Surely in hydroponics &
aeroponics roots are in intermittent contact with water but not
continuously IN water, submerged,
NO, I would say that the roots are continuously
inudated. Take a sweet potatoe, put toothpicks in it and set it in a jar of
water. The plant will root completly in the water.....totally under water and
send up vines and leaves. It will persist like this as long as you take care
of it. This is a terrestrial plant.
NO matter what plant it is .....it can be grown with roots
unlder water. Again plants will develop an entirely differnt type of root when
grown this way. The only thing that tree trunks (epiphytes), rocks
(lithophytes) and soil (terrestrials) provide a plant is support and delivery
of water and nutrients. The water and nutrients can be provided easily in
hydroponics (although you must be careful of salt buildup. support is
generally provided with expanded clay or some inert material.......completely
covered in water. If you are having trouble growing spathes in water then grow
them traditionally in traditional soil mixes.
If you are having rotting problems in soil mixes (or
'soiless mixes') then something is wrong with your cultivation. I think the a
big mistake people make in growing their plants is to go off trying all kinds
of non traditional methods when they have trouble with traditional
If your problem is root rot then look toward providing
a more open mix, greater air circulation, a more sensitive watering hand and
more light. These are the things that provide the conditions for
However it IS my hypothesis
that many Spathiphyllum can be grown maybe better IN
I think that traditional or hydroponic mehtods can produce
the same level of perfectionj. It is simply a matter of the growers experience
and expertise with his or her plants.
The bare roots of some
hybrid Spathiphyllum transferred from pots to aerated warmed
waters here have sometimes rotted here, yet S. wallisii &
related forms thrived when their pots were submerged.
I sense that the Spathiphyllum used in the "Betta in a Jar" were of the latter
Since you moved terrestrial roots into water culture....I
would certainly expect them to rot. S. wallisii, being of a more wet origin,
would expect to transfer with better success. Again if done correctly, ANY
Spathe or any other plant can be grown with its roots completely under
I cannot justify
risky experiments with rare kinds of which I have only small
Behind every green thumb is 1000 dead plant
So for the
moment other aroiders experiences of plants growing IN water in the
wild & in captivity are invaluable. Certainly,
from the scant literature it is
not clear which Spathiphyllum Sections & species grow best IN water
in the wild. And even if I succeed in growing pecies well IN
water, this does not entitle me to regard them as natural water plants.
How plants grow in the wild can be a valuable indicator as
to how to grow them in cultivation .....BUT......The experienced grower
"tunes" his plants substrates and locations in his yard or greenhouse by
understanding his own habits and his growing space. A growers care habits and
the place were the plants are being cultivated are a FAR FAR more important
factor than how they grow in the wild. For example, I have seen hundreds of
thousands of phragmapedium orchids growing in the wild. Most I have seen grow
in some of the heaviest clay I have ever seen. If you try to grow one of these
slipper orchids in clay in cultivation it will surely rot.
But in your private
communication you mentioned that you saw Spathiphyllum growing
epiphytically. That really is most interesting. Have you any
idea what species?
Not a clue.
distinctive species be happy with its roots permanently in
I don't see why not.
I have no true
epiphytic Spathiphyllum & apparently true epiphytes are rare in water
I said that the spathe was growing epiphytically.....I too
doubt that there are any true epiphytic spathes (only able to grow
epiphytically). In wet and wetter rainforest the line between epiphytes and
terrestrials begins to blur. Many normally terrestrial species may grow AS
epihytes in some habitats.
So - I need to know enough
about the conditions in which species of flora & fauna thrive in the
wild in order to achieve the best in
I think not. I believe it is only a very small part of
the cultivation picture. Your time would be far better spent in reflecting on
your own growing habits and the environment that you have to grow these plants
and adjusting them to these factors.. So many many people have so many many
different ways to grow the exact species with very similar results. I grow in
a green house , use very open mixes and water 3-5 times per week. If someone
tried to grow these same plants like this under home conditions on a
window sill, they would have a very difficult time.
I have found that of all the wild conditions that a
particular plant grows in, the most important is altitude.
The single most important item in plant cultivation is
watering. In low light use less water, In high air exchange conditions use
more water, In a house with air conditioning or heat (thus low humidity) you
need more water,.....etc.
And finally I have seen many many wild species in habitat
and 99.9 percent of them don't come close to the potential of the plant when
compared to artificial cultivation.