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  Initiation of Flowering in Amorphophallus
From: Thomas.Croat at mobot.org (Tom Croat) on 2008.03.24 at 10:04:57(17210)
Fellow Aroiders:

My Director is anxious that we flower Amorphophallus titanum
which we have had here for many years. It has always been an
embarrassment that we, among all the institutions in the world
practically, have not flowered this species even though we have had the
species from the earliest days. Anyway, I am now asking for advice from
those of you who have flowered this species if you know of any way it
can be induced to flower. I know that many of you do not actually want
your plants of Amorphophallus to flower but if you have any ideas about
what would induce these "lazy" plants of mine to flower (short of
killing it) please let me know.

Tom Croat

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From: ken at spatulacity.com (Ken Mosher) on 2008.03.24 at 19:47:42(17211)
> I know that many of you do not actually want your plants of
> Amorphophallus to flower

Who are those people and why are they allowed to impose their twisted
beliefs upon their poor plants?!
-Ken

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From: bill.weaver at hp.com (Weaver, Bill) on 2008.03.24 at 20:38:41(17212)
What worked for me was feed, feed and feed. Plus bright light and a well drained soil.

Bill Weaver

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From: StroWi at t-online.de (StroWi at t-online.de) on 2008.03.25 at 02:20:03(17213)
Tom,

a quick search with google scholar gave some hints that gibberellic acid
can trigger flower induction in araceae.

The problem in your case will be that it is uncertain when the
application should be done (foliage/tuber), if it should be repeated and
which concentration should be used.

I did not do any further reading, but might find some time later.

This only as a quick response.

Happy growing/flowering,
Bernhard.

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From: hluther at selby.org (Harry Luther) on 2008.03.25 at 09:00:16(17216)
Dear Tom; I suggest more light(we grow them under 55% shade under Fl. sun) and and cooler and drier in winter, some seasonality which is normal in our greenhouses. HEL

-----Original Message-----
From: aroid-l-bounces at gizmoworks.com [mailto:aroid-l-bounces at gizmoworks.com]On Behalf Of Tom Croat

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From: scottvergara at comcast.net (Scott Vergara) on 2008.03.25 at 19:49:18(17219)
Recently I had a conversation with someone whose name I can't remember right
now (old age I guess) who has knowledge and experience growing A. titanium
said that the biggest problem is underweight tubers resulting from too small
a container size. The tuber requires room to achieve blooming weight (as a
measurement of blooming size). IT is a big plant and when we keep in pot
bound it grows well enough each year to look nice but never reaches the
optimal weight to bloom. It is our reluctance to give it the space it needs
in crowded conservatories. Give it a bigger container and encourage it to
grow as Bill Weaver suggests. Feed me Seymour

Scott Vergara

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From: dburch23 at bellsouth.net (derek burch) on 2008.03.26 at 07:28:43(17222)
(!FILE)
Tom,

I think that you have been getting exactly the right suggestions that
concern more-than-ample root run, and plenty of good nutrition and water,
coupled with the really basic need for strong light for the foliage
(remember, fertilizer can't build the basic sugars: there is no substitute
for light in doing that).

I would steer very clear of experimenting with gibberellic acid. I know that
there have been successes with some groups, and I have never tried with
amorphs, but I got some very, very weird inflorescences on Epipremnum some
years ago when I was still curious about things like that.

Perhaps Peter could come down to the greenhouse and speak strongly to the
tubers ...

Derek

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From: Thomas.Croat at mobot.org (Tom Croat) on 2008.03.26 at 10:07:27(17225)
Dear Derek:

Thank you for your suggestions. Peter has been talking! He personally contacted a number of people and he really gets results! Several people who are very familiar with how to get this done have written long detailed procedures so we are going to try these things. If these actually work I will write up the entire process and publish it because it would be generally good for everyone. Wilbert's suggestions were the longest but the Director of the Berkeley Botanical Garden swore by his methods too, saying that they had tried everything before his method worked.

I too am reluctant to use gibberellic acid on anything with such a large inflorescence.

Tom

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From: Thomas.Croat at mobot.org (Tom Croat) on 2008.03.26 at 10:57:22(17227)
Dear Scott:

Thank you for the advise. We have been using large
containers for some time because we received this warning earlier. We
do fertilize with each watering but we don't water every day and we will
probably water and fertilize more frequently since Wilbert says that
they need a lot of water when they are building tuber.

Tom

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From: ironious2 at yahoo.com (E Morano) on 2008.03.26 at 13:52:07(17232)
At what point during the growing season does amorphophallus build the tuber? This may be the key time to give the plant root hormones.

