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Re: optimizing Amorphophallus growth

> From: Lester Kallus <lkallus@earthlink.net>
> Subject: optimizing Amorphophallus growth
> > Will an amorphophallus grow appreciably better planted directly in the
> > ground than it does in a pot?  I picked up a 4" paeoniifolius tuber while

I'll summarize the tradeoff as essentially unlimited root room versus
mobility when external conditions are poor.

I face this issue too, since A. konjac is the only amorph known to be
hardy in our coldest winters. (I'd be most surprised - but very pleased -
to hear of others.)

I've run a couple of informal tests with konjac; with plenty of water in
both environments they get bigger faster in the ground. One of the
uncorrected-for flaws is that my outside konjacs have always been grown in
full sun, much higher light than where the pots go out for the summer.

However, I don't grow any other amorphs in the ground - all are in pots.
The other factor, which I haven't seen mentioned yet, that tipped the
balance is that these things mostly seem to have a mind of their own,
going dormant and breaking dormancy when they please. 

Offsets of a particular plant, potted in separate pots, in different parts
of the greenhouse (i.e., different light levels, as much as 5 C
temperature difference), which receive different amounts of water when
dormant, will all break dormancy within a couple of days. I've even had an
offset I removed from a pot and left sitting on a table, with no soil or
water for weeks and not much light, start growth within 48 hours of its
clones back in the moist soil in the greenhouse. My internal clock should
be so good.
With the more tropical species, that time seems to have no relation to the
external season here, even after several years in the same spot. (Quite
the opposite for Synandrospadix, which puts leaves up about now every year
and goes dormant every fall regardless of how I treat it in the interim.)

Since I found I had to keep an eye on them and grow in pots any which
started growth during inclement times outdoors anyway, I just grow them
all that way. 


-- Steve Marak
-- samarak@arachne.uark.edu

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