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[Aroid-l] Helicodicerous question

Hello All,

I live in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, where it's really hot in the summer and
winters are mild with occasional overnight frost. Excellent winter weather
for mediterranean climate plants. We get some summer rain.

I have (still, I hope) a Helicodicerous muscivorous in a pot. I bought a
small tuber four summers ago and, that fall, potted it into a glazed
ceramic container holding about 6 liters/1.5 gallons of soil. I used local
soil dug from a dry wash, which is fairly heavy and almost all mineral. I
put the tuber about 2 inches / 5cm below the soil surface.

The first growing season it did nothing all winter even though I watered
it regularly. It then produced two or three small leaves in late April,
when it was already good and warm here (upper 80s F / 20s C). I kept
watering it until the leaves died down in July.

The next growing season I again watered all winter, but it waited until
early May to produce only one or two smallish leaves. Temperatures then
are normally in the 90s to 110 F / 30C-45C. It remained in leaf about a
month, then went dormant.

The next growing season I watered all winter. It produced about 10 nice,
lush leaves, though not as big as I read they are supposed to be. It
waited until late April. It went dormant in June.

Last growing season I watered all winter. It made 2 small leaves in late
April, and went dormant in about a month.

Obviously the plant isn't happy about something. I don't understand why it
waits so long to grow, why it made such good growth one year, then such
poor growth last year.

It's just turning fall here. Any suggestions? Should I repot the tuber
now? Should I try a different soil mix? Should I fertilize a lot more?


Leo Martin
Phoenix Arizona USA

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