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  A Question (fwd)
From: Don Burns <burns at mobot.org> on 1997.09.01 at 15:50:48(1137)

Craig Smith sent me the question below as he did not receive any
responses from the list when he originally posted it. I cannot, with any
authority, answer Craig, except to recommend praying. But I want an
answer to this one also, because I have one Amorphophallus titantum tuber
that did not go dormant until late April of this year and remains dormant as
of September 1.

From: Duane Campbell <dcamp at epix.net> on 1997.09.01 at 21:02:51(1139)
At 10:52 AM 9/1/97 -0500, you wrote:

>I as not sure what the trigger is that causes the plant to wither. Can
>you please tell me if it is the colder temperatures in the daytime, the
>colder temperatures at night, the soil temperature, the shorted days
>(light), the dimmer light, or something else???????

I am one of the least expert members of this list, but since you seem
desperate for an answer, perhaps even a wrong one will suffice.

First, I suspect day or night length has little to do with it. Since it is
native to equatorial regions, I would imagine that it has little
photoperiodic response. And the same with light intensity.

I assume that temperature is involved. I used to store tubers and bulbs in
one section of the basement. When we added on I started storing them in the
new, cooler part, and this noticably retarded sprouting on many different
kinds of tubers.

Further, I often give flowering sized tubers of Amorphophallus and
Sauromatum to unsuspecting friends, explaining its unique flowering habit
but not passing on all the details of its bloom. We keep our house
considerably cooler in winter than most, around 60 during the day, fifty at
night. So when friends begin to get excited about the sprouting tubers
(which I suggest they put on their breakfast table), I start getting almost
daily reports back. Usually these tubers that I give away open their blooms
before mine even begin to grow.

I grow most of my larger tubers in gallon or two gallon pots. Smaller
tubers that I am trying to size up are planted in the garden, where I just
let them get knocked down by the first frost and dig them.

Since the roots are rather coarse, I would think (but don't know for sure)
that you could dig up the growing plant, pot it up, and move it inside to
complete its cycle. I would do this before the nights start getting cool
and giving it a signal you don't want it to have yet.

I would happily be corrected by more knowledgeable growers.

Duane Campbell dcamp@epix.net

From: Riley2362 at aol.com on 1997.09.03 at 00:44:34(1147)
Dear Craig,
My answer to your question about dormancy cycles in A. Konjac is a bit
obtuse, but it has been my experience that one can "awaken" tubers, i.e.
break dormancy in the spring with gentle bottom heat. I did this a number of
times when I wanted bloom for a March flower show, I would give the tubers
bottom heat beginning in early to mid January and it always prompted them
into growth. Given their early season, they tended to go dormant a little
earlier in the fall. What this might mean for your tuber which started late,
is that it will remain in growth longer into the fall to complete its cycle.
I have also had the experience that if dormant tubers are left too cool and
dry in the spring, they will stay dormant longer which would be consistent
with my first statement. My only "danger flag" is when a leaf begins to go
dormant to stop all watering immediately or there is danger of rotting the
tuber, regardless of the time of year. Hope this helps - Michael Riley

From: hallsa at sirius.com (Steve Hall) on 1997.09.03 at 00:49:00(1148)
Dear Aroiders,

I too would appreciate a response to Craig Smith's question because I find
myself in the exact situation. My konjac and bulbifer tuber remained
dormant all summer, until last week, when they awakened and started sending
up leaves. I too am worried that they will go dormant before the tubers can
regenerate to any significant size. I live in San Francisco and the days
are growing shorter and the winter rains will begin in about 2 months. On
the other hand my sauromatum have been up since April and are now just
starting to wither.


Steve Hall

From: Craig Smith <craigsmith at sprintmail.com> on 1997.09.03 at 12:56:44(1153)
Thanks for your input. I'm not too sure what I'll do but I'd better
decide soon, it's getting cold and darker here in Rochester NY. The
tuber I hope to help along was 8 pounds when I planted it and 13 before
the flower so I'd like to see it a little bigger rather than smaller.

From: MJ Hatfield <oneota at ames.net> on 1997.09.04 at 21:26:03(1156)
Be sure and let us know the results of which ever method you decide to
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