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Re: Amorphophallus titanum


Being back from Bonn I can tell you that it was impressive indeed,
not only the inflorescense (which unfortunately was fully opend only
from Thursday 7pm to Friday 11am), the fact that it was the third
largest of its kind in cultivation, but as well that only today some
estimated 10.000 more or less plant-addicts came to BG Bonn to
see it.

People filed from the green-houses to the street later this afternoon
. waiting some 3 hours to have a short glimpse on the plant. When I
left the garden at 6pm the queue was even longer than at noon ...
Indeed its out-of-the-"ordinary" size attracts people !

Fortunately I had the opportunity to talk a couple of minutes to one of
the cultivators and I got some interesting information from him.

- For the last inflorescense in 1996 they took pollen which had been
stored in liquid nitrogen for more than 12 months and they had an
overall 95% seed setting in 1996 ... This time there was no (frozen)
pollen available, so there won't be any seeds. Hower fresh pollen was
collected from this specimen and already deep-frozen for the next
inflorescense to come.

- Tubers from this species (and most likely from others as well) will
increase more rapidly if they receive a full dosis of fertilizer on the
point of new growth, i.e. as soon as new roots develop. In my
cultivation I had always waited for the tubers to develop sufficient root
mass before I started to fertilize them as I thought that at that point
plants might take best advantage of nutrients. This was probably
wrong: if fertilized on the point of new growth the petiole (and leaflets)
will get significantly larger and due to that it may produce more
nutrients to increase tubers.

- Another technique to multiply this species is to make leaf-cuttings
from the first three Y-petioles, cutting off leaflets and adding some
rooting hormone (couldn't tell me which one) along the cuts. Cuttings
are placed horizontally (!) and not vertically on substrate. These
cuttings will produce new callus at the basal and along (!) the petiole
cuts in a couple of months while the cutting itself is dying down.
These callus will make new leaves after a "while" (whatever this
means ..). Essential for success are high temperatures and high air
humidity.

It's only a pity that I didn't have more time to get to know more,
however I think these might be interesting news  to some of you.

PD: Julius, I tried in forcing the tuber to produce offsets in a more
"natural" way by chosing a very small pot - yet without success. It
did work for A. krausei and A. konjac but at least I didn't have any
luck in A. titanum. And as seedings are sold for some 100 bucks, I
really  d o  n o t  recommend to anyone to cut their tubers - unless
you can live without it. Tubers are indeed prone to easily rotting ! So
maybe taking one third of a petiole in order to make a leaf cutting is
more sane in the sense that it is more likely that your plant will
survive.

Cheers and good night,

Bjorn Malkmus







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