Table of contents:
- Debunking myths
- Stage 1. Growing season
- Stage 2. Entering a dormant period
- Stage 3. Dormant period
- Stage 4. Bloom
- About stress. Last but not least
An acquaintance wrote to me yesterday, she "got sick" with hippos. Well, when I got sick, I suddenly liked it. She has a couple of "grandmothers", they lived and did not grieve, did not indulge in attention, sometimes they bloomed. And then I examined on the Internet what varietal they are. And away we go!.. First of all, she went to the Internet for information "what to do to bloom constantly", and not just for information, but on video tutorials: it is beautiful and immediately clear what to do, so that it blooms anyway! I've seen enough. And then she remembered about me. We talked with her for two hours, and I realized: I need to do something, somehow save newcomers-hippomaniacs from such "gurus" filming video lessons. So, in order.
- dormant period - the time when the bulb does not grow new leaves;
- the growing season (growth) - the time when something grows;
- bulb - a pseudostem of a plant, consisting of several layers formed by the lower part of the leaves;
- the bottom of the bulb is the place at the bottom of the bulb, from where the roots grow, in fact - the natural stem of the plant;
- the neck of the bulb is the narrowest place where the leaves come out;
- peduncle - it is "arrow", anthers - tips of stamens, on which pollen;
- pistil - the central "stick" in the flower, without pollen;
- stigma of the pistil - the tip of the pistil, when opened, it is divided into three parts.
Stages of growth of the hippeastrum under normal conditions:
- Growing season;
- Entering a dormant period;
- Rest period;
- The growing season.
Remember: we are not growing a flower, we are growing a bulb! If there is a bulb, there will be flowers. We do not separate the concepts of "bulb", "roots", "leaves", "flowers", "soil", "pot" from each other, it is a whole. And remember also: HIPPEASTRUM is not hyperastum, not hyperastrum, not even hypestrum!
Myth number 1. In order for the hippeastrum to bloom, you need to cut off the leaves and roots, wrap it in newspaper and put it in a cold and dark place for a month.
It is for this advice that there is a great desire to crack the advisor on the head.
Axiom number 1. Only adults, well-fed bulbs in the previous TWO seasons, bloom. An arrowhead grows from a flower bud that was planted in the penultimate growing season. An adult bulb is from 5 cm in diameter, "grandmothers" and some species can bloom even at 3 cm, but not necessarily. Anything less than 5 cm is automatically considered a baby, even if last year it was a gorgeous fist-sized bulb and bloomed with three peduncles.
Axiom number 2. Leaves should never be cut off under any circumstances. Point.
When the leaf dries out on its own, most of the nutrients return to the bulb. Cut off the leaves - deprive the bulb of some of the nutrients that it needs for good rest, and drive it into wild stress. More about stress later. About cold and darkness later.
Axiom number 3. You can cut the roots. BUT! Only the most extreme thin roots. Long thick roots in the same way store food, they grow for a long time and in general the bulb is bad without them.
Myth number 2. "For hippeastrum to bloom, you need a small pot, so that only your finger passes between the bulb and the wall of the pot."
Axiom number 4. A small pot falls under the weight of a cap of flowers, save your nerves.
Axiom number 5. For flowering, a good bulb does not care about the size of the pot. She will flourish even without a pot, in a glass with beads. In a small pot, the bulb thrives on an internal resource, in a large one, on nutrients from the soil. Want a disposable plant? Glass with beads. Do you want to rejoice for many years? The pot should be at least twice as wide as the onion and proportionally deep, no bowls.
Myth number 3. Dutch bulbs bloom once and disappear.
Without an axiom, lies and provocation. Where are our collections from then? The main thing is normal care, and our Dutch women live for decades.
Stage 1. Growing season
So, the axioms and general knowledge have been considered. Imagine that we have a certain onion, for example, it is already several years old, it is 6-7 cm in diameter, and a few months ago it bloomed beautifully with us, to the envy of our neighbors. Want more flowers? Of course we do! But it's December (January-May-July). So, we will have to wait: the onion is not yet ready to perform an encore and show its beauty again.
To prepare a gorgeous performance, artists are preparing, and even hippeastrum even more so. After the performance, sorry, flowering, the bulb needs, like a good actress, good nutrition, a calm atmosphere and the absence of annoying paparazzi. To arrange these conditions, we need to change clothes and send our actress to the resort. We remove the top dry scales to check if there are any wet rotting foci. We hope that everything is dry and beautiful, more about problems later. We need a normal sized vip pot to fit the existing roots and have a place to grow new ones. Ceramic or plastic, double or single, colored or brown - the bulb doesn't care, that's absolutely. Look for financial options and aesthetic preferences.
