Am. titanum fun!
Since may '97 I am the proud owner of 4 little Am. titanum seedlings.
I grow the kids in a self-made box ( 125 cm x 50 cm x 100 cm height )
with 2 fluorescent TL lights and ground heating ( 27 degrees celsius ),
a closed environment with one side see-through / doorway.
I keep my plants in clear plastic containers, so I can keep an eye on
the root development. This morning I noticed one of my plants, which now
has its second leaf ( first one lost ), had made a strong bulge in the
I was so curious about what was going on, that I decided to take the
plant out of its container, check the corm and see what was going on. I
got the plant out of its container, removed the soil around its roots
and cleaned everything with water until no soil was left.
To my suprise, at the junction of the leaf base and corm, this plant was
making its third leaf, it was already 4 centimeters high. I also noticed
that the plant structure consisted of:
a - the original seed , which in a small form was still hanging on and
could not be removed without damaging the corm.
b - the corm produced by the first leaf next to the seed, being about
1.5 cm diameter and 1 cm high, you could still see where that first leaf
c - the corm of the second leaf next to the first corm, which measured 6
cm in diameter and was 4 cm high.
d - This 'big' corm had many healthy roots and was still producing more.
I speedily repotted the whole thing in a larger container so that the
corm would have more room for the coming year.
I am very pleased with my homegrown titanum, although I don't think that
it will be in the nursery for very long, now that third shoot is coming
up ( usually the next leaf is much bigger than the one previous ).
I do not know if this is a good result for a plant that is a little more
than half a year old, but then in the first three months things were
much worse. I had my seedlings in a standard ( just bought some potting
soil in the shop ) soil but they were growing very slowly and developed
very little roots.
Then I reread the Aroideana Vol. 19 ( the Amophophallus special ) and
there on page 22 it said to use a rich soil, well drained. That was the
first time I removed all 4 titanum from their pots, cleaned them with
water until no more soil was to be found ( the corms were only 2 cm in
diameter ) and transplanted them into a better soil ( handmade of
course :-) ).
So this is the second time I removed a titanum from its soil and
hopefully it will be all right once again ( this is still a bit of an
adventure as you will understand ).
I have one titanum growing outside my 'greenhouse' since it is 80
centimeters high and doesn't fit inside anymore ( some leafs are
slightly burnt from touching the lights ). I am now experimenting with
PL - lights to see if I can get good results in my room ( I have no
garden and we have dark and cold winters in the Netherlands ). I will be
missing the soil heating though.
I already have some carnivorous plants ( seedlings under PL lights and
they're doing extremely well, very good coloring - strong growth and a
low growth form ) growing under these lights. PL lights, just like TL's,
are not nearly as hot as bulbs and they use one fifth of the energy (
they're expensive though ).
Well, I can really say that my hobby is growing ( in more than one way )
and that I am having fun. Before the IAS I never thought it would be
possible to once have such a wonderful plant. I would like to thank
everyone for their input on the list server which I found is very
useful, also a big thank you for the people behind the IAS and making
all this possible. A second thank you for the people who in the past
year send me some of their young plants and/or seeds.
I wish you all a merry christmas and a good growing year in 1998!
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