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  Growing Alocasia-help to keep the from rotting
From: hcward416 at comcast.net> on 2005.07.09 at 11:08:54(13163)
I have just become very interested in
growing Alocasia. Live in zone 8a so must winter in gh. Having trouble with them
rotting at soil level.I grow a large number of different Xanthosoma and
Colocasia and have no trouble with them. Need advice on appropriate soil
and growing methods of the Alocasia. The growing mix I use has a lot of
peat, little sand, and small amount of bark. I tried adding a lot of
perlite and sand to the mix. Do I need to have a fungicide spraying program
with them. If so, what is the best fungicide to use.
Thank you,
Barbara
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From: "Denis Rotolante" denis at skg.com> on 2005.07.11 at 12:18:19(13169)
Title: Message

Alocasias, particularly the Amazonica type for some
reason are particularly prone to bacterial infections(usually Erwinea) at
the ground level base of rhizome. The plant shows no symptoms until it falls
over and you find the stem is turned to mushy yuck right at ground level.This is
a problem not only with the amatuer grower but the professional as well. As a
member of the latter group I have found that using more fungicide does not
resolve the problem. The key to avoiding the rot is to avoid having too much
water dumped on the plants in the rainy season and in particular in the cool
winter season when the plants are not growing.
If
you can control your watering by avoiding rain as a source, you can apply only
what the plant needs you may be able to ameliorate the problem of stem rot. This
is usually the problem many retail Garden Center have; they will buy Alocasia
wholesale from a greenhouse operation where watering is controlled and put
them in a location where they are exposed to rain and puddles with no
regard to frequency of watering. Rot invariably insues and the pots of once
beautiful plants drop dead.
Leaf
disease and rotting may also be a problem but that can be resolved by removing
diseased leaves and avoiding overhead water which can splash the bacteria from
leaf to leaf and plant to plant.
If
your favorite alocasia does succumb to stem rot there is still a chance the
plant can regrow from small satellite rhizomes separated from the main stem, so
don't throw it out right away.

I am
curious as to whether someone else has a different take on this particularly
vexing problem.

Denis

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