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Re: [aroid-l] hibernation time

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] hibernation time
  • From: "C. J. Addington" cjaddington@earthlink.net
  • Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 18:18:41 -0700

on 9/29/03 16:01, Lester Kallus at lkallus@earthlink.net wrote:

> Nights here on Long Island are beginning to dip down into the 40s.  I
> understand that this coming Thursday night, it will be somewhere between 42
> and 44.  I know that Amorphophallus konjac & bulbifer will decide for
> themselves when to go dormant and so I'm not worried.
> I have some paeoniifolius in the ground.  They're still looking good.  I see
> three choices:
> 1.  Wait until they begin to show signs of dormancy and then pull them up
> 2.  Dig them up and let them spend sometime in the greenhouse until they go
> dormant
> 3.  Dig them up, slice the top off, wash the soil off and force dormancy
> Any thoughts?  I'd prefer to avoid the greenhouse time if possible - it's
> going to be very crowded in there.
> Les

Hi Les and All!
    Just a thought about hibernation in Amorphophallus. I am NOT a
professional on this, but have been growing various Amorphs for several
years with good success, and thought I would stick in my 2 cents here.
    It seems to me that once air temperatures dip low (like in the 40's) and
the sun is low in the sky providing dimmer light, that most Amorpho species
are probably not doing a whole lot of photosynthesizing anyway, and
consequently are not growing their corms anymore to a great degree. Thus,
leaving the plants in the ground will not produce any larger corms than are
already present. Also, since many Amorphos detest cold, damp soil and are
highly rot-prone, leaving them in cold ground may increase the chance of
    So, I would suggest carefully digging up the plants, even if they look
green, leaving the leaf (or leaves) attached, rinsing off all soil and
placing the whole plant in a cool, dry place for a few days. The leaf will
soon dry out, and the withered leaf will detach from the corm spontaneously,
leaving a clean, neat abscission zone and an intact leaf bud for next year.
The corm can then be stored for the winter (I stash them in brown peat moss
in ventilated boxes).
    I do this quite often with my own plants, and it seems to work just
fine, although I would be very interested to hear if anyone has a different
technique or sees a problem with mine.
    Happy harvesting! My own fall harvest is kicking into gear, so I should
have a whole row of drying, sad-looking plants myself soon!


CJ Addington

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