The Garden Helper

Helping Gardeners Grow Their Dreams since 1997.

No-dash-here, you've found The Real Garden Helper! Gardening on the Web since 1997

Roots Turning to Mush!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by Angelfaery on February 15, 2005 09:51 PM
Hi all! I have this mysterious bulb plant that I got for Christmas that is not doing well. It is living in a glass with pebbles in it. Ever since I got it the stems have been slowly turning yellow and wilting, so I have been cutting them down as that happens. It also developed what looks to be a flower pod at the top of one stock, and to my disappointment that has now turned brown and dried out.

The most worrisome thing now is that I have noticed the roots are turning into mush! There is also a layer of whitish/pinkish goo developing at the bottom of the glass. Should I take the bulb out of the glass and plant it in soil? And if so, should I cut off the mushy roots? Thanks for any advice you can give me!

Here are some photos (click to enlarge):


Dried out flower pod:

Photo of bulb:
by hisgal2 on February 15, 2005 10:55 PM
I believe plants from bulbs require a hibernation period where the bulb needs to be if it were outside. I'm not sure if that is exactly why your plant seems to be dying tho. And I'm not sure what to do about the roots (I'm not a very good person when it comes to this stuff). Someone will be around to help you out tho! [Smile]

* * * *

by pcgrav on February 16, 2005 02:27 AM
I've seen this kind of plant before but I don't know what it is. I would say that from looking at your picture there is too much water in the glass. It looks like the water is all the way up to the bulb and even a little above the base of it. If so, then the bulb may be starting to rot, this would make the roots "turn to mush". As for putting in in soil, it probably wouldn't hurt to pot it BUT- pot it so that the bulb is above the soil and only the base where the roots emerge is below soil level and make sure you have good drainage in your pot. As for the stems, they may be dying because the bulb is in trouble. Or maybe the lighting isn't quite right. If you really like the plant and you have a plant nursery or florist close by you might take it by when you have time and find out what it is and how to help it. Good Luck!

* * * *
 - Each day is a new beginning...What you begin is your choice.
 - The pleasure you receive from life is equal only to the attitude you put into it.
by Amy R. on February 16, 2005 02:57 AM
shoot, that's too bad about your bulb. it definitely sounds like rot. it is possible it is a bunk bulb, i got a nasty amaryllis once, that did something similar. i could be way off, but if it were me, i would just let the root go dormant. meaning, cut the leaves, take it out of the pot, let it dry out, store it in a cool, dark place for at least two months(keep it away from fruit too, somehow it renders the bulb sterile) and then try again in spring. at that point you could even plant it outside as it will be warm enough then where you live. hopefully someone with more bulb knowledge will come along and set you straight. good luck!
by Angelfaery on February 17, 2005 01:54 AM
Thanks for all the advice! I have decided that I will do as Amy suggested and let the bulb go dormant for a couple of months. One question about that though - do I cut off all the roots? Or just leave them and let them dry out?
by Amy R. on February 17, 2005 02:17 AM
that's really scary that you are following my advice, lol, i'm totally winging it! i know that after flowering, the leaves continue to nourish the bulb, but it just seems like in your case you should cut your losses and cut to the chase, to use two really lame phrases at once. anyway, what i would do, is cut the remaining leaves at the base, uproot it, and trim off any rotten looking roots. then place it in a cool, dark place(which could be anywhere in anacortes, smirk smirk) and then plant it in the ground come april. i still for the life of me do not know what your bulb is, so i can't wait to see if your little experiment works and it blooms this spring. best of luck to you, you're gonna need it! [Wink]
here is a pic of my dormant amaryllis:

Active Garden Forum

Search The Garden Helper: