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Re: Amorphophallus

  • Subject: Re: Amorphophallus
  • From: "Alan Galloway" <alan_galloway@ncsu.edu>
  • Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2001 14:58:09 -0500 (CDT)

I'm Cc-ing my reply to the Aroid-l mailing list as I suspect there may
also me members on this list that can also offer some advice.  If
you're not a member of this list, I would advise you to join....directions
can be found on the International Aroid Society's web page at:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gantt, Chris" <GanttC@nabisco.com>
Subject: Amorphophallus

> How can I successfully over winter Amorphophallus paeoniifolius?
> Judging from the pictures on your website, you have great talent with
> raising these plants.  I've had success growing and blooming A. konjac,
> although I was unaware that the stalk can produce seeds.  Mine wither and
> fall off after they flower.  Do you hand pollinate them to produce the
> seeds?

The leaf stalk doesn't produce seed, it is the flower stalk that will
seed if it is successfully polinated.  It isn't necessary to hand-polinate
if you have at least 2 plants near each other that are blooming within 2-3
days apart.  Aroids, of which Amorphaphallus is only 1 genus, for the most
part, require 2 separate blooms because of their reproductive makeup for
successful polination.  If you don't have plants blooming at the right time,
you can always collect pollen and store it in the refridgerater until you
need it.  Again, there is a great article by Scott Hyndman about pollination
on the IAS web page...

> My biggest problem is getting A. paeoniifolius through the New Jersey
> winter.  The bulb inevitably dries out and dies when I dig it out of the
> garden in the fall.  It looks like you have photographed some  in bloom
> the bulbs out of the soil.  How do you do that?  Mine grows well in the
> summertime, producing multiple leaf stalks.   Does this plant even need a
> dormancy period or can I bring it into my greenhouse for the winter and
> it keep on growing?  You have beautiful ones growing in pots - I don't
> a whole lot of success with that either - they do better planted directly
> the ground.  What's your secret?

I suppose the only secret is lots of patience and lots of trials and errors.
A. paeoniifolius does need a dormancy period.  Although this is one of the
most common species, it can be tricky caring it through its dormancy
cycle.  I've found that large tubers can be dry stored, (taken out of
soil, and set on a shelf).  It's the small tubers that are so tricky....they
can dessicate easily, and will rot if kept too moist.  Over the last
couple of years I've been potting my small tubers up in dry soil and from
to time just spray to pot with the misting bottle.

Large tubers of A. paeoniifolius, like A. konjac, A. bulbifer, and Typhonium
venosum will easily bloom  without being in soil.  I keep my aroid tubers in
the utility room which is next to the den and I tend to forget about them
until I smell a rotting scent and realize that one of them is blooming.

I wouldn't necessarily say that my practices should be followed as gospel,
as I do still loose a tuber from time to time, but over the years I'm
loosing less and less.

Seriously think about joining the Aroid-l mailing list, there are some
discussions on the list about propagating Amorphophallus.


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