Too early for amaryllis?

auron22(6b OH)October 14, 2013

While out and abut, figured i'd stop by a walmart and see if they have some cheap plants, well they didn't.... they were also dying/dead.
I saw loads of boxes with pictures of flowers on it near the Christmas stuff, crept closer and to my amazement they were amaryllis! You guys probably see it all the time in stores...but this is the first for me. I could barely contain myself :)
There were about 10 different kinds, and if I consider getting any they will be "clown" and "apple blossom". Maybe all of them if i'm crazy enough....

But a thought occurred to me, is it too early to start them? I know you can actually do it any time of year no harm (I think?), but I would like to time the start of bloom for around the end of January-mid February. That way when it is done there is a chance I can put it outside for the remaining foliage to collect energy for next years bloom when danger of frost is passed.

Wonder if I should check amaryllis forum...but I post so little lately I felt like chatting with this forum. Does anyone here grow amaryllis? I can't be the ONLY one more interested in flowers than foliage right?lol. I know very little about them. Also starting paperwhites this year, hoping they turn out.

Happy halloween!....i'm too impatient for halloween this year.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

I was into them real heavy. I crossed them and grew from seed. After waiting 4 years for them to bloom, all I got was a wild small red type. The nice hybrid forms are so cheap that it doesn't make since growing from seed. Also they want you to throw it away and buy new for next year. I do understand what you want. They grow great out side and build up a lot of energy for next years' bloom. Timing is everything. They seem to start up at their own will more than ours. You might have to keep them cool around 50 degrees to keep them dormant. 30 days before you want them to flower, warm up and water.
Spring Hill has a hardy type that can take zone 5. I have a lot of trouble believing that. They do include a nice all yellow one that is rare for a amaryllis (hippeastrum).
You can check with the 'Great Lakes Bulb Society' for a lot more information.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 3:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you start the bulbs now, I think they will bloom sooner than you want. A lot depends on culture, though. Bottom heat will speed up root growth. They can be treated as house plants, and go in and out of dormancy on their own, or can be forced to go dormant so they can be awakened to bloom at particular times. It's all up to you and what you want. The WalMart misnamed bulbs are probably better off started now and allowed to bloom whenever, as they are usually starting to grow in the boxes. They are cheap for a reason. There is a good FAQ page with a lot of info on the amaryllis forum, but it is hard to wade through. They'd be happy to answer a question, though. You can look at all the "The box said this, but it turned out to be that" posts, too. Some folks there have gotten some really nice hybrids from their crosses.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 7:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
auron22(6b OH)

Oh no, that sounds like a disappointing result...but I bet after a bit you were still happy you tried your hand and making hybrids? :) Sounds good, I'll try keeping them cool...if they have not broken dormancy already.

I'm not convinced a cold hardy amaryllis exists, I've seen them from a couple online nurseries...but none have reviews and there is very little talk about them. What I did find was a topic on here basically saying it is a lie.

Oh no! I hope the box name is true to the plant....After much online browsing apple blossom is actually one of my favorites. You are right about things being cheap....always that darn reason that not many like to think They had two different boxes, one which was $5.00 and the other $7.50. The more expensive one had different varieties and larger box. Think i'll purchase one and see if it hasn't broken dormancy already. If it has...I may consider purchasing them early reguardless of when I actually want them to perform. Can always manipulate them the following year on my own....I think?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 7:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo



It usually takes 6-8 weeks for Amaryllis bulb to bloom.
If bulbs are on sale, but a few different colors.
Start one bulb this week, a second bulb next week and a third the following week.

Most likely bulbs aren't on sale. They usually go on sale 'after' the holidays.

Our Walmart used to sell Amaryllis bulbs w/o soil/container for a couple dollars. Just the bulb.

