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[Aroid-l] Amorphophallus I grow, and sources

  • Subject: [Aroid-l] Amorphophallus I grow, and sources
  • From: Bonaventure Magrys bonaventure@optonline.net
  • Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2005 13:49:33 -0500

 

Amorphophallus collection of:

Bonaventure Magrys

Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey

USA zone 7

 

albus

"A-103"

bulbifer

dunii

konjac

lewallii

mossambicensis (swynnertonii)

paeonifolius

 

All my Amorph's put up vegetative growth when spring is well advanced, summer-like conditions beginning. Late May, early June here in central coastal New Jersey. At this point they are all outdoors in full sun in south and southwestern exposures.

 

Konjac (one form received as Amorphophallus stipitatus A-102 from Kaichen Nurseries in 1999), albus (1999 Kaichen A-101 Amorphophallus sp.), A-103 (Kaichen 2000), dunnii, and bulbifer remain outdoors planted in compost amended sandy garden soil all year. Albus even bloomed outdoors in May of 2003 before its leaves came up. The largest "mother" tubers of these species are dug up in the fall and this produces many large bare-bulbed blooming konjacs for me in early spring to give away as gifts to friends I do not like! Just kidding, but often after the smell becomes apparent they do not like me any more!! Konjac is the only other species I have bloomed besides albus, and often it has to be dug up because its stoloniferous nature forms extensive invasive patches. It is as hardy, vigorous, and prolific as Sauromatum venosum or Pinellia pedatisecta. I've only dug up one of 3 main bulbifers this year (from 3 small tubers from Wilbert Hetterscheid in 2000) and hopefully it is large

enough to bloom soon. My largest albus dug up 2 weeks after frost first disfigured the leaf (took that long to keel over) and kept dry indoors looks like its "pointing" now. It also offsets freely, but does not form the foot long stolons of konjac.

Amorphophallus dunnii (from Wilbert in 2000), and A-103, which looks like konjac with lighter stems, have also offsetted freely, been moved about the garden, and have been left outdoors several years.

 

The other group of amorphs I grow, the last 3 species of the list above, are potted in a mix of 1 part potting soil, 1 part perlite. They start their growth also late May/early June and have been kept on my south facing front deck the duration of the summer.

 

A. lewallii, grown from seed from, again, generously,  Wilbert Hetterscheid in 2000, goes dormant early, with the first cool nights. It is then brought indoors and kept dry till the next year. Only 1 seed of several germinated. This year the growth was about 1 foot high, not much bigger than last year's, so I unpotted it and checked the tuber. It is about chestnut-sized and now has a pea sized offset. A. mossambicensis, syn. swynnertonii (again thank you Wilbert!) has increased dramatically from the earthworm-shaped stolon I received around 2000. Several tubers are filling the bottom of a 14 inch pot. This one I bring in in leaf when first frost threatens, around mid-October here, and watch the leaves dry out after 2-3 weeks of no watering.

 

Also receiving no water after bending it sideways and this way and that to get it through the front door and throwing my back out, is A. paeoniifolius. I purchased this tuber as "Suran" at a local Indian grocery store at $2.99/lb., or about 8 dollars. After several years the tuber is now filling the bottom of a plastic pickle barrel with holes poked through the bottom, which also barely fits through the door. This is my biggest 'morph and the giant leaf which hogs up half my livingroom and reaches to the ceiling takes over 2 months without water to keel over and detach (just over a week ago now). Hope it blooms this year.

 

All tubers are planted at a depth 2-3 times their diameter. They all get lots of fish emulsion as leaves shoot up and high phosphorus fertilizer every watering later in the season. Potted tubers dry quickly on the deck and are mulched with Starbuck's espresso grinds. Garden planted tubers have various organic mulches and kitchen scraps on top and a dead laboratory animal or two buried over the tubers (no kidding). The only pests and diseases I've had to worry about are indoors when spider mites infest the leaves, but the leaves are drying off already and are to be discarded soon. Rot can occur in the tuber if any water is given while dormancy commences, or before the new shoot breaks the soil level and new roots have yet started to attain a few inches of growth.

 

Hope this helps! I also grow many Arisaema, Arum, Pinellia, Alocasia, Colocasia, Caladium, Zantedeschia, Hedychium, Canna, Datura, Brugmansias, Solanums, Musa, Musella, hardy and tropical orchids, carnivorous plants, Salvia divinorum (Mmmmmm), Podophyllums, Asarums, Epimediums, Paris, Trilliums, and other woodland perennials, and a bonsai or two I've trained.

 

Its a jungle out there,

Bonaventure

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