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Re: soil for Alocasia

    Some Alocasias might like to be over potted but if so, I haven't grown
them (or maybe I have, see end sentences). I don't claim to be an expert but
I thought you might be interested in my experience with an Alocasia. A while
ago I learned that the Colocasias grown as water plants such as 'Black
Magic' can get quite large in a very small pot. I've seen them around six
feet tall with very robust leaves in quart pots. Obviously such a plant
needs propping in order to stand up, so why would anyone want to grow it
this way? They multiply like mad when pot bound! So I decided to see if this
works with Alocasias. About six months ago I took a tiny (as big as a large
blue berry) tuber of Alocasia sanderiana (could be 'Amazonica') and stuck it
in a 9 ounce plastic party cup where it has been growing steadily ever
since. The biggest leaf on it is about 14" long and it has produced two
little tubers as big as the original at the surface and I suspect there are
more under the soil. I had the mother plant (in a gallon pot) for four years
before I noticed any pups. Now, a crucial bit of info, I'm growing the
little plant under a 1000 watt hps in my little simulated jungle and the
mother plant has been in a southern window since I've had it so I would also
have to give credit to the more ideal growing environment the little one is
in. At the time I planted the tiny tuber I also divided the mother plant
which had two pups growing with it, they both went into two gallon pots.
Until recently both two gallon pots sat in the same southern window as the
mother plant where they have not done well. I really think this plant
prefers to dry out from time to time which it can not do if the pot is
disproportionately large and the plant is not being grown in an environment
which keeps it in a state of active growth so that it can catch up. I
recently took one of the two gallon plants and put it under the hps where it
is doing great. I think that as containers and (at least some) Alocasias go,
too small is better than too big and if your trying to get more plants I
would stick with too small but growing conditions are a big factor, a big
pot under the right conditions and the right species/cultivar might make for
a larger plant but under less then ideal conditions it's a recipe for rot
because the soil will never dry out. I wouldn't be surprised if some
Alocasias like wet feet but the few that I have don't seem to. Alocasia
'Black Velvet' is definitely not typical, I never did figure that one out,
may it r.i.p. After reading on this list that it dislikes direct light I now
know at least one thing I did wrong so I think I'll try it again some time,
it is pretty.

Gabe Thomas

----- Original Message -----
From: <Piabinha@aol.com>
To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2000 9:30 PM
Subject: soil for Alocasia

> i think i came up with a solution for the fact that i would be buying lots
> different alocasia species and losing them.  they seem to like to be
> overpotted!
> i came upon this realization when i saw Alocasias for sale at stores (like
> Black Velvet) and they all seemed to be so overpotted.  it clicked to me
> maybe that's why i lost all my other mail-order plants which arrived in
> pots and i neglected to repot them.
> is anyone growing the following, i'm looking for tubers/plants:
> reversa, Elaine, narrow micholitziana, zebrina, tigrina, Corazon, cuprea,
> sanderiana
> tsuh yang chen, nyc, USA
> http://www.egroups.com/group/orchidspecies

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