I've been growing aquatic aroids in plastic mesh pots set
into a pond for many years now. The pond is inside my
heated greenhouse (in the SF Bay Area) and the water
is further heated by a immersion/ aquarium heater and
constantly circulated with a submersible pump with the
return to the pond flowing over a small waterfall.
As you posited: water/ O2 circulation inside mesh pots
does appear better compared with using conventional
nursery pots for this application. I offer this assessment
based upon faster growth rates and reduced die-back
of new growth (i.e. sometimes a new shoot will rot out)
in my given conditions.
The media mix I use in my mesh pots:
4 - washed Monterey sand (#2/12 screen)
1- red lava (5/16" clean)
1- coarse/ chunk peat moss (Sunshine, blue grade)
Good light, good air circulation and regular fertilization
with majors AND minors are also key to good culture.
The one major downside to using mesh pots: Aquatic
plant roots are quite brittle- so repotting is not all that
practical, since much of the root system will naturally
be growing out through the holes at the sides/ bottom
and easily snapped off if you monkey with things much.
I suppose one could always cut a mesh pot away from
it's denizen and attempt a new/ larger pot but it wouldn't
be pretty. Especially if prickles are involved (e.g. Lasia,
some Cyrtosperma, etc).
I've personally opted to not repot my aquatics at all.
I simply let them be. My media is 90% inert anyway
and functionally serves only to anchor the plants and
act as an Osmocote receptacle once the plants reach
adult-like sizes. FYI: in my pond I'm using 10" or 12"
square pots to hold plants a meter and more tall.
Finally- in my experience using mesh pots one must
still heed The Penultimate Boosian Precept of aquatic
<<< Keep the media's surface/ crowns of your plants
above the water line at all times-!! >>>
I never submerge my pots more than halfway and start
them out even higher... eventually lowering the pots to
their final, maximum 50% depth only after a lot of roots
have grown out of them down into the water.
Vertical positioning in my pond is accomplished by
setting the mesh pots on top of 4" (or bigger) diameter
slip ABS couplings set on end; with many large holes
drilled through the coupling's sides to avoid anaerobic
water conditions/ dead zones directly under the plants.
For deeper and variable situations I've made pedestals
by using two plastic drain grate-to-pipe fittings set in a
back to back configuration with "x" length of ABS pipe
(holes again, please) interconnecting them. No need
to glue things, so you can use pipes of differing length
to vary the pot depth as needed.
On Oct 12, 2009, at 8:22 AM, Adam Black wrote:
I don't recall if anyone has mentioned it yet, but has anyone tried the "mesh" pots for aquatic aroids? I would imagine these would be beneficial to allow for better circulation through the pot and media. I think they are more commonly used for water lilies so would think they would apply perfectly toward aroids. I have a Montrichardia in need of repotting and I am going to give it a try.
From: John Criswick
Sent: Oct 9, 2009 11:48 AM
To: 'Discussion of aroids'
Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Cyrtosperma growing media suggestions...
For some years I have had a Cyrtosperma johnstonii growing just outside my concrete pond, which is above ground level by 18 inches (45 cm.) It used to be grown in another pond, with roots totally submerged in water. Here it is in permanently damp soil and the soil is a very heavy, intractable clay loam, so it would not seem that it needs to be in moss, although that might provide the ultimate/optimum of conditions.
In the attached photo you can see the Cyrtosperma with a Typhonodourum lindleyi behind it, in the same soil, and a Musa ornate to the right of it.
Jeremy, I believe the Atlanta Botanical Gardens grew a very large C. johnstonii in what looked like (if I can remember right) a large rock bowl with just moss as the growing medium. Probably keep very moist but not too wet. Just another suggestion. I wouldnt totally submerge the roots though...
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