Any horticulturalists in the house?

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by Charlie_K, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. Charlie_K


    Jul 16, 2012
    Today we discovered a new plant on our property. A red spider lily, lycoris radiata. It belongs to the amaryllis family and is grown from bulbs.

    The only problem with this is the fact we've never heard of the red spider lily before, have never seen one before, and in over 30 years we certainly didn't plant any such bulbs where it's currently growing.

    Can anyone explain how a bulb-based plant can just spontaneously grow without a bulb?
  2. LEGION 12

    LEGION 12 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    Squirrels ?
    taldesta likes this.
  3. eisman

    eisman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    ^^^ This.

    I have a number of bulb type perennials, including lilies, and this time of year I have to watch who's digging in the beds. I have two places in the yard where lilies have "migrated" to from previously established plantings.
  4. 3fifty7

    3fifty7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 24, 2016
    I’ve lived in my house for about 14 years now and have watched a handful of spider lilies come up over the last few days. They have never grown in my yard as long as I’ve lived here. They do grow wild and are quite common in our area.
  5. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    How do you know it is "Red Spider Lilly"? All plants that typically bloom from a bulb do produce seed and it could have migrated onto your property via birds or wind. Squirrels could also carry a bulb from one area to another and bury. Squirrels seem to like some kinds of plants with bulbs. My experience with Amaryllis is that they don't care for them (at least yet). I have quite a few amaryllis in pots outdoors during the summer months and we see many grey squirrels in our yard as there are hickory and oak trees.
  6. Charlie_K


    Jul 16, 2012
    Because it's a dead ringer for this.


    Had the comment not been made at home that it looked like a spider, I wouldn't have had a clue what to google.

    You don't say. For years I've been told that bulb plants could only be produced from a portion of bulb, and didn't come from seeds.
  7. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    You didn't say it was blooming. ;) You have been told a partial truth about bulb plants (flowers) although they do reproduce in the fashion you mention. As an example, amaryllis and tulips develop small bulb offsets to the main bulb, but they do produce seed as well. You may have noticed that if you don't dig out your tulip bulbs, store and replant that they often develop a cluster of plants around the original bulb. Amaryllis do the same thing in the soil and in pots. It takes several years of growth for amaryllis offsets to bloom.
    (From this website) Amaryllis can be propagated four different ways: cultivation of seeds, removing or dividing offsets from the mother bulb, cuttage or bulb sectioning and tissue culture. Commercial propagation must maintain the true culture characteristics of the parent, and is carried out by the latter three methods because seeds do not always "come true" to the mother plant.

    I would like to point out, however, that the outstanding selection and vigor seen in commercial plants is a result of cross fertilizing different species or varieties of plants. It is also an exciting exercise for the patient gardener, since it takes 2-4 years to progress from seed to a blooming plant.

    When mature and healthy, bulbs will often produce a second and smaller bulb or offset, just to the side of the mother bulb. The new bulb can be removed by gently breaking it away or cutting it with a sharp knife after flowering is complete. The offset can then be planted to mature and bloom the following season. In all cases bulbs should be planted with at least 1/3 of the bulb showing above the soil line.

    Cuttage, or re-sectioning, is carried out by making numerous vertical cuts through the bulb from top to root. Each section or piece must leave a portion of the stem tissue or basal plat of the bulb attached to the bottom, or scale portion. The best time to section bulbs from the garden is August to November. Each freshly cut section of the bulb should be dusted with ferbam or thiram to minimize disease before planting in a mixture of peat moss and sand.
    (There is more if you are interested.)
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
    Retired UPS Driver likes this.

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