Re: not-so-variegated Alocasia micholitziana variegata
Lester Kallus wrote:
> I have (or perhaps should say "had") a variegated Alocasia micholitiziana
> "Frydek". It came with one macerated leaf and an active growing tip. The
> next 3 leaves were nicely variegated and the plant continued to grow quite
> The last leaf to come out was solid green with some very faint lighter
> green discolorations. A new leaf now is also nearly totally green with
> little if any variegation.
> Do these plants revert?
I was told a few years ago by one of the guys at Glasshouse Works that
offspring of their varigated
Alocasia are only variegated approximatley 50% of the time. I do not
know if this represents
a reasonably true calculation, or just an armchair observation.
I have a sneaking suspicion that plants with unstable variegation may
lose their variegation as a response to some sort of stress, such as
colder-than-prefered temperatures, a significant change in
soil/light/fertilizer, etc. Anecdotally, I had a variegated banana ("Ae
Ae", Musa sp.) that was nicely variegated until I decided to move it
from a pot in a sheltered area to a sunny spot in the yard. The
variegation ceased and reverted totally to green shortly after this
transplant. The "good" news, if one could call it that, is that the
appeared to become much more vigorous. As another example, I just moved
a variegated Colocasia/Alocasia (don't know the species) that I got from
Frank Galloway indoors to protect it from frost, etc. It has put out
a new leaf that is not only sans variegation, but also has a rather
deformed looking shape.
Bill Lessard suggests(ed) in his book on bananas (or was it just in a
conversation?) that increasing/decreasing varigation can be somewhat
controlled by pH level (acidity leads to loss of varigation in the Ae Ae
possibly, while more neutral pH leads to greater vareigation).
Maybe some plants that are so highly variable (e.g., Alocasias) are
extra-sensitive to any sort of shock. It would not appear to be total
random chance, since if this were the case, would one not expect the
plant to be equally likely to revert to total lack of chlorophyll (and
of course, this too happens on a "one leaf" basis, but I've never seen a
succcesion of more than one white leaf).
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