Thursday, January 6, 2011

Small Amaryllis Experiment

Amaryllis, Hipeastrum puniceum,  is a perennial fixture in our garden in the province. I thought it has been there since i was born, they were maltreated, abused, thrown away, disowned and given some unwanted behaviors given only to weeds by  some people. I've posted it a few times in the PAST with some sentimental thoughts and some insightful ideas. They flower only after the first heavy rains in May-June, produce luxuriant leaves after, and then hide, or better said lay dormant the rest of the year. We forget everything about them  till they produce the lovely  orange flowers again.
Because blogposts from winter climates said they force them to flower, coupled with my normal impatience in waiting for things, i also tried a little experiment. I dug some bulbs and brought them to the city, where i stay most of the time. I only visit the province on my free weekends, and those are really once-in-a while. I  put a bulb on a small fruitjam bottle, and another on a yellow plastic oil bottle. Basis for choosing these containers is the size of their opening which favorably held the bulbs in place. These are the only containers available that time, i don't want to go out to look for more suitable containers.

It's been January again so i thought of this results which were actually done the same month last year. It is serendipitous as i am also experimenting on making collages, which i have been shelving for sometime because i thought it could be very difficult. So you will be viewing results of 2 experiments:  amaryllis forced to flower, and  trials in making collage.
Above mosaic shows the progress of the bulbs. Top layer shows bulb on the yellow bottle producing a flower spike and a leaf. The enlarged photo of the bulb on the jambottle seems to be producing the same as well although a bit delayed. The top photo is taken 3d after planting while the bottom taken after 7 days.
The bottom layer shows  flower spikes growing faster than the leaves. Even at the early stages, the flower spike already shows a bit of orange hue. The whole duration from planting to full opening of the flowers took two weeks. Of course you very well know that all the flowers in one spike do not open at the same time, all the time.
The above mosaic shows another set of experiment i did after finishing the first trial. One bulb did not flower but produce just leaves. It could be still immature bulb still small to flower. Most of the spikes here produce 2-3 flowers. I've noticed also that the spikes are longer than when they are on the ground. That is because the lights received indoors are not sufficient. Insufficient lights produce  etiolation and elongated stalks.
Some sample close-ups of the flowers. There are flowers still there at least a month after planting, and because i planted 2x in succession, i have flowers for more than 2 months. Maybe i should try selling bulbs online here in the country, together with a procedure for doing it. These can make very beautiful gifts if done in nice containers, complete with ribbons and a card. One can choose what stage of development to buy, depending on the date of the occasssion.

What do you say Friends? I am calling Solitude Rising, or Onenezz or Autumn Belle we can have  partnerships for these venture.

Disclaimer: (haha) I apologize for having the worst conditions for experiments, variable bulb size, variable container, variable depth of water for roots, and a lot more varied here. Further, there is no replication which must at least be 3. I suppose i am also biased to prefer the nicer and faster growing bulb, and i suppose i used it for more photos. Please rest assured that i fully know the requirements of a sound and scientific way of doing experiments, complete with statistical analysis, graphs and figures to the nearest significant places, and i have publications to show my work! But time has changed! Maybe doing things the right way is not as fun as doing it totally different, not actually wrong, just totally different.

Just please bear with me coz I am enjoying this! and thank you....



  1. Amaryllis is a perennial feature in our garden as well :) Our domestic helpers children usu play cricket in the garden an squash them to the ground inspite of repeatedly requesting them to spare the flowers/garden. Thankfully the bulbs survive and spring to life come easter. Your experiment sure does sound interesting. All the best for the venture....Kudos!

  2. Oh, I am so extremely happy to see my name listing in this highly interest venture. It looks like magic seeing the bulbs sitting on those little containers and flowering just like that. You are so clever! I will start saving money now. Hehehe ;>)

  3. Your experiment looks like loads of fun. They are all coming along and will produce nicely.It should be interesting to see what others come up with too. Great luck to you and your bulbs.

  4. I sure wish Amaryllis could grow outdoors where I live! I do love them. Congrat's on your collages and bulb experiments...both look fabulous, to me! It is so much fun to try new things. Using picasa, collages really aren't difficult at all, as I see you've found out! Happy New Year to you;-)

  5. Beautiful gift indeed!... this Hipeastrum puniceum is pretty Andrea! Also, it must have been a wonderful experience to see the flower blossoming :-D

  6. Your collages are getting more and more interesting. Your business idea is just as interesting though I am surprised with your public invitation.

  7. Andrea, that is one interesting experiment. Have you tried other tropical bulbs?

    You may be sitting on a gold mine with your planned business venture.

    In the US plant stores and even grocery stores sell bulbs that have been induced to grow out of season (e.g. Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths, etc), usually during winter to add life and color indoors.

    Maybe you can start small and let us know how it goes. Have you tried advertising with ''?

  8. Hippeastrum are a fixture in my spring garden. Most of them were grown from seed. I love this simple orange one. I have added three new colours, pink appleblossom and snow white.
    Just wanted to let you know that I Have perused your posted Hibiscus.Real tropical beauties in strong and soft colours. Very enjoyable.

  9. oooohhhh, we already figured out our science expo experiement for my 5 year old, but using amaryllis bulbs to experiment with the lighting differences would be a really easy and good science expo experiment. I'll have to remember it for next year.

  10. Thank you everyone for sharing with me the fun on this post. It was started for fun and now i'm happy i've shared it with you.

    Ever Green Tree~~so it's not only maltreated/abused in ours but also in yours, oh amaryllis i'm sorry for you. My venture is also a joke!

    Autumn Belle~~haha, thanks for riding on my joke!

    Donna~~yes, i hope some people learn from it. Yes i think Wendy is inspired to do an experiment with light bulbs for her 5 yrs old. That's great.

    Jan~~happy New Year to you too, and happy blogging always.

    Stephanie~~ you should try it with your red ones this coming dry season in Malaysia. BTW, maybe i can barter my orange with your red? how about that?

    One~~ haha, i'ts obvious that i am not serious, flaunting all the secrets of the trade.

    Solitude Rising~~actually it really is possible, however, i am just joking here since i am not a very enterprising person. I thought you very well know we dont have tulips and daffodils in this country. Those you see here are all imported from temperate climes. Please dont take it seriously.

    Titania~~i forget where you're from but i will check next time. I wish to have the red and white also. Glad also you saw my unique-colored hibiscus posts.

    Wendy~~yeah, that's so clever of you. I can't imagine the 5yr-olds already do some research on this, wow, i love to teach them too. But i think the best effect of light producing much visible differences are the mungbean germination, or alfalfa seeds. Some seeds after soaking in water is covered with black cloth. The other is exposed to light. You will see the sprouting radicles to be so elongated under the black cloth. Now, will you change your experiment? haha.


Your comments inspire me to post more, and our conversations make life and gardening more meaningful.

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