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Re: Alocasias

  • Subject: Re: Alocasias
  • From: STARSELL@aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 4 Jul 2009 22:06:59 EDT

Dear Peter,
I use a commercial mycrorrhizal fungi for some things when
I pot them.  I don't think I have used it on the alocasias.
Would it be a good idea to sprinkle a little of it into the
leaf litter?
What I have done since your advice via email is that I have taken
the two species and put each into a pot that is almost half filled
with sandy-loam, laid the tubers onto that and just pressed them
to get good contact, then I scooped from an area where I let
leaves from last fall and even before accumulate.  They are pieces
of leaves, all maybe 1/2 inch or so. 
I filled the remainder of the pot with these and wet the leaves.
They seem to stay moist rather well.
I am considering inoculating all of my alocasias with the mycrorrhizea
now.  Almost everything that got re-potted this spring got it.
Thank you so much!  This is some of the best, most usable advice
I have ever had.
In a message dated 7/3/2009 9:00:46 A.M. Central Daylight Time, phymatarum@googlemail.com writes:

Another factor that is only now becoming clear is that Alocasia, and many other terrestrial aroids too, I suspect, have some mycrorrhizal association. I first began to suspect this on finding super-vigorous specimens with infeasibly small root systems in the wild. Clearly the roots were too small to support the nutrient uptake that the plants needed, and yet the plants were thriving. The point was reinforced by observations of litter-trapping Schismatoglottis, notably species in the S. barbata complex, where investigation of the leaf litter revealed copious fungal hyphae and significant composting of the oldest leaf litter, with the plants rooting from the stem and through the leaf bases into this composted material and the decomposing leaves above. From our experiments we have observed a beneficial fungal population developing in the leaf litter within a couple of months, and a notable increase in plant vigour at this time. In fact, we no longer apply fertilizer to our plants (a considerable saving in time and money with ca 10,000 individual pots...) and this despite the fact that the nursery receives 5+ m of rain per anuum, and thus the flow-through of nutrients from the pots must be considerable.

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