and see if it works right?)
6) After 1 week, wrap all the bulb in newspaper and place it in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for 8 weeks. Remember to mark the newspaper with the date you wrap the bulb so you remember. Also, don't store any fruit in the fridge during this time lest the bulb can be damaged by the gas from the ripening fruit.
Do check the bulbs time to time, (like once a week) sometimes the newspaper may turn soggy and may rot the bulb. You may have to transfer them to a new set of wrapping. I had done this couple of times. (And please make sure you wrap with with several pieces of paper - one big piece won't do)
7) Finally take out the bulbs after 8 weeks, cut off all the dried roots but leave out the fresh ones.
(I had placed them for 3 months due to lack of time to tend on them)
You may have to start collecting all the little bottles to hold the bulb (during the 8 week period)
8) Place the bulb just rightly above the rim of the bottle but not let the water to soak on the base of the bulb. you may need to be cautious on this as totally submerging the bulb in water may cause bulb rot and all your effort is lost. So, do check on the level of the water after an hour later as strangely as it might appear to be - the level change time to time.