Stush. There's quite a few plants, tropicals/succulents deemed hardy to low zones.
Orchids, 'Gardenias and Geraniums are three examples.
Don't know if they're literally related to true orchds, gardina and geraniums...
I've seen hardy geraniums. Leaves differ. Never tried hardy Gardenia. I have two hardy orchids..neither resemble tropical orchids.
Bletila is commonly sold as hardy orchid.
There's more but I can't recall names at the moment.

Auron...back to you. :)

Go for it. Toni

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 10:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
paul_(z5 MI)

•Posted by hopefulauthor
I have two hardy orchids..neither resemble tropical orchids.
Bletila is commonly sold as hardy orchid.

LOL, Orchids are a very varied bunch, Toni. There are numerous tropical orchids that I wager most folks would never recognize as such. Ones like this

or this

--- just to show a very, very, very small sampling.

Oh, and the Bletila is a true orchid.

On to the OP ... seems rather early to me to be putting hippie bulbs out. But the stores keep pushing the holiday stuff earlier and earlier each year.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 11:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Paul, BEAUTIFUL Orchids.
Question..are they hardy or tropical???

I'd recognize the flowers as orchids, but unsure about foliage.

Paul...actually, the stores aren't as pushy as they used to be..up until two years ago, Halloween decorations would be displayed in Aug, Chistmas decoration in Sept. lol.
That's pushing it for sure.

The last couple years, Halloween decorations have been available late Sept, and Christmas stuff, late Oct, depending on the store. Including holiday plants.

We shopped last weekend, including a stop at HD. The only bulbs for sale were tulips, etc.
Soon we'll be seeing Amaryllis and Poins.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 1:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
auron22(6b OH)

Hi toni :)

Hopefully there will be healthy bulbs remaining after the holidays. Sounds like a fantastic idea starting amaryllis at intervals to extend bloom time. I'm just going to buy the bulbs, unless there is a particular type that I really want that only comes with pot/soil.

Purchased Apple Blossom at a even had a baby so I see it as two for the price of

Lady slippers, orchis italica, bee orchid and I think one flower that I believe is an orchid that has small white flowers that resemble birds in flight, with grass like leaves. Can't remember the name and it is frustrating.
Lady slippers are one of my favorite spring flowers.

Got names for them orchids? I'm particularly intrigued by the third pic. That is the most crazy flower I've ever seen...

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 3:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hello Auron,

Hauling plants in before temps dip in the teens.

Ususally, Am' go on sale after the holidays. I've seen single bulbs, 'no pot/soil' go for 1.00, 'after Christmas, lol.'

Apple Blossom is so pretty.

Stores here sell the same 3 colors. Red, White and Apple Blossom. Finding a rarity is impossible.

Last year, a seller in Thailand, via Ebay had variegated 'leaf' Am's, but way too pricey.
Also, the long journey would probably freeze the bulbs.

Last spring, while debating whether or not to keep plants, I tossed two Ams. I feel bad now. :(

Good luck with your new bulb. Did you pot yet?

Paul, I'm a tad confused about your Orchids. Are they hardy to your area?
They're certainly beautiful...wish they'd grow in my garden.

Pic three's flower is strange..amazing. The veined leaves are pretty too.
Please, don't get me started on rarer orchids. lol.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 4:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
auron22(6b OH)


I think I've found a total of 7 different types locally. Apple blossom, clown, and Minerva are all the multi colored ones, the latter of the two being red/white in different ways. There were also a really intense red, and an orange called "orange sovereign"...think i'll go for that next. There was a double red and a single white (Athena) at a store farther away than what I usually go.

I potted apple blossom immediately. It was putting out leaves so I assumed it was no longer dormant. I plan on getting either orange sovereign or the double red to start at a later date.

I hear amaryllis are heavy feeders....i'll need to look into it further on if and how to fertilize after bloom. After googling the variegated kinds, I now want that too......

*note to self....if I ever want to kick my habit of taking plants not come here for

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 8:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow! the second it starts to get cool outside, us houseplanter's really dont skip a beat!

