Sunday, January 19, 2014

'Ruby Star'

The second stem of H. papilio has come and gone, and now 'Ruby Star' has opened.

Only one stem this year, again this is probably due to the harsh spring conditions last year that tore the leaves off twice. But this is quite a vigorous plant, since it was able to produce this flower stem with just the two leaves that you see below.

Something I noticed when growing Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) from year to year is that newly purchased and potted plants can perform differently the next year (and beyond). 'Ruby Star' was tall last year, but this year is twice as tall. The same thing occurred with 'La Paz'. I'm short, but the stem there is about 36" tall. The flowers are 7" in diameter, natural spread. It's not the lack of sunlight, since as you can see it's the leaves that need staking, not the stem, and if there was lack of sunlight, the stem would be floppy. It also gets full blazing sun from a south window. I think that it may be because a purchased bulb has had its leaves lopped off for shipping, and the roots are dried. This trauma may make the stem shorter. I also notice that some plants such as H. papilio and 'La Paz' keep their leaves until the flowers are in bloom, at which time a bunch of leaves turn yellow and shrivel. I'm thinking that those leaves provide the energy and moisture for the extra push on the stalk height. I'm not going to test it by cutting off the leaves before bloom next year though, even though the leaves turn yellow just at peak bloom. I want my plants to be happy.

Funny how different it looked last year.

On my counter top then, it is too big for for the counter top now. It was half the height, with two stems, and the flowers were much more curly and heavy looking. It was a new bulb then. I wonder what the growers did that made it do that?

Not much going on outside, even though it is going to be close to 60F.

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