You also need tasty, nutritious food and healthy drinks - soil, water and fertilizing. The main requirement for the soil: it must be loose, nutritious, evenly wetted with water and also evenly dry. I mix the soil myself from the store "universal", garden chernozem, compost or humus and perlite. You may have a different recipe. After all, borscht is no worse than sour cream ravioli. If in doubt about the quality, bacteria or pests, then you can disinfect the soil with a bright pink solution of potassium permanganate or warm it up in the oven or microwave.
We plant the bulbs not deeply - at least 1/3 of the height of the bulb should be above the ground. I plant to the widest point of the bulb, it is more convenient for me. This is necessary in order to be able to monitor the condition of the upper scales in order to prevent rot and disease. There is drainage at the bottom of the pot. In the warm season, the bulb can be sent to a sanatorium: planted in open ground.
During the growing season, our onion needs regular watering, feeding and good lighting.
Remember: without light, there will be no photosynthesis. Without photosynthesis, new leaves do not grow, roots do not pull nutrients from the soil. The roots pull the nutrients dissolved in the water. If the soil lacks trace elements, the roots pull bare water. Our actress will not live long on water. If there is not enough water, the roots cannot take anything from the soil at all, hunger and thirst will kill the most persistent.
Regular watering is dry watering. Not "once a week", but precisely on drying. The calendar and reminder on the phone are not our help.
Top dressing is fertilizer. There are dry (granular, powder, sticks) and liquid. Better liquid, or those that dissolve in water. If you gain experience, you can add long-playing ones to the soil. Frequency - not by instruction. The first month, or even two after the transplant, we do not feed at all: the bulb must take root and master the food that is in the pot. In spring and summer, we feed after each watering, in autumn and winter - every other time. We do not pour fertilizer on dry soil, you can burn the roots that are not ready to receive top dressing. We feed at least an hour after watering, preferably the next day.
Which fertilizer should you choose? It depends on why. For the growth of leaves, nitrogen is needed, for laying a flower bud - phosphorus, to prepare for the dormant period - potassium. And then there are useful "vitamins" like magnesium and potassium, manganese and selenium … There are many fertilizers, understanding comes with experience. Doubt - take universal vermicompost or mineral, or "for flowering". In general, it is ideal if you find "for bulbous" or "for onions and garlic" - that could not be tastier! Although it happens, but more on that later. When you gain experience.
Lighting should be bright and long lasting. Ideally, a south or east window, with light shading during the hottest hours of summer. Outdoors - under a light canopy made of old tulle or agrofibre. No kitchen tables or refrigerators. Window - period. Or prepare an LED or luminescent solarium for our actress, at least 12 hours a day. No excuses like "I have a very bright room" - do not pass.
The light intensity is measured in special units. I will not load anyone with theory, I will tell you popularly. For example, if we take the intensity of sunlight outside on a hot afternoon as 100 units, then on the south window behind the glass it will be already 80. A meter from the window (without a curtain) - 50, another meter - already 25 units. So it turns out that it is light for the human eye, since the light reflected from the walls and ceiling is also perceived, and for a poor plant, as in that cellar, it is dark and scary.
Stage 2. Entering a dormant period
In general, we arranged a resort for our actress, all spring and summer she ate and gained strength. As the beloved wife of the padishah, she recovered, rounded and impudently pleased with herself. She is already too lazy to grow new leaves, she is melting in the sun and waits for a cold snap to fall asleep. This happens around the beginning of September, sometimes a little later, sometimes a little earlier.
If our bulb is growing in a pot, then, as soon as we realized that there are no new leaves, and the bulb looks better than it was before the resort, we slowly begin to reduce watering. You can also reduce the lighting, but it itself is gradually reduced - autumn. And our bulb itself (!!!) begins to dry the leaves. If it grew in open ground, then it can be dug up, rinsed in clean water, removed dry scales, treated with pests and fungi, dried and planted in a pot. It is possible without a pot, but the roots will dry out. Do we need it?
Returning to the issue of cold and darkness. Cool is good, darkness is bad. In nature, autumn comes with cold weather, which pushes our bulb into hibernation. But she doesn't crawl away into the darkness to sleep! Therefore - coolness and light. The leaves will dry out on their own, you just have to remove and throw them away. If the bulb still grows leaves, you can transplant it, but do not send it to the cold and do not deprive it of watering. Let it grow until it stops and starts drying the leaves. There are such thoughtful ones.
