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Old March 14, 2018   #1
Goodloe
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Default Dividing Amaryllis Bulbs

I generally don't give a hoot about flowers unless they end up as tomatoes or peppers, but my wife wants me to take up her amaryllis bulbs, divide them and replant. I know next-to-nothing about flower bulbs.

Are there special techniques I should follow? I looked at a couple of youTube videos, and it seems pretty straightforward, but none mentioned timing. Is there a certain time of the year when this should be done?

In the picture, you can see the 4 bulbs kind of in a wad. All are bigger than a baseball, and had just started putting out new growth at the end of Feb. My wife says that this thing was planted well over 15 yrs ago. It is planted right next to the brick wall of the house and faces west.

Is there a "bulb whisperer" out there?

Thanks,
Jon
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Old March 14, 2018   #2
Goodloe
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Lemme try the picture again...
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Old March 14, 2018   #3
brownrexx
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Most bulbs should be divided when they are dormant but if it is just starting to put on new growth, you can certainly divide it and re-plant it now.

In my part of the country we can't leave amaryllis bulbs in the ground over the winter so we dig them in the fall, let the leaves dry off and store them over the winter. In the spring we just pull the bulbs apart and re-plant.

The picture was not there before I posted my reply but now I see it and those buys definitely need some space. I would carefully dig them with a shovel and gently pull them apart and re-plant now before they put on any more growth.

Last edited by brownrexx; March 14, 2018 at 11:45 AM.
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Old March 14, 2018   #4
Nan_PA_6b
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One divides a bulb when it is dormant, so once it's done flowering and died back completely. Dig up the whole clump (be sure to dig widely enough around it to not cut any bulbs with your shovel.) Separate the bulbs and plant them with space between them so they have room to multiply. Amaryllis bulbs are planted 50% under soil & 50% on top, as yours are.

Little bulblets, if any,will take a year or more to flower; they will come up as leaves, feeding the bulbs, until the bulb reaches "critical mass".

Lucky duck, gets to plant amaryllis outside.
Nan

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Old March 14, 2018   #5
Goodloe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownrexx View Post
Most bulbs should be divided when they are dormant but if it is just starting to put on new growth, you can certainly divide it and re-plant it now.

In my part of the country we can't leave amaryllis bulbs in the ground over the winter so we dig them in the fall, let the leaves dry off and store them over the winter. In the spring we just pull the bulbs apart and re-plant.

The picture was not there before I posted my reply but now I see it and those buys definitely need some space. I would carefully dig them with a shovel and gently pull them apart and re-plant now before they put on any more growth.
Ok, guys...conflicting advice here, lol. Which is best?
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Old March 14, 2018   #6
Nan_PA_6b
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Having never divided an amaryllis bulb, I'll defer to Brownrexx.

Nan
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Old March 14, 2018   #7
Goodloe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nan_PA_6b View Post
Having never divided an amaryllis bulb, I'll defer to Brownrexx.

Nan
Me, either, but I'm gonna give it a try. I'll let y'all know how it turns out....
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Old March 14, 2018   #8
ddsack
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They should be fine to divide -- have not yet put out that much green stuff. They are not very delicate, just try not to stab them with the shovel so they don't get a fungus infection in the bulb. Pulling apart won't harm them.
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Old March 14, 2018   #9
brownrexx
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I seriously doubt that they will be stuck together very much but if so, let the parts where you pulled them apart dry before re-planting to prevent fungal infection.

Ideally they should be divided when dormant but since you have them growing outside year round I would divide them now if it were me.

I have grown lots of amaryllis outside and never killed one except the ones I didn't dig up in the fall and they froze. They are not that delicate to dig up if you don't damage them with the shovel.

