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  Observations on growing plants in bogs
From: "Kathy Kempf" wont_read101 at hotmail.com> on 2002.06.06 at 08:52:31(8963)
Ron,

The past 2 springs I have had sad experience with many different plant
reactions to growing in bogs. I have learned this: if the crown is
submerged along with the top inch of root system for more than a short time
(a day or more) the plant will die. This happens regardless of whether it
has water roots or not. Certain species tolerate saturated soil with water
above the soil line but growth is usually stunted (exception: mazus reptans
-- growth is same or improved if entire plant is submerged for up to 2
months). Doing it the other way around (soil or air up to the crown with
water below) succeeds in almost every species I have attempted. The only
aroids subjected to this inadvertant treatment are the Arisaema triphyllum
and A. stewardsonii, along with Zantedeschia. Most others are closely
related: various Asarum and yuccas. Species that failed the worst are
supposedly "bog lovers": rodgersia, astilbes, trillium, viola tricolor,
carex, marshmallow, and chilene. Other plants that did not survive more
than a couple days even with crowns not submerged (at least 1" above
saturated soil) are lamium, heuchera, dicentra, aster, tiarella, most ferns
(except Osmonda regalis), hellebores.

Doing things to the soil to help improve aeration in the standing water has
not improved the plants' health: adding fish, water-aerating plants,
crayfish, etc. Adding drying agents to the soil has not helped either.

In conclusion, allowing plants to slowly adjust their roots from soil to
water seems to have the greatest chances of survival, and most species
survive this and grow bigger than normal. Adding nutrients to the water
(compost tea) does not seem to make any difference in eventual plant size or
health during this process; I have found that having any air between the
soil layer and water prevents the plant from putting seeking roots into the
water.

I hope all this information on different plant species and families will
help in your attempts to grow aroids in water.

Kathy

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From: "Ron Iles" roniles at eircom.net> on 2002.06.06 at 12:24:49(8964)
Hi Kathy,

Thank you VERY much.

Your kind comments & those of others have enabled me to do further
experiments which seem to be succeeding with every Spathiphyllum I now try!
Please can I comment on yrs.

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From: Paul Tyerman ptyerman at ozemail.com.au> on 2002.06.07 at 07:58:09(8965)
>water below) succeeds in almost every species I have attempted. The only
>aroids subjected to this inadvertant treatment are the Arisaema triphyllum
>and A. stewardsonii, along with Zantedeschia. Most others are closely
>related: various Asarum and yuccas. Species that failed the worst are
>supposedly "bog lovers": rodgersia, astilbes, trillium, viola tricolor,
>carex, marshmallow, and chilene. Other plants that did not survive more
>than a couple days even with crowns not submerged (at least 1" above
>saturated soil) are lamium, heuchera, dicentra, aster, tiarella, most ferns
>(except Osmonda regalis), hellebores.
>

Kathy et al,

If it helps, there are a number of irises that will tolerate from full
permanent submersion to growing in a normal garden. It might be worth
investigating their roots to find out the differences between those
specimens growing within the water compared to those outside. I certainly
have irises that have successfully been moved between the two, from both
submersion to dry land and the other way around.

Just some ideas.

Cheers.

Paul Tyerman

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From: "Kathy Kempf" wont_read101 at hotmail.com> on 2002.06.08 at 20:46:57(8973)
>Kathy et al,
>
>If it helps, there are a number of irises that will tolerate from full
>permanent submersion to growing in a normal garden. It might be worth
>investigating their roots to find out the differences between those
>specimens growing within the water compared to those outside. I certainly
>have irises that have successfully been moved between the two, from both
>submersion to dry land and the other way around.

I have not had the same experience with my yellow flags (Iris pseudacorus or
my blue flags (Iris versicolor). They were in the same situation: water
rose to above their crowns (growing points) during the spring, and rot set
in quickly. If I had not lifted them they would undoubtedly have died, even
though they did have "water roots". The difference seems to be whether or
not they have developed "water crowns". The water level rose to about 2"
above their emerged stalks. They had been in normal soil, then flooded in
the spring, and the water kept rising.

Maybe something wrong with the water? It comes from a natural underground
stream that only runs in winter/spring with a limestone channel. The pH of
this water is about 8.2, as compared with the surrounding soil of 8.8
>
>Just some ideas.