Last year at the chicago garden show, which is in march. I remember seeing Amaryllis bulbs, the rare types, not red or white, but it was a beautifully saturated magenta/hot pink with a darker center! Beautiful! They were trying to get people to start using them as an easter decoration! The home depot near me already had a full display of amaryllis bulbs, but im keeping my eye out for the rare varieties! Good luck :)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 8:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Auron...I Googled the Amy's you mentioned..Double Red is absolutely gorgeous. WOW!!!

About it a true orange or red?
Often plants are either photo-shopped or under lighting that changes true coloring.

Especially blue flowers. That irks me.....

Like Poins, soon they'll add glitter to Amy's. lol. Anything to attract unsuspecting customers to purchase.

I too would love variegated leaf Amaryllis...

Danny, how ya doing?

So, you went to Botanical Gardens last March? What did you end up bringing home? lol

I was planning on going to the C&S and AV shows, but forgot. When I remembered, they ended. Oh well..

What? BG's is trying to make Amaryllis an Easter plant? You're joking! What next? lol

Good luck finding a rare Amy. They're sold online, but fairly expensive. One place wants 15.00 for a bulb. Maybe it's not pricey??

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 1:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
paul_(z5 MI)

No, those orchids aren't mine, Toni. And all three are tropicals. I posted the above in reference to your comment "resemble tropical orchids" as folks -- other than orchid-nuts -- often have very limited concept as to what a tropical orchid "should look like." Not the least bit surprising, though, since most folks are only familiar with the more commonly mass produced Phalanopsis and Cattleya found in the BBS.

For any and all interested, the above orchids are, in order:
Dendrobium spectabile
Gongora (I can't remember which species it was)
Bulbophyllum purpureorhachis

And just to "round things out" while on the subject ... there are many orchids whose foliage would likely surprise folks as well.

Auron, what you're seeing is not a flower but flowers. It is somewhat analogous to how some bromeliads bloom. (Broms are known for their colorful bracts -- which many folks mistakenly call a "flower" -- from which the actual flowers emerge.) In the case of this bulbo species, the flat broad growth is called a "rachis". The flowers are the series of bumps projecting from either side of the rachis.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 1:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you plan to get into Amaryllis seriously, something to keep in mind is that a lot of the big box store bulbs have been infected by plant viruses since they come from places that don't take much care to avoid infecting plants.

There are more reputable sources online if you are interested. The Amaryllis forum over here on GW can give advice on that.

Here is a link that might be useful: Amaryllis forum

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 9:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

I agree with summersunshine, mine are all infected. I can not give or will not give any to anyone. Once infected all your bulbs can easily be. They still come up and bloom every year and no problem wintering over in basement. Don't know if it can spread to other bulbs like Clivia. I keep my yellow Clivia far away from my hippy bulbs. I once had about 30 varigated Clivia and lost the whole bunch in a month's time to base rot. So I am weary about cheap bulbs.
I don't have the time or health to properly care for such plants like that now.
PS. I know Clivia is not a bulb but almost one.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 6:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
auron22(6b OH)

If only I knew how likely hippeastrum from big box stores were infected, I would have avoided them.
Turns out my Apple Blossom has red blotch :(

After light research. I found that it is not a virus, but a fungus and is treatable. Found a discussion about red blotch treatments mentioning lysol. I tried that, just to see if it works and if it ends up killing the plant....oh well, lesson learned...not buying hippeastrum from big box stores again. I will definitely be attempting them again...and I came across some stuff about clivia.

I think you said clivia bloom for like 5 months on a different thread? If so sign me up! lol. What time of year and how long do blooms typically last? I feel a fever coming on.... :)

Going to try to find a reputable hippeastrum vendor, and I am also lurking for clivia.....

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 2:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Paul...I love Orchids, but not the price. lol

Are you an orchid expert?

95% of my orchids are Phals but have a few other types too.

