Sunday, January 25, 2009

Amaryllis ups and (mostly) downs

This has not been a good year for amaryllis. I started with four, acquired two, and ended up with three. Even the one plant that I received in bloom wilted, yellowed, and died. And in addition to the bulb that softened up while it was chilling, another turned out to be rotten at the core.

I potted it up but nothing grew. And then I stuck my finger down into the neck, only to encounter a deep well of soft brown muck. Gagh! One time that my poor sense of smell was a blessing. The autopsy photograph is above.

On the upside, my "Minerva" bulb is already sprouted up an offset, to the left of the bulb in the photograph below. This baby needs to increase to at least three leaves before it is separated from its mother, a matter of years.

Then, on the downside, the leaves of the "Minerva" mother are sporting raised red spots, which I have to assume is the fungal disease caused by Stagonospora curtisii. (Oh, if only someone would post a good picture of its symptoms for us visual types!)

Treatments--other than discarding the bulb--seem variably effective, frightening elaborate, and/or chemical redolent. The other leaves seem less affected, so hopefully this bulb will pull through. All this, and winter, too?

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