They sell boxed amaryllis around here for blooming at Christmas and the bulbs look exactly like the ones in your picture with just a little bit of growth showing. They come in a box with a plastic pot and some soil and people pot them to bloom around Christmas. Having a little bit of growth like that will not hurt a thing but I wouldn't wait. Dig out a big shovelful of dirt and they will probably fall apart. Re-plant but leave the crown of the bulb exposed.
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Old March 14, 2018   #10
carolyn137
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I have never grown any amaryllis inground. We don't do that here in upstate NY,but clearly in the south you do. Uphere you buy those boxes that have the bulb,container and growing medium supplied and you do it about 6 weeks before Xmas. I used to get a bulb catalog from the Netherlands and they have an outlet here in the US,so you order with a US phone number and your bulbs are sent, well,they decide that based on their charts for temps in each state.

Bulbs that I always dig up in the Fall to store in a paper bag in a cool pale would include,well,especially dahlias.

This place where I now live has a profusion of bulbs, a few added by me, but most by the previous owners, and I've been here now for 17 years.

What they planted were all kinds of Narcissus, snow drops,Lily of the Valley, not tulips, I added them and yes some do come back if they have a heavy snow cover.Also Scilla, hyacinths and much more.

When I moved here there was a poppy,pink,that almost everyone had in their gardens, me too, probably spread by birds.

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Old March 15, 2018   #11
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I have many amaryllis bulbs and have been growing them for 30 some years. You can divide the bulbs any time that they are not in full growth. Meaning when they are leafed out.
You can do it now before the scapes get any taller so that you do not break them off, or better yet in fall when the go dormant. Gently pry the bulbs apart leaving as much of the new roots as possible. Check the bottom of the bulb (the root plate). If it is overly thick then just slice it off to 1/8" and replant it. This will renew it's ability to create new roots. Many times a bulb will die from the root plate being too thick and not being able to regenerate new roots.

Gook Luck!
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Old March 15, 2018   #12
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How do you folks grow your amaryllis, that they come back year after year? Is it done outside? I grew it indoors and each year it came back weaker, until it ceased to bloom.

Nan
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Old March 15, 2018   #13
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I started with a couple of those boxed amaryllis that I received as Christmas presents. I planted the bulbs outside in the spring and they bloom in the summer. I dig them up in the Fall and store them dry in my garage over the winter.

Each year when I dig them up there are new small bulbs at the base of the large bulbs and they bloom after they are about a year old. Eventually I had so many that I was composting the smaller bulbs.

Maybe if you were just growing it indoors then it needed fertilizer during the growing season. Mine obtained whet they needed from my very fertile soil in my flower beds. I never did anything special for them and they bloomed beautifully, sometimes with 2 stalks of 4 flowers each per plant.
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Old March 15, 2018   #14
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My sister has over twenty huge bulbs that she has had in pots for many years, and she keeps trying to give me some when she splits them, but I don't have the house space for them.

She simply sets the bloomed out pots outside in a mostly shady spot under some trees during summer and brings the same pots in in the fall before frost, when she lets them dry down naturally and they are dormant in her basement until spring. When they start to put up new spring growth, she waters them and brings them upstairs to her sun room. She removes any large "pups" and repots bulbs as needed when they start to crowd the pot too much. I think she repots in the spring since she is usually too busy in the fall with other things. I think she fertilizes occasionally, but mostly they are trouble free with very little maintenance beyond watering all summer. This amaryllis of hers is over 20 years old.
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Old March 15, 2018   #15
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I mostly grow mine indoors. I have 30-40 bulbs. I also breed some. Mine are in pots. I do re-pot them every two years. I use a high phosphorous fertilizer throughout the growing season. I may put some outdoors after June 20th. If you put them out any earlier you are at risk of losing them to the narcissus bulb fly which will lay eggs on them and the grubs will feed on your bulb and consume the entire interior of the bulb. So mostly I try to keep mine indoors in bright light.

I may or may not cut off all growth sometime in November. If I do, I stop watering the plant and allow it to go dormant. If it needs re-potting, I try to do it now. Otherwise I wait until new growth appears sometime in February or March at which time re-pot and I begin to water it. For those that I do not cut the growth off of, I water minimally until they put up a flower bud. Once I see that, I begin watering it weekly.

These plants do not like to have wet feet. So be sure to keep them just moist to dry and not wet. If they are too wet, they will rot.
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