The reason I asked if you're an I bought orchids on Ebay 6/10..They were small, haven't grown much in 3-years.
Phals are fairly easy, but what about other orchid types.
Here's a pic of orchids purchased 2010.

Do these guys need more light? Humidity? They have grown, but only a couple inches over a 3-yr period.

Anyway, the three tropical orchids you posted are gorgeous.

Auron. Yep, Clivia flowers can last several months. One year, my oldest Clivia started blooming in Jan, died in July.

If repotted, they either don't bloom or less blooms. That's the reason 3-4 pots cracked open..roots were so firm they cracked containers. lol

Plus, you'll see more blooms as it ages.

Well, gotta go back out in the cold, 41F, and try hauling remaining plants inside..sigh..Toni

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 4:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
paul_(z5 MI)

•Posted by hopefulauthor
Are you an orchid expert?

I prefer the word "experienced" -- expert implies a greater store of knowledge than I likely can live up to.

•Posted by hopefulauthor
Phals are fairly easy, but what about other orchid types.

I know some very experienced orchid hobbyists who can't grow a phal to save their life -- but yet can grow other orchids like nobody's business. heh

But just as not all members of the cactus family have the same growing requirements -- for example if you try growing a Schlumbergera under the same conditions a Saguaro needs, you very quickly will have a very dead Thanksgiving/Xmas cactus -- so too different orchids have different requirements. Keep in mind that orchids are one of the most diverse Families of the plant kingdom

•Posted by hopefulauthor
...I love Orchids, but not the price. lol
They have grown, but only a couple inches over a 3-yr period.

That slow growth is precisely WHY orchids are not cheap like so many houseplants. Consider that whether grown from seed or meristem culture, most orchids will not achieve blooming size for 5 to 7 YEARS. And while there are some that under ideal conditions will reach blooming size sooner than that, there are other types that take longer than that even under good conditions. Furthermore, orchids cannot be started from leaf or root cuttings and only a few can be started from stem cuttings. Unless doing meristem (cloning) or seeds, the only method for propagating the majority of orchids is by division (not unlike irises or hosta).

Now you did not mention if the plants you bought were seedlings. If so, then you likely still have a year or two to go. Seedlings of many orchids can be obtained for just a few bucks, but that is because you will have a long wait before flowers are ever possible.

As far as only growing a couple inches over 3 yrs, I'm assuming you mean growing in the vertical direction?

For monopodial orchids -- like the one in the middle with the yellow tag -- that growth speed is perfectly normal. (*Monopodial orchids grow as a single upright “stem” with one leaf following another on opposite sides of the center.)

I can't tell from the photo what the others are except for one tag that I can tell says Cattleya. Each new pseudobulb for the catt should reach its full size in less than a year with each succeeding pseudobulb being larger than the last until a maximum size is reached. (Just what that size is depends upon genetics just as with people.)

•Posted by hopefulauthor
Do these guys need more light? Humidity?

Again hard for me to tell based on your photo as I can't tell exactly which genera you have. It doesn't look like you have any that require high humidity.

In general, catts require a LOT more light than a phal. For many orchids (as with any large group there are exceptions) the leaves will tell you what they think of the light you are allowing them.
*dark green leaves = "get me out of this dungeon!"
*medium (grass) green = more light would be better
*light green = "now we're talkin' baby!"
*yellow green or green with purple spotting/blush = upper range of what the plant can handle (not necessarily a bad thing - I actually aim for the blush on the leaves)

As with any plant, harden them off to higher light.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 2:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I see what you're saying about price and growth.

However, if grown in perfect conditions, would orchids grow faster?

Here in IL, come winter, most plants take a nap.
My Orchids are in nw windows, and during winter, under and beside a shelf with artificial lighting.

Two baby variegated Phals are getting the same amount of sun and artificial light as the other 4 orchids.

