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Digging in the Dirt

I'm no expert, but something is missing...

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A few weeks ago I was at the grocery store and I found some Amaryllis bulbs on a clearance table.  I know, the clearance table at a grocery store is probably not the best place to buy bulbs, but I had to rescue them.


I planted all three bulbs and placed them in an east facing window.  All three sprouted, but one of the bulbs immediately shot up two flower stalks but no leaves.  The other two bulbs sprouted and have both flower stalks and leaves.


Has anyone ever had an Amaryllis want to flower so badly that it forgot to produce leaves?








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Yep, "diggin" this can be the habit of the plant - it was just so ready, then the leaves will push later, have two in bud right now from last year's clearnace specials crop. One inside waiting for it to sprout and two more in the cold greenhouse still dormant. Let the leaves mature and die back like any other bulb - dry period spring to summer

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Hi Margaret,


Thanks for the reply.  My one Amaryllis still has no leaves, but has already started to bloom.  I will put him back in front of the window when it's done blooming, and hopefully at some point he figures out that he forgot to send out his leaves :)


The other two plants are doing well, but haven't started to bloom yet.  This has to be one of the easiest indoor plants that I have tried to grow.  Just add water and stand back...




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Good Morning :


I would like to know if you can assist me with the following problem :


Below is a picture of an Amarillis large bulb which flowerd beatifully with 4 gigantic white and yellow flowers .


It has not flowered in over 1 year and now has this red stuff. It continues to grow alot of leaves but no flowers.


Please help I don't want them to die ..I forgot to mention that I live in Puerto Rico.


Thank you , 



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An interesting situation, Jeannette, thanks for asking us to look into it. Unfortunately it seems your amaryllis is infected with a fungus called leaf scorch or leaf fire or red fire. It is pretty difficult to control and that causes growers/producers of amaryllis to dispose of infected bulbs. However, Florida State's bulletin - excerpt and URL included below - indicates it may be worth trying a hot water bath plus careful attention to growing conditions afterward - very good light and never too much water.


It is possible the fungus has hurt the bulb so much that it stopped blooming  but it is more likely that whatever condition weakened the plant enough to make it susceptible to the fungus also stopped the formation of flowers.


This is not to say you are a bad gardener. Subtle changes in condition like slightly lower light levels aren't noticeable to us yet a plant on the edge can reach a point where it cannot function fully. All the while it looks the same to us..... until it doesn't.


(Unrelated story: I am remembering my experience as a youngster with Dracaena, corn palm. So pleased with how our indoor plant was growing! Yet while I was gloating it was looking fine as it died. Until one day as I approached it, watering can in hand. Every leaf fell off, neatly one by one as my approach sent little tremors its way.)


So do this. Read the excerpts of two bulletins below, one by the Pacific northwest Extension and one by Florida State. They both paint a dire future for your amaryllis - discard the infected plant. However, you are not a grower nurturing 1,000. You are 1 in charge of 1. To you, the Florida Extension offers an option to heat treat the plant. See what you can do. Let the rest of us know. We will post this on our Forum so others can see it and comment. Who knows, someone may say, "Been there, done that, go for it!"


Also go to the Florida State bulletin (Green Thumbs Up to all these Extension bulletins at our fingertips via Internet!) and read their drections for handling amaryllis to achieve bloom. Or read our notes to that effect on GardenAtoZ.org. Search Hippeastrum" and the various articles will pop right up. See if you can alter the plant's rest period or growing conditions to coax it back into bloom.

That is what we gardeners do. We spend the time to see what's possible outside the realm of growing-an-acres-worth.


Good luck. I hope you will let us know what you do and what happens. We will share that indormation along. for a while.



Amaryllis (Hippeastrum)-Leaf Scorch (Red Leaf Spot)

Cause Peyronellaea curtisii (formerly Stagonospora curtisii), a fungus that can survive for at least a year in dry leaf material. Fruiting bodies and/or spores may be carried on the bulb. Leaves and flower stalks may be injured as they push up between bulb scales. Under moist or humid conditions, spores infect the plant through these or other wounds. 'Naked ladies' (Amaryllis belladonna) are not as susceptible to infection.

Symptoms Small, red, raised or elongated spots will first develop after infection of leaves or flower stalks. Dark, brownish red spots also develop on flowers or bulb scales. Reddish brown pimple-like fruiting bodies (pycnidia) develop in necrotic areas. Infected leaves or flower stalks generally bend at the point of infection and may dry up without producing a flower.

Any injury to the plant will result in a reddening of affected tissue, so this disease may be confused with physiological problems or insect injuries.

Cultural control

  • Avoid injuring the plant.
  • Destroy or remove diseased bulbs and infected foliage.
  • Provide ideal growing conditions such as a temperature of 60°F to 75°F. Do not overwater, fertilize once a week, and place where it will get plenty of light but not direct sunlight.

Chemical control Generally not recommended, though Captan has been shown to be effective.

Reference Smith, C.O. 1934. Inoculations of Stagnospora curtisii on the Amaryllidaceae in California. Phytopathology 25:262-268.


from https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/EP/EP06000.pdf

Occasionally, amaryllis will be attacked by a fungus disease

called “red blotch” or “leaf scorch” (Stagonospora curtisii)

(Figure 6) (Janet's note - Figure 6 is a match to your plant's leaf, Jeannette.)


It usually occurs on shaded plants that are

frequently irrigated. Red spots appear on the flower stalks

and leaves and enlarge, elongate, and become sunken.

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