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  Amorphophallus tuber planting depth
From: Bryan Lampl blampl1 at earthlink.net> on 2005.01.01 at 16:20:21(12522)
When I visited Dewey Fisk during the aroid show in Sept., he stressed that I
should plant the Amorphophallus tubers deep. In conversion with Rick Peters
about the Amorphophallus sp. mahajanga, we both noted that they appear to be
top heavy and are falling over. The idea was suggested that maybe they were
not planted deep enough. Though there are many environmental factors and
different conditions where Amorphophallus are found, I would like to get
some imput from those who have been able to experience the plants in the
wild. What kind of depths have the tubers been found in the specific
regions that they exist?

From: "michael mahan" agavestar at covad.net> on 2005.01.01 at 19:11:58(12524)
The amorphophallus sp nova mahajanga that bloomed for me was planted about
10" down in a 10 gallon pot, the tuber was 9" across , the stem snapped at
about 2" above the soil line, just as the flower was starting to smell .it
is being housed in greenhouse with 84f days & 74f nites .as it didn't break
off completely the flower did produce pollen {had about 1/4 of the stem skin
still attached } .i think that I had gave it too much water when the
inflorence was 1st growing & had taken up too much water in to the flower
head .wind was not a facture ,it was not in the direct flow of the fans . I
think in the wild they get no water till after they bloom & then they put
out the leaf when the local summer rains start. The tuber is now putting up
a new growth that is about 4 " above the soil ,I assume that it is now the
leaf coming up . Mike Mahan / Novato CA

From: Chipboy5399 at cs.com on 2005.01.02 at 17:07:07(12527)
Hello Michael, my flower also bent over but not till after the flower was totally spent. I blamed it on the really strong winds we had. Mine is outside. After the leaf came up however, it is now winter and get nights down into the low 50's. In there the leaf also bent over but fortuantely it had some support, so it did not bend and totally damaged it. I propped it up and added some soil to the pot. I wrote Dr. Hetterscheid to ask about the problem. I have also gotten a letter from Bryan, and his did the same thing. I was wondering it the plants possible either grew in dense underbrush and used that for support or just naturally grew deeply, more so than most, needing the petiole to have more support from soil. I am hoping that Wilbert can shed some light on this.


From: Ken Mosher ken at spatulacity.com> on 2005.01.02 at 19:14:26(12528)
It's been my own personal observation with plants in general that they
don't need to be planted more deeply to make them stand up. Another inch or
few of soil won't make any difference.

I think that either 1) it is a certain plant's natural characteristic to
flop over, or 2) some other growing condition is not right.

I think that when my Amorphophallus sp nova mahajanga break dormancy I will
provide the leaf with some support. How much sun are others giving this
plant (and where are you)? How much would it get in habitat?


From: "Charles Osborne" oz at att.net> on 2005.01.02 at 20:36:19(12529)
I have had great luck with common dragons up here in NW Oregon where they
can grow like weeds. The first time I had one bend over, after a heavy rain,
the stem was 4 cm in diameter and caused a major split. After placing
stakes and securing it back up, I wrapped a few layers of duct tape around
the injured section. The plant continued on to flower and set seed.

This has happened numerous times irrespective of planting depth. But, when
they grow in high density patches of about a metre across, the inner plans
all interlock and support each other and only the outer ones bend or snap.
Nature, it seems, did not optimize for individual plants or low density
rows...but stakes and duct tape can compensate.


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