Konjac and other (cormous?) Amorphs
Dewey, it's a bit humbling to see you asking us for advice on growing an
Amorph - I suspect you have as many Amorphophallus-hours at the potting
bench as anyone, and far more than all but a few. Another evidence that
true experts are never afraid to ask for help and advice ...
I was also intrigued by Rand's suggestion of potting the whole mess up in
a much larger pot, simply because it was (1) such a direct, simple,
solution, and (2) hadn't occurred to me at all, despite my having had one
Amorph put a stem up right through the pot on the shelf above it and spend
the whole growing season that way without incident.
Dana, re A. konjac, I now grow them outdoors all year (NW Arkansas,
nominally USDA zone 6, minimum temp about -25 C, last year about -10 C)
but the first year or two, when I wasn't sure how hardy they were, I
wintered some inside. Outdoors they get water whenever it rains, of
course, and seem none the worse. Indoors, I also kept them dry, dry, dry
until they came into growth. My way of achieving the balance between
dessication and rotting was to shake most of the potting media off the
tuber, but leaving that layer which seemed to naturally loosely adhere.
Then I stuck them wherever, preferably someplace relatively cool. (Even
tiny ones, say 2 cm diameter, can survive being forgotten for an entire
year in a dark corner, but I don't recommend it.)
Michael, re the corm vs. tuber, I have been waiting for a response to your
question too. My botanical opinion doesn't count for much as I'm not a
botanist, but I went through much the same reasoning as you. However, I
have noted both in "The Genera of Araceae" and Aroideana V 19 (devoted
to Amorphs.) the consistent references to tubers, not corms. Wilbert's
mail program and the list processor are not getting along at the moment -
surely he will clarify the issue when that is resolved.
-- Steve Marak
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