From: "Randy Story" story at caltech.edu> on 2002.10.11 at 14:25:46(9517)|
Here are a two new questions and trial answers. These are a bit long, but I
feel that they address important and common questions. I have to say that
the discussion about growing Amorphophallus indoors has really changed how I
think about these plants. As usual, send comments either to the list or
directly to me.
Q. Can I grow Amorphophallus indoors?|
A. This is an important question in particular for those who live in places
with long, cold winters or limited outdoor space. A short growing season
may make it very difficult to grow completely outdoors even those species
such as A. konjac that are from strongly seasonal climates; moreover the
timing of the growth cycle of such plants is unpredictable. If they are
grown indoors, perhaps the greatest challenge is providing enough light. A
very sunny window may suffice, but frequently artificial lights (such as.
HID lights) are required. A solution that works for many is to grow the
plants indoors for only part of the growing season. As many plants do not
emerge until June, this can be frequently be effective in that much of the
initial growth and maturation of the leaf may often occur in brighter
outdoor light whereas the plant needs to be indoors largely as it is
entering dormancy. If one has surplus tubers, perhaps the best advice is to
experiment with conditions and see what works.
Q. Can I grow Amorphophallus titanum?
A. Possibly, but a number of requirements must first be met. First, even
small seedlings of A. titanum (the species does not produce offsets) are
difficult to find and expensive--generally around $100 U.S. Second, the
plant needs a lot of room to grow--expect a massive mature plant in excess
of 10 feet tall. Warm, humid air and lots of light are also required, all
of which is difficult to provide except in the warm humid tropics or in a
large greenhouse. The growth cycle is unlikely to be limited to the summer
months, and the plant is a more difficult grower than many as the eventually
huge tube is prone to rot. Some growers have grown these plants in smaller
spaces and rarely even indoors, but naturally such conditions are difficult
to maintain once the plant reaches mature size. For beginners who wish to
grow a reasonably large plant, A. konjac is recommended. Although the
spathe and spadix are much smaller, the inflorescence itself is up to 6 ft
(nearly 2 m) in height. Moreover, this is one of the most available and
easiest to cultivate.