Re: Amorphophallus konjac will bloom!
In a message dated 5/21/99 6:19:09 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< Gentle readers,
With all due respect and admiration for Mr. Fontanills, the gentleman lives
Miami, for crying out loud! One can root cuttings in Miami by nailing them
the side of the house that would take me chemicals, exotic media, expensive
metal halide lighting, humidifiers, RO filtration, and weeks of babysitting
in Pennsylvania. I have to work hard to keep Gonatopus alive.
Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh! (I'm crying out loud.) I've put off visiting
Florida for 30 years for fear that I would never be able to tear myself away
Kindest envious regards, and sincere congratulations ;-)
University of Pittsburgh
Your post gave me a good laugh ;-)
Do you know that my research and a few of our experienced members on this
list told me that A. konjac would not thrive in South Florida? ;-) This is
due to a required cold dormant period (in winter) not a S. Florida attribute,
and our intense heat in the summer being above the species native conditions.
Well, I've tried several plants that were not heat tolerant and they never
did thrive, so I just did my best with A. konjac.
Here are the secrets of my success, though how much to attribute to any one
of them including the micro-climate of my little piece of South Florida is
unknown (one is a John Riordan clone, and the other a Japanese clone):
Potting medium: 70% professional potting mix + 30% 'Oil Dry' (high fired
ceramic particles found at auto supply stores). The professional potting mix
had a large percentage of decomposed bark and horticultural peat for moisture
retention. The 'Oil Dry' provided excellent aeration and weight to steady the
pots in our winds.
Pot: Terra-cotta (clay) pot. This to increase the aeration of the potting
medium. I used typical deep pots as found in a myriad of garden departments.
Water: I watered them everyday in the morning with city water. They were
kept moist at all times.
Fertilizing: I added slow release pellets ('Dynamite' six month time
released fertilizer) and would further use 'Miracid' (30-10-10) once a week
as a water soluble fertilizer, this to boost the nutrient levels and to keep
the pH on the slightly acid side. Our water is very alkaline.
Lighting: I placed them under dappled sunlight, under wispy open leafed
trees, in order to keep them cooler and to not scorch the leaves in our
intense sun. The color of the leaves was a yellowish green due to the high
light levels. Some leaf tips did scorch due to the sun, but I felt that
pushing it to the limit would accelerate tuber growth.
Dormancy: I removed the tubers promptly (and all the offsets) when the plant
naturally disengaged (rotted off). I placed them in a dark interior room (no
additional cold was provided), we had a very mild winter here in S. Florida,
milder than most years. This part worried me the most as it was not the ideal
conditions for tuber dormancy based on my investigations.
Replanting: Placed in the same conditions as above in the beginning of
Miami, Florida USA