I sometimes browse, 'not to buy.' lol. All plants prices increased.
One Ebay store that sells variegated succulents are absurd. The least expensive 3" potted succulent is 25.00. Most aren't rare.

I bought an orchid in 2012/13, can't recall which, that's supposed to have fragrant flowers. 'not a baby.'
Can't wait until it blooms.

Unless an orchid is variegated, 'not another Phal,' I'm not in the market for orchids now.
Space is limitted..
Something I forget when purchasing small plants..They grow. lol.

One solo Ebay seller, potted Jade cuttings, placed each stem in a nice pot and is charging 30 and up. If this guy makes $ selling C. ovatas at those prices, next spring I'll be rich. :)

I love your Halloween icon. Very cute.

I'll see if I can read the tags..

Neostylis 'Lou Sneary' Bluebird
Lc. Mari's Song
Cattleya, Green merld 'Queen'

The 4th cotainer has a tag w/o writing. lol

Yes, I meant orchids grew a few inches taller/vertically.

I keep plant journals..should have wrote size when they were first delivered.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 4:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
paul_(z5 MI)

The phals do not need as much light as the others. Again the leaf color scenario works pretty accurately with phals as well though medium to light green is the leaf color to aim for with them.

C. Green Emerald will max out at about 8 inches (measured from the base of the pbs.

Yes under ideal conditions orchids will grow faster than when not, but very few are known for being "speedy".

Space-wise, that is why I do mainly mini orchids. And some of those are extremely mini -- as in the adult plant is only an inch or two high...

For those who fall in love with the true mini's (or micro mini's if you will), there often is a bit of sticker shock at first when one discovers that the micros are no cheaper than the large hybrids/species. Not terribly surprising as most folks are conditioned to the idea that a small plant costs less than a large one. However, what they fail to consider is that the small plant you buy at a BBS -- whether a tree, shrub, or houseplant is typically a young plant that will grow substantially larger. But when the plant is already an adult plant at 1" tall, you've just bought the 30ft maple. And the mini's don't generally grow any faster than other orchids. One of the mini's in my 90gal terr is about 1"-1.5" tall and has filled a 3" pot -- took it about 5yrs to do that. (It started off in a 1" pot and has been growing "vigorously" that whole time. heh)

*I find dog owners to be the easiest folks to enlighten using the following analogy:

"Let's say you're in the market for a dog. Although you know you want a pure bred -- not a mutt -- you haven't decided upon a particular breed. Hubby wants a Great Dane. Wifey wants a Shih tzu . Is the Shih Tzu going to be cheaper?" (Most dog owners I have met know that Shih Tzu won't be any cheaper ... might even cost more.)

Ebay! Pfft! A place where a fool and their money are often easily parted. Most folks don't use common sense and shop around first to determine what average prices are. Sometimes, as you know, good deals can be found on Ebay. But more often than not, goods can be had cheaper elsewhere. Annoys the daylights out of me that almost every seller markets their goods as "rare".

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 1:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marquest(z5 PA)

I grow the few Amarylis that I have as normal houseplants and they bloom every year around Feb-April.

I take them out and they grow all summer on the patio. I bring them inside in the winter sometime they start to lose their leaves sometime they do not. I just continue to water and treat as a house plant.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 2:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Paul, I agree Phals need less light than other orchids, but what about variegated Phals? Do they not need more light to keep colors?

Your mini Orchids are amazing. They're beautiful.

I have problems growing any type of mini, including African Violets.
Don't know the reason...I have one mini violet, but wonder if it'll last.

You're so right about prices..Mini or many cases, mini's cost quite a bit more than standards.

Same applies to Dane vs Shih tzu. Both breeds are costly..especially pure bred, but recently the price of small dogs have increased x's two.

Regarding Ebay. I've been a member for years. Newer sellers who joined Ebay starting up'ing plant prices.
'Some' older sellers followed their lead.

