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Re: Observations on growing plants in bogs

  • Subject: Re: Observations on growing plants in bogs
  • From: "Ron Iles" <roniles@eircom.net>
  • Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2002 14:24:49 -0500 (CDT)

Hi Kathy,

Thank you VERY much.

Your kind comments & those of others have enabled me to do further
experiments which seem to be succeeding with every Spathiphyllum I now try!
Please can I comment on yrs.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kathy Kempf" <wont_read101@hotmail.com>
To: "Multiple recipients of list AROID-L" <aroid-l@mobot.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 06, 2002 4:52 PM
Subject: Observations on growing plants in bogs


The past 2 springs I have had sad experience with many different plant
reactions to growing in bogs.  I have learned this: if the crown is
submerged along with the top inch of root system for more than a short time
(a day or more) the plant will die.  This happens regardless of whether it
has water roots or not.

>>>>>>>>>This confirms my experiences.   Here I immersed Spaths up to
petiole bases at 30C in rigorously aerated water, the petiole bases & roots
rotted slowly, they could tolerate inundation for a few weeks only.  Now I
realise that in UK I immersed Spaths in pots into warm stagnant water slowly
& not completely & they always did well!

Certain species tolerate saturated soil with water
above the soil line but growth is usually stunted (exception: mazus reptans
-- growth is same or improved if entire plant is submerged for up to 2
months).  Doing it the other way around (soil or air up to the crown with
water below) succeeds in almost every species I have attempted.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Wonderful confirmation!

The only
aroids subjected to this inadvertant treatment are the Arisaema triphyllum
and A. stewardsonii, along with Zantedeschia.  Most others are closely
related: various Asarum and yuccas.  Species that failed the worst are
supposedly "bog lovers": rodgersia, astilbes, trillium, viola tricolor,
carex, marshmallow, and chilene.  Other plants that did not survive more
than a couple days even with crowns not submerged (at least 1" above
saturated soil) are lamium,  heuchera, dicentra, aster, tiarella, most ferns
(except Osmonda  regalis), hellebores.

Doing things to the soil to help improve aeration in the standing water has
not improved the plants' health: adding fish, water-aerating plants,
crayfish, etc.  Adding drying agents to the soil has not helped either.

In conclusion, allowing plants to slowly adjust their roots from soil to
water seems to have the greatest chances of survival, and most species
survive this and grow bigger than normal.

>>>>>>>>>>>>in line with my successful trials, thanks

Adding nutrients to the water
(compost tea) does not seem to make any difference in eventual plant size or
health during this process;

>>>>>>>>>>I feel that in water culture nutrient concentrations (as in jungle
streams) much weaker than maybe needed in pots seem to be adequate?

I have found that having any air between the
soil layer and water prevents the plant from putting seeking roots into the

>>>>>>>>>>>>Presumably the air is not moist enough?

>>>>>>>>>>I now have Spathiphyllum in pots with compost standing in water &
the same with gravel in the lower half.  They are both succeeding.    I
found in UK growth in water with VERY weak nutrient concentrations is very
luxuriant.   I need to determine if acclimatised Spaths being mostly water
plants like immersion even above petiole bases.  Some species are sold as
convenient aquarium plants.   They seem to do well on very weak fertiliser
more P & K than N.   No work watering & virtually minimal fertilising.  In a
few months all the Collection may be growing in circulating aerated water
with thousands of "ornamental" fishes to feed the plants as they grow &
breed.   There are no pests so far but if any manifest they can hopefully be
biologically controlled.  No soil/compost mix/drainage problems?   Ah! Water
culture seems SO much easier for so many kinds of plants maybe?.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>A valuable lesson, inundation probably needs to be slow,
partial & certainly not above petiole bases at first or maybe ever?
Although Spaths are prime candidates for water culture it may be that our
experiences may help more aroids to be grown perhaps easier, even better in
that way?

I hope all this information on different plant species and families will
help in your attempts to grow aroids in water.

Indeed, we, & hopefully others who want to experiment?

Ohio Zone 6

>>>>>>>>>>>Best Wishes

Ron Iles

SW tip of Ireland (nearest US)

Zone 8 or 9 (in terms of LOWS)!!! (For keeping Selvan species would not a
"Zoning" based on the %age of the time ambient temperatures were above
61F(!6C)?).   That figure would probably be <20% here, but in Florida, would
it be 80%  (both areas "zone 8 or above)?
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