If the bulb does not grow new leaves, but does not dry out old ones either, leave it as it is. Some fussy people like to sleep clothed. If he wants, he will throw off the leaves.
Watering at this time is possible, but barely, if only the soil does not dry out into dust. The rule applies here: it is better not to water at all than to pour a lot. The roots are getting ready to sleep, they no longer suck in water. Wet soil is a breeding ground for all kinds of diseases.
Stage 3. Dormant period
Our bulb sleeps in cool and dry conditions, with no leaves or with them - it doesn't matter. This process is long, not less than a month, or even two or three. Visually, we cannot observe any changes, and there may be a desire to remove the dull picture of an almost empty pot with a protruding onion out of sight. Well, put it away - in a cool (not lower than +10 degrees) and bright place, where you go at least once a week.
Since, although we do not see anything, an important process takes place in the depths of the bulb: a flower bud dormant during the growing season, which originated a year before this event, develops into a peduncle rudiment, forms a cover with bud embryos, stretches and makes its way up: to the gap between scales on the neck of the bulb. At the same time, the bulb itself may decide that it has slept and begin to grow leaves. As soon as the tip of the peduncle or leaf appears above the bulb, the dormant period can be considered over.
It is impossible to accelerate the awakening of the bulb by watering, heating and other actions. The exception is wintering at temperatures below +10 degrees, then to wake up, you just need to transfer the bulb to a warmer room.
Stage 4. Bloom
As soon as we saw the tip of a peduncle or a leaf on a waking bulb, we transfer our actress to the stage for a performance, that is, to a warm, bright room for flowering. No matter how sorry we are, but the first watering can be done only when the height of the arrow or the second leaf (they usually go in pairs at first) reaches 10 cm.Otherwise, our capricious beauty may not give a damn about the performance, slow down the growth of the arrow and start growing leaves …
After the first watering, all subsequent ones - as usual, as the soil dries out. At this time, it is important to protect the bulb from the cold in every possible way. Even a cold window sill can nullify all our efforts over the past year: the bulb will stop developing, the roots will rot, and it will take a long and difficult time to recover. You can put something under the pot: a piece of styrofoam or a board, for example. If our bulb is warm, light and pleasant, the peduncle will grow fast enough, tall and strong. From the moment the cover flaps open on the arrow, you can resume feeding.
If everything goes according to plan, we will soon see the long-awaited flowers. The bud will open, then the anthers will turn inside out and pollen will appear, then the flower will open in full force, take the form it should be according to the variety. The last to open is the stigma of the pistil. Each variety blooms in its own way. In some, flowers open at the same time, in others - in turn. Each flower lasts about a week, so one peduncle can last for a whole month. In order to extend the life of the flower for several days, it is advisable to carefully cut or pinch off the anthers even before opening the anthers. No pollen, no pollination. There is pollination - the flower withers in a day. It is not good for a pregnant young lady to show off! So protect your flowers from accidental pollination - and you will enjoy flowers for a very long time!
After flowering, you need to cut off or gently break off the ovary with the remainder of the wilted flower. After removing the last flower, an arrow will remain. Let it stick out. It will gradually dry out, the juices will return to the bulb. A dry peduncle can be easily pulled out of the still open scales. Soon they will close, and the bulb will return to its original form.
The performance is over, the development cycle is closed. Then again - vegetation and the growth of green mass.
About stress. Last but not least
If done correctly, your bulb won't know what stress is and its consequences. But this is life, you have to be ready for anything.
Remember: for a healthy onion-actress, no adventure is scary, she will endure any stress on heels and with makeup, without even paying attention to it. The slightest problem - the consequences can be any.
Stress can be caused by: hypothermia, overheating, flooding, dryness, transplanting, shipping, sudden changes in conditions, pests and cats dropping pots from window sills. The bulb can react in different ways: dry the leaves, shed the roots, pick up stagonosporosis (a red burn is such a wet rot), stop growing, bifurcate (this is when the growth point dies and the bulb forms two new ones - to replace), dry the arrow and even die despite our best nursing efforts. Therefore: no unnecessary actions with the bulb and its parts. One stress factor is easy for a healthy bulb to survive. Two or more - is fraught with serious consequences.
Author Oksana Dyachenko