To be honest, I've found many rare beauty's on Ebay at reasonable prices, including two variegated palms. Good size palms..not cuttings in 4" pots..Prices were under 20.00 at the time..Those same palms are now $30 and up.
Some as high as 200.00.

I hope those sellers lose money. lol. I know I sound cruel, but I feel they're taking advantage..Especially screwing new members.

I also depend on online nurseries. One has to find the right place to shop, and always check Garden Watchdog before making a purchase.

Paul, stores around here sell the same, old common plants. There's a local green house we visit once a year, but they're also limitted.
As far as orchids, Phals are the only orchid I've seen sold here.
Wait, when I worked at Home Depot, we got a shipmet of Dendrobiums, sp. They didn't sell. I bought one for 1.00; the remainers were tossed in the garbage bin.

BBS sell plants people want...and most people around here look for common plants. Pothos, Dracaenas, etc.

Thanks for the orchid info. I'll have to jot it down.

Hey Marquest.
Are your Amaryllis, minis? The reason I'm asking is, one year I tossed several mini, Amaryllis bulbs in an Epiphyllum container.
I totally forgot about the bulbs..then one year, different foliage grew in the Epi pot.
These bulbs also bloom in summer, unlike standard size Amaryllis.

Would you happen to have a photo of its blooms? Toni

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 1:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
paul_(z5 MI)

Quite a few orchid vendors on the net. However, I tend to get orchids at orchid shows ... that way I don't have to pay postage and I get to examine the actual plant(s). Typically I only get a one to three plants at any one time. As such, postage is often prohibitively high (IMO) when ordering online, and I have noticed that many Ebay sellers overcharge substantially on their shipping charges.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 3:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

> one flower that I believe is an orchid that has small white flowers that resemble birds in flight, with grass like leaves. Can't remember the name and it is frustrating.

Brassavola, Auron?

(this is from a while ago, but nobody replied, so...)

It's gorgeous, and the name totally stuck in my mind. Say it with Italian accent with an exaggerated "s" and a long "o" while gesticulating wildly, and you'll never forget, either. :-) Capiche?

Here is a link that might be useful: Brassavola images

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 12:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Paul, as far as shipping, it depends on the Ebay seller.

It's true, postage has increased..some sellers decided to add handling charges to boot.

But, there are decent sellers who don't overcharge. When leaving feedback, there's a chart with 1-5 stars, 1 being the lowest.
One question that's asked is about shipping. 'Do you think shipping fair?' some such words.

I do understand what you're saying. In my case, if I want a rarer plant, I have no choice but to go to Ebay or online nurseries.
So, guess my point is, if on wants a plant bad enough, one will pay shipping.
Also, online purchases are tax-free unless the nursery happens to be in your state.

Greentoe...where does the accent mark, (') go? :) Toni

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 1:16PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Only 1/2 of a schefflera remaining...
4 years ago, I adopted this schefflera from a bank...
Please help? Need to Id these plants
i received these plants in a funeral arrangement and...
Fiddle Leaf Ficus brown edges, lighter color veins
I have the Fiddle Leaf Ficus for 2 years now. It was...
Worried about my Philodendren, Please help!
Hi there everyone. I loved the help that I got about...
Is my pothos dying?
I bought a beautiful verigated pothos a few weeks ago...
Sponsored Products
Counterstool Counterstool by Blu Dot
$249.00 | Lumens
Taupe Bell Shade Antique Brass Plug-In Swing Arm Wall Light
$99.94 | Lamps Plus
Fuse Office Chair in Red
$119.00 | LexMod
Distressed Sculptural Coat Rack
$139.99 | Dot & Bo
Eclipse Satin Aluminum 12" Wide ADA Outdoor Wall Light
Euro Style Lighting
Early White & Violet Wallpaper R1020, double roll
Walls Republic
Zola Coral Ebony Dining Chair
Mies van der Rohe: Barcelona Loveseat
Modern Classics Furniture
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™