Amaryllis is prolific, a diseased lemon tree, and the depth of planting seeds

Amaryllis is prolific, a diseased lemon tree, and the depth of planting seeds

s: This Christmas, I received a potted amaryllis bulb from my granddaughter, who she bought at Walmart. I have never encountered such a prolific amaryllis. It was amazing with four flower stems and a total of 17 flowers between January 9th and 31st. I thought on a winter’s day, maybe an image of a beautiful flower for your column would be appropriate. – Susan Clamby, Moorhead.

a: Thank you, Susan, for sharing your truly wonderful amaryllis story. Most of us consider ourselves lucky if an amaryllis plant produces two stems, or three if we’re lucky, but four stems is great.

Susan continues: “This looks like it might be a record. I tied the four flower stems together so gently, I had to lean them against a hanging hoya plant for support. The last five flowers are now fading on the stems.”

I couldn’t locate any information about the record holder, but in general the larger the amaryllis bulb, the higher the output. For example, large bulbs with a diameter of 34 to 36 cm usually produce up to three stems with four to five flowers per stem. Your bulb producing 17 flowers on four stems is definitely one for the record books.

Another view of the prolific amaryllis plant. Forum specific

s: I have a lemon tree with two lemons on it, but the leaves are falling. It’s in a good window, and the other tropical plants are doing well. What can I do to save this plant? – Joe Grotjohn.

a: Lemons are a fun plant to grow indoors that can successfully produce fruit, and the Meyer lemon is a popular indoor variety. The leaves falling from the lemon plant indicates that it is reacting to something that it does not like.

My first thought is insect pests, like the almost invisible spider mites, that infest citrus indoors. If possible, give the plant a gentle bath, rinsing the upper and lower leaf surfaces. Then spray with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Citrus plants require acidic, organic soil, such as mixes with a high percentage of peat moss. Fertilize monthly with increasing day length from March to September using a fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

University research says the preferred internal temperature for lemons is 65 degrees, with a 5 to 10 degree drop at night. Increasing indoor humidity also keeps citrus happy. Water as needed, but do not keep the soil constantly saturated.

Archive: Read more of Don Kinzler’s Field Questions columns

s: I plan to start seeds indoors this spring to grow some of my own vegetable and flower plants, but I’m new to this. How do you know how deep to plant the seeds, or how much mixture to cover them? -Sam H, Bismarck.

a: Seeds vary greatly in size, and this determines how deep to plant. Small seeds are sown very superficially and larger seeds receive deeper cover. A rule of thumb that sometimes appears in the literature is to cover seeds two or three times the diameter of the seed, but I found it a bit difficult to implement.

The simple and effective method I use is as follows: If the seeds are small, about the size of the poppy seeds you see on the top of the bread rolls, simply sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the seeding mixture and then gently pat the surface with your hand. . The next step in watering will give them the right amount of soil contact. Petunia seeds are a good example. For seeds larger than poppy seeds, spread out the seeds and then sprinkle enough of the mixture over them so you can no longer see the seeds.

When sowing indoors, there is usually more risk in planting too deep than too shallow, especially with small seeds.

If you have a gardening or lawn care question, email Don Kinzler at All questions will be answered, and questions with broad appeal may be published, so please include your name, city, and state for appropriate advice.

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