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Hippeastrum aulicum var. robustum

Hippeastrum aulicum var. robustum

Caring for your bulb

 

Pot size -- If your bulb is about 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5-4 cm) wide, start it in a 4-5 inch (8-10 cm) pot for about 6-9 months.  Use a pot with drainage holes.

Soil -- It likes a loose, well-draining mix.  A typical mix is 1 part small grade orchid bark, 1 part perlite or pumice, and 1 part coco fiber or peat.  An alternate mix is 1 part potting soil to 2 parts perlite.

 Plant the bulb so the widest part is at the soil surface (slightly above or below is ok).

Watering -- Aim to keep the mix evenly moist at all times (but not constantly saturated).

 Climate -- It comes from a mild climate in Brazil, with temperatures similar to San Diego.  Indoor temperatures suit it well.  It can tolerate heat, but it prefers cool nights if days are hot.  Protection from frost is essential.

Light -- Bright, filtered light seems to be the best.  Some protection from strong afternoon sun is needed.

Fertilizing -- It has average fertilizer needs.  When it's not dormant, feed about every 3 months with a general-purpose fertilizer that contains micronutrients.  Follow the dosage on the package.

Repotting -- After 6-9 months, move your plant to a 6 inch (15 cm) pot, where it should stay until it flowers.  You may repot your bulb any time of year, but during dormancy is ideal.  Repotting when the bulb is near flowering size might delay flowering.  If you must repot a flowering-size bulb, avoid disturbing the roots.

Dormancy -- The bulb may drop some or all of its leaves and go through a brief dormancy period, typically around summer, especially if nights are cool.  Don't let the roots dry out during this time.

Flowering -- When the bulb nears flowering size (2 inches / 6 cm wide), try to expose it to cool nights for 6 weeks in summer or autumn, to encourage flowering.  Temperatures should be between about 45-62 F (7-17C) for several hours at night (don't allow it to freeze).  The bulb might defoliate from this, but it will emerge from dormancy when returned to warmer temperatures.  Flowering typically occurs right after this (if the bulb is ready to flower).

Pests to watch for -- Look for any bugs that can  affect your other houseplants.  Try spraying with insecticidal soap first before using harsher chemicals.

 If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. 

Enjoy your plant!

- Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things

 

 
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