Floating Seed for Germination

Papery seeds truly do benefit from starting in water.  Seeds like hippeastrum, albuca, agapanthus, in fact quite a few from the Amaryllid family.

Simply put your seeds into a container that is holding water.  I use plain tap water, tepid.  If the seed is viable, and keep in mind that a lot of amaryllid seed has a short life span, you should see a root within 2 weeks.  Keep an eye on them of course, but you will, because it's just so exciting to be able to do this.

 

I've started seed in dirt, soil less mix, and so on, this is by far the best way.  I've lost more to mold and critters any other way. There is no mess either!  

The above pictured seeds are from a hippeastrum.  I've let mine sit in water until there is a 1' long leaf above the water.  You can just lift out your baby bulb and plant them up.  Too easy.  

 

Growing bulbs in water

About 2006 I was given an offset of "Duncan's Grandma's hippeastrum".  I didn't have time to pot it up or whatever reason I had for doing this, I propped the golf ball size bulb on top of gravel in an olive jar, filled it with water and set it aside.  

Well here it is 2015 and said bulb is still in the same jar.    

But in my defense, it is still alive and has an offset of it's own.  The roots are obviously healthy, in spite of my neglect.  I doubt that it will bloom growing like this but it has been a fun experiment.  I really should pot it up.

 

What should I plant my bulbs in, baby or grown  

I have had the most success with 1 part coir, 1 part good quality compost, 2 parts small gravel (7 mm I think), it's been a while since I've purchased any.  I don't use peat moss in the house plants anymore, fungas gnats can be the bane of your existance.