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Re: [Aroid-l] anthuriums are not wimps

  • Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] anthuriums are not wimps
  • From: "Peter Boyce" botanist@malesiana.com
  • Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2006 17:30:07 +0800

I heartily concur with Don on Anthurium but from the other extreme; here in Sarawak birdsnest Anthurium will easily take 36C (98.6F) in full sun (leaves hot to the touch) without a whimper while the lowland spp. from the other sections are happy with only the lightest of shade. We get 5 m (16+ ft) of rain dropped on us in a single year and never experience rotting with Anthurium; even seedlings flats.

I also concur with Alocasia; for problem-free culture these year-round need high temperatures and good drainage. The trick is to keep them growing vigorously. Alocasia in the wild 'walk', the rhizome extending and rooting as it goes with the lower (older) parts rotting away. This poses problems in pots as the older rhizome sections senesce and roots die and newer portions of rhizomes fail to root until eventually the already weakened plant topples over; re-rooting such plants is tricky even here in the equatorial tropics; in wintertime northern hemisphere it is nearly impossible and even when rooted such re-roots seldom develop the vigour of the original plant. To combat this 'walking and rooting' lifestyle we pot Alocasia low in deep pots (leaving c. 15 cm (c. 5 inches) of free space above the planting mix surface and, as the rhizome extends upwards we top dress with a loose infill of planting mix; once the mix reaches the rim of the pot we repot and start the whole process again; in the manner we have maintained even 'difficult' Alocasia species in cultivation of many years.

One interesting point we have found is that almost all terrestrial aroids (and notably Alocasia) respond to mineral soils with a modest humus content. In such conditions they seem to be MUCH more resistant to fungal and bacterial rots and develop really good leaf texture and colours; the only proviso is that for mineral rich soils you HAVE to use unglazed fired-clay (terracotta) pots; mineral soil + plastic pots (even those with lateral drainage) = a la carte dining for fungal and bacterial pathogens.

Peter


----- Original Message ----- From: "Don Bittel" <donbit121@hotmail.com>
To: <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2006 12:12 PM
Subject: [Aroid-l] anthuriums are not wimps


I take exception to the comments from CA that anthuriums are wimps, and can't take temps below 70 degrees. I grow hundreds of anthuriums outdoors in central FL, even small seedlings, that take temps down to 40 or 45 with no damage. All but a small few have survived 33 to 35 degrees, and at least half have survived 25 to 30 degrees, (with heavy leaf damage). I only bring in the kings and queens when it will get below 40. and anth. coriacium survived 25 degrees with no damage at all.

  Maybe in CA it's the humidity they need, not the warmer temps.

The real wimps are those high elevation ones that won't grow in the states at all, except with special greenhouse conditions . And the biggest wimps are those alocasias, which melt in the summer from stemrot if it rains for a week, or go dormant as soon as the nites go below 50.


Don Bittel

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