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Re: Aroids growing better in water?

  • Subject: Re: Aroids growing better in water?
  • From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo@msn.com>
  • Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 10:05:05 -0500 (CDT)

----- Original Message -----
From: Ron Iles
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2002 3:24 PM
Subject: Re: Aroids growing better in water?

I can only suggest a method that I use for growing 'wet loving' genera such as Urospatha, Dracontioides, Cyrtosperma and Anaphyllopsis, AND Spathiphyllum canifolium, all notoriously reputed to be difficult or impossibly to grow over extended periods of time.    They all grow in nature under VERY wet conditions, some almost submerged for long periods of time, some with the rhizome, roots and petioles constantly submerged, but if you do NOT grow them in the manner I will once more detail, they WILL rot and die.   I believe that in nature there is an imperceptable movement of water through the flooded soil, plus many 'natural' fungus supression agents must be present under natural/wild conditions.    I have been frustrated MANY times when I have explained the method I use to grow these wonderful plants, gave specimens to folks, then a few months later I receive a call telling me that the plants have died.   Invariably when I question on HOW they potted them, they admit to doing something different or 'trying something new', I then sometimes 'loose it' and ask them why they did not grow them the way I detailed for at least as long as it would take for them to mature and produce seed, THEN do whatever experiments they wanted to with whatever 'new' potting method THEY might think up!   An irreplacable, wild-collected plant was lost by their 'monkeying around'!   Enough 'preaching'---
Place about 3 to 4" of 1 to 2" larva rock in the bottom of a suitably sized plastic pot.   Place some small gravel on top of the rock (about 1/2 ", this prevents the soil mix filtering down through the larger larva rock).   Make a mix consisting mainly of coarse washed 'play sand' ( Home Depot or K-Mark) and peat moss, a handfull or so of a commercial 'soil-less soil mix is added'   Plant the specimen in the pot with roots spread as far downwards as their length allows.    Place the pot in a LARGE saucer of water which allows about 2" of standing water at all times!!!    The whole idea of this method is to prevent ANY of the soil mix in the pot from being CONSTANTLY under water at any time, if the 'soil' in the pot is allowed to sit underwater, the plant will rot and die, and your 'soil' mix will smell like a corpse when you un-pot the dead plant.  Grow in bright light but NOT full sun, say under the canopy of a tree w/ N. exposure.    Water from above DAILY till the roots are observed growing out of the drain holes of the pot into the water in the saucer.    I also treat the plants with a soluable fungicide about every few months as a precaution, rinsing the saucers out the next day, same after I fertilize.    A good rain is very benificial in 'flushing' built-up fert. salts out of the pots and saucers.   Use a very weak fert. mix say every two weeks, and change the water in the saucer as often as you can, say every week or two at the very least.   Protect from ANY cold, wind is also BAD news!   Ron, I think that Spaths would LOVE this method!
Good growing!!
I am still wondering....!
Put simply:
What terrestrial aroid species have you found to grow as well or better in water? 

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