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From: Paul Tyerman ptyerman at ozemail.com.au> on 2002.06.09 at 09:55:00(8976)
>
>I have not had the same experience with my yellow flags (Iris pseudacorus or
>my blue flags (Iris versicolor). They were in the same situation: water
>rose to above their crowns (growing points) during the spring, and rot set
>in quickly. If I had not lifted them they would undoubtedly have died, even
>though they did have "water roots". The difference seems to be whether or
>not they have developed "water crowns". The water level rose to about 2"
>above their emerged stalks. They had been in normal soil, then flooded in
>the spring, and the water kept rising.
>

Howdy Kathy,

Actually I'd be more hazarding that the soil components rotted, thereby
taking out the roots. There is a definite difference between happily
potted water plants and rotting soil. The only water irises I have ever
lost stank when removed... whether this was themselves or the soil I do not
know.

I have pots of Iris pseudacorus and I 'Gerald Darby' completely submersed
in water as well as plants from teh same stock growing in a normal garden.
One was grown first of each (the pseudacorus was originally a garden plant
whereas the 'Gerald Darby' was originally a water plant) and then offsets
were used in the alternative conditions. Plants such as Iris laevagata
will grow in either situation (I have a number of them that are fully
submerged.... I have been told they prefer that) yet their relatives the
Iris kaempheri (syn I. ensata) tend to rot if fully submerged. BUT, I pot
with a high sand content when potting water plants, which is very different
to my main soil, so perhaps that is the problem when your garden plants
were inundated.

Ron, you said that you were getting good success with growing the
Spathiphyllums that you have tried with roots in water but crowns above.
Have you made notes on teh rootsystem before and after? Or even photos?
Are there noticeable differences in the roots that the plant possessed when
"in the ground" as opposed to "in the water"? Those sort of observations
could be useful to those interested in this area.

And.... I just got the Deni Bown "AROIDS: Plants of teh Arum Family"
book..... WOW. So cool! So much to learn from that, and I had no idea of
the variety within the "warmer" varieties of Aroid, having rarely seen many
of the things shown. Some of the broad, longer strap-like leaves on some
of the Anthuriums are just amazing. And I never realised that a couple of
things were actually Aroids (Syngonium, Dieffenbachia for example) so the
indoor plants I was going to purchase when I clean up my office have just
made a right-turn in planning . From first look it is a VERY cool
book.

Cheers.

Paul Tyerman

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From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2002.06.09 at 15:27:05(8977)
>
>I have not had the same experience with my yellow flags (Iris pseudacorus
or
>my blue flags (Iris versicolor). They were in the same situation: water
>rose to above their crowns (growing points) during the spring, and rot set
>in quickly. If I had not lifted them they would undoubtedly have died, even
>though they did have "water roots". The difference seems to be whether or
>not they have developed "water crowns". The water level rose to about 2"
>above their emerged stalks. They had been in normal soil, then flooded in
>the spring, and the water kept rising.
>

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From: Dean Sliger deanslgr at juno.com> on 2002.06.09 at 15:28:47(8978)
>>On Sat, 8 Jun 2002 22:46:57 -0500 (CDT) "Kathy Kempf"
writes:
> I have not had the same experience with my yellow flags (Iris
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From: Paul Tyerman ptyerman at ozemail.com.au> on 2002.06.12 at 20:32:39(8990)
Julius,

Glad my comments on soil rotting in water etc, matched your experiences.
Always nice to have confirmation of these things .

>

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From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2002.06.14 at 08:47:32(8996)
Dear Paul,

Yes, confirmation of ones thoughts is always good! :--)>
The secret to my aroid happines is staying small and growing just a few nice
plants!

Best Wishes,

Julius

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From: "Kathy Kempf" wont_read101 at hotmail.com> on 2002.06.25 at 16:45:13(9001)
Thanks for all your suggestions. Unfortunately, when I planted these iris
and marsh marigolds and other things, I did not anticipate that they would
be completely unindated by the torrential downpours we had all spring. I
potted them in a fairly well-draining potting soil mix and sank the pots
into the ground, with the surface about an inch above the surrounding soil
level. The water level in the whole area was about 3" above that for 2
months. I tried a few times to lift the pots out and couldn't. They must
have weighed 80 lbs (I am crippled and unable to carry much). When they
were noticably failing in health, I managed to get the plants out of the
pots, bareroot, and they have survived so far.

Now that the water level has fallen in that area, I have examined the soil
in my pots; no stench of "rotting" from the soil mix; but hard to tell with
all the other rotting soil surrounding it. Lost a large number of plants
from all the unnatural spring rains.

The calla and calocadium I planted (no growth) just as the rains were
starting have thrived. They came up much faster than expected in all that
saturated soil; the bulbs have multiplied much faster. Could all the
rotting soil be a great fertilizer for them? Something for me to
investigate further.

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