QUESTION: Mine is about 4 yrs old & has bloomed in the past, but last year it didn't. It's growing new leaves from the center (or a bloom) & the leaves are almost 3 ft. long. It looks healthy. What am I doing wrong?
Hippeastrums can be quite tricky to get re-blooming but with the right treatment they do bloom for years. I am going to ask you these points and hope you will get back to me as you have not given me much information to help with.
Hippeastrums are bulbs; and like all bulbs, they need their leaves leaving to turn brown and wither on their own accord to feed the bulb. Did you cut the leaves off early last year?
Another thing is that they need a lot of sun through the growing season. Have you got it in sunlight or at least bright light?
They need a lot of water through the season and they need to be kept moist. Only in Autumn, they need to be dried off until new growth. How often do you water it?
Hippeastrums need feeding from after flowering until Autumn every two weeks. Have you fed it and if so, what do you feed it on?
Is it pot bound?
What is the air temperature like?
Is it in a draught?
Do you give it a spell outdoors through summer?
Hope you can get back to me so I can help further.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: I didn't cut the leaves but some were bent & broke off. It gets bright indirect light during late Spring & summer & early Fall. In the Winter it goes in my heated greenhouse & gets filtered light there. The bulb takes up most of the pot & I water when it gets dry.
What do I feed it? I live in TX so it's humid & very hot during the summer. In the greenhouse the heaters come on when temp reaches about 43. The leaves are always green. What can I do to ensure they turn brown as you mentioned?
It needs direct sun throughout spring, summer and autumn to produce enough energy for the thick scape as it uses up a lot of reserves.
To make the plant rest, you need to slowly cut down on watering in September and let the leaves yellow and by the end of October you will have almost stopped watering. By this time, the leaves will have turned brown.
When the leaves have died down, leave the plant dry and keep it that way until new growth emerges.
Throughout the growing season, it needs to be humid and needs high temperatures with a lot of sun. As I said before, place it outdoors in summer and keep up with the watering and feeding until autumn.
Feed it on tomato fertilizer as this has all the goodness for the plant to build up reserves.
As soon as the scape starts growing, give it higher temperatures but when it flowers, site it in a cooler spot as this lengthens the flowering period. Not long after the flowers wither, the leaves will start into active growth and then you can feed it and keep the compost moist.
It also sounds like that your Hippeastrum needs a larger pot too. This is the right time to re-pot them but disturb the roots a little but do not cause too much disturbance as they hate it.
Hope this helps.