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  Alocasia dormancy
From: Piabinha at aol.com on 2000.03.05 at 23:15:10(4163)
dear aroiders,

i'm having some trouble cultivating some Alocasias. i have found that
several will go dormant and never sprout again. the tuber will sit there,
not rotted, not dried up, not shrivelled up but it will not start new growth.
does this happen to others too?

tsuh yang chen, nyc, USA

From: GeoffAroid at aol.com on 2000.03.06 at 00:42:57(4165)
Tsuh Yang this happens to me all the time, as I speak I have Alocasia X
amazonica sitting dormant like this, they can stay like this for months and
months. I am convinced it is low soil temperatures that cause this. Giving
them the 'hot-house' treatment in a very warm, steamy enclosure usually kicks
them back into growth. Other species seem more tolerant. Which species is
doing this for you?

Geoffrey Kibby

From: Piabinha at aol.com on 2000.03.06 at 03:28:10(4167)
In a message dated 3/5/00 7:43:15 PM Eastern Standard Time,
GeoffAroid@aol.com writes:

> this happens to me all the time, as I speak I have Alocasia X

From: GeoffAroid at aol.com on 2000.03.07 at 03:49:16(4169)
Tsuh Yang chen, I also have Alocasia Black Velvet but this lives permanently
in a lighted (but unheated) tank in my bedroom. Average temperature is about
70 degrees F (20 Celsius) and with the added humidity of the tank (about
60-70 percent) it has stayed green and growing throughout the year and indeed
flowers like mad. I would love to try crossing this with amazonica but the
two never seem to flower at the same time!

Geoffrey Kibby

From: Richard_Berry at doh.state.fl.us on 2000.03.08 at 03:16:03(4178)
I have encountered this problem, I have about 35 different Alocasias. My
experience is to let patience rule. Sometimes new growth will begin only
after months of inactivity. Alocasias have minds of their own and they grow
when they want to grow, sometimes with no logical plan!

From: "Gabe Thomas" CDANIELLE at prodigy.net> on 2000.03.08 at 05:26:42(4180)
I wonder if some Alocasias might need a little colder temerature during
their dormant period to get them going again. I have an A. sanderiana that
has been flowering for a good nine months, six flowers and no leafs in that
time. I have central air so the temp in my house never drops below 70
degrees F. The biggest leaves I've seen on this plant were from a couple
years ago when I put it out in a cold frame early spring. After a few days
in the cold frame I got scared I might be pushing my luck so I brought it in
the house where it then proceeded to put out a couple 24" leaves. Since then
it has stayed in the house and the leaves, when it puts them out, haven't
gotten any bigger then 19". I also had a problem with dormant cormels that
I found when transplanting that don't seem to want to grow. If anyone out
there thinks they know how temperature influences growth in a an Alocasis
sp. or have some tricks to break dormancy it might make for a good
contribution to the journal.

Gabe Thomas

From: DBurch2345 at aol.com on 2000.03.08 at 22:49:16(4183)
I used to use tubers of an alocasia (more or less A. amazonica) as a
demonstration of dormancy in a plant propagation class. Someone had once told
me that the little dry scale leaves at the tip of the tuber were inhibitory
to growth, so I would carefully remove those until the little new
whitish/pinkish/greenish bud was exposed. Planted in my usual "interior
plant" mix, it usually worked like a charm - close to 100% starting into
growth in a few weeks versus perhaps 10% in the "control" unpeeled group.

I do this as a matter of course now, and get good growth on most of the
common types that I have. All of this is in South Florida, so warm and wet is
a given for us unless we work hard to avoid it.


From: "Gabe Thomas" CDANIELLE at prodigy.net> on 2000.03.09 at 03:34:35(4188)
Thanks for the tip Derek! I wonder how the dry scales inhibit growth. Do you
leave the growht point exposed so that it can receive light or do you bury
the whole thing?


From: Krzysztof Kozminski kk at netgate.net> on 2000.03.11 at 03:38:12(4203)
On Sun, 5 Mar 2000 Piabinha@aol.com wrote:

> geoffrey, right now i have A. Black Velvet, villanovii, micholitziana,
> Elaine, Hilo Beauty, all dormant. interestingly enough, reversa has proven
> to be more resilient, and it is still green, although i can't seem to keep
> more than 2 leaves going at a time. i guess my apt. is just not warm and
> humid enough? in the summer, when the weather warms up, i hope they'll
> sprout again.

From: DBurch2345 at aol.com on 2000.03.11 at 03:39:20(4206)
gabe - I just plant them normally, say 1/2 -1 inch deep. Perhaps I have been
too casual about getting them going. I will start to worry more in future!

At a guess, the dry scales might have some water-soluble material inhibitory
to growth. I can visualise an unfavorable growing period in the annual cycle
of the plants which has led them to evolve this as a mechanism to hold back
germination until the corm has been exposed to enough water to wash out these
inhibitory substances - at which time there would be enough water around to
sustain growth. This sort of thing is common in seeds, but may not make any
sense at all for these guys if they are from an area with very little
seasonal change. As I say, just a guess. Let's hope the method works, then
we can look at the whys!

From: "Jay Vannini" interbnk at infovia.com.gt> on 2000.03.12 at 04:11:18(4207)
I most definitely concur with Mr. Kozminski's comments viz a vis light
levels and Alocasia sp. 'Black Velvet'. Grow mine outside here (cool
Guatemalan highlands) and they do fine as long as they are kept in deep
shade. Ditto for A. sp. 'Elaine'. Interestingly, same conditions for A.
guttata 'Imperialis' resulted in die-back/dormancy during the winter - just
now starting to come back to life. Dewey might have a different take on all
this, though. His shadehouse plants looked great late last summer. Cultural
conditions in S. Florida may permit higher light levels to be acceptable for
some forest understory Alocasia spp..

J. Vannini

From: "Bonaventure W Magrys" magrysbo at shu.edu> on 2000.03.16 at 04:04:16(4218)
What are your winter temps? Do you grow any Arisaema, especially the more
to subtropical species, there? Would like to know your successes. Alocasia
(=Colocasia???) 'Black Velvet'?
Bonaventure Magrys
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