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Mystery of Arum elongatum

  • Subject: Mystery of Arum elongatum
  • From: DAVID LEEDY <djleedy@sbcglobal.net>
  • Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2013 05:22:27 -0800 (PST)

I have a mystery to report.    My mystery is what happened to my Arum elongatum?

 In September, I received a plump tuber of A. elongatum.

 Today, the daytime temperature got up to 55 degrees, so I went outside this afternoon and took the soil out of the container where I had planted the A. elongatum, there was nothing there.  Not even a rotted husk of a tuber.  I went through the soil (explained below) and could find no tuber.  Not even a small one.

 I took great care, I thought, with these tubers.  I planted them in 3 gallon containers the bottom of which was at least 2 inches of gravel.  The soil was a good soil, but I mixed in approximately 1/3 gravel to give it better drainage.  I then set the tuber on a 1/2 inch bed of grit, so that absolutely no water would be around it.  Before planting, I drenched the soil in the container with approximately a 5-10% solution of Captain, which I thought would further limit any chance of rotting.  I have not applied water to the containers since that time (I wait until the nose is above he soil) and we have had only minimal rain, although we have had a lot of nights with the temperature below freezing and maybe two or three nights with the temperature as low as 25 degrees.  So what happened to A. elongatum?  Any ideas?

 Last year, my first year to try Arum in Fort Worth, Texas, I managed to rot only A. concinnatum (no problem with A. italicum, A. orientale, A. palestinum, A. discoridis or A. pictum).  I am trying A. concinnatum again this year, but with the regime I described above.  It has not yet put its nose above the soil line, but when I unpotted it today, it had sprouted and was about an inch below the soil line (I plant my arums about 3+ inches below the soil line, because of the below freezing nights).  This year, in addition to those mentioned, I am trying A. creticum, A. apulum, A. cyrenaicum,  A. byzantinum, A. korolkowii, and three varieties of A. italicum.  All of these are up (except A. concinnaturm and A. korolkowii, which have spouted) and most are sprouting at least their second leaf.  The colder weather did knock some of them down, but they picked up the next day when the temperature got above freezing.

Next year, I plan on building a cold frame and have a great spot selected to grow Arum in the ground.   I would like to try A. elongatum, as well as other Arums, again next year.  Does anyone have an idea what happened or how I should grow arum differently?

David Leedy

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