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From: Thomas.Croat at mobot.org (Tom Croat) on 2008.03.26 at 16:22:03(17234)
Dear Bernard:

Thanks so much for your comments. Some have said that it caused serious distortion of the inflorescences so I am a bit reluctant. I would hate to have waited so long to get flowers then have to deal with a freak!

Tom

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From: StroWi at t-online.de (StroWi at t-online.de) on 2008.03.27 at 00:56:51(17237)
Tom,

could you write in a few lines how the measurements of the tubers
(weight, diameter) and the used pots/containers are?

@ all:

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From: denis at skg.com (Denis) on 2008.03.27 at 07:25:16(17238)
Tom:

Craig Allen when he was at Fairchild growing the Amorphs used large
containers for his critters like 45 gallons and used some organic
fertilizers in his soil mix, manures and bone meal....he was quite
successful in getting Mr Stinky to bloom.

Denis

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From: bill.weaver at hp.com (Weaver, Bill) on 2008.03.27 at 11:55:00(17242)
I've always avoided large containers as I was always afraid it would hold too much moisture.
I have always limited container size to 4-6 inches larger than the corm. By the end of the
growing cycle a large part of the soil has usually been pushed out of the pot or the pot splits.
(I'm not sure why it does one or the other, but not both)

Bill Weaver

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From: StroWi at t-online.de (StroWi at t-online.de) on 2008.03.27 at 12:18:13(17244)
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From: Gareth.Hambridge at rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au (Hambridge Gareth) on 2008.03.27 at 13:51:39(17246)
Tom, I would agree wholeheartedly with Bill W. and Scott. Plenty of
light, plenty of food and plenty of space. Whilst we've only flowered a
few here the size of the tuber certainly suffers in a pot. The most
recent flowering we've had here came from a plant that was grown in a
garden bed in the Sydney Tropical Centre instead of in a pot like most
our others.Over a period of 4 years the tuber weight increased from
about 8kg to 26 kg whereas our potted specimens only put a few kilos a
season. This large specimen flowered on the 22nd Feb. this year with a
flower size of 1.92 metres. In contrast we have flowered 2 much smaller
potted specimens at about 7ish kilos that gave flowers about 98cm and
120cm. It is possible that these flowered at such a small size because
they were left to dry out for several weeks whilst dormant-perhaps this
has some bearing on flower initiation. I know this is not recommended
but a reasonable sized tuber isn't going to dessicate in a hurry. I'm
guessing that drying them out is going to have some affect on the levels
of naturally occurring hormones, perhaps due to stress or some other
reason.

Photo:
http://www.auscps.com/modules/xcgal/displayimage.php?pid87&pos=-1587

Gareth Hambridge

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From: bobrien at gustavus.edu (Brian O'Brien) on 2008.03.27 at 14:09:27(17247)
At 12:04 PM 3/24/2008, you wrote:
>Content-class: urn:content-classes:message
>Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
> boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C88DD1.2FD720B5"
>
>Fellow Aroiders:
>
> My Director is anxious that we flower Amorphophallus
> titanum which we have had here for many years. It has always been
> an embarrassment that we, among all the institutions in the world
> practically, have not flowered this species even though we have had
> the species from the earliest days. Anyway, I am now asking for
> advice from those of you who have flowered this species if you know
> of any way it can be induced to flower. I know that many of you do
> not actually want your plants of Amorphophallus to flower but if
> you have any ideas about what would induce these "lazy" plants of
> mine to flower (short of killing it) please let me know.
>
>Tom Croat

We repotted over the years into pots that were larger than the corm,
but not too overly large (fear of rotting, along with the difficulty
of locating an appropriate pot, were driving forces). The plant,
after reaching a relatively large size, would inevitably grow the
corm to fill the pot, and also begin to heave itself out of the
pot. We always add Osmocote when repotting, along with extra Perlite
in the potting soil to keep it well-drained. During the recent
flowering were top-dressing with a mixture of composted manure and
peat moss. The plant is now producing a new leaf, and we're curious
as to whether or not it will do the heave-partly-out-of-the-pot
action with regard to the current 44" pot. To see the new shoot on
our webcam,
see:
http://arboretum.blog.gustavus.edu/2008/03/06/perry-grows-again/ -
scroll down to the webcam link. The shoot is now much larger than
what is shown in the photos. See other entries on the blog for the
flowering event (the peak was May 12, 2007).

Brian O'Brien

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From: ironious2 at yahoo.com (E Morano) on 2008.03.27 at 16:38:31(17248)
I wouldnt say that im critical against GA3. I love the stuff when I can find a good application for it. For instance, 85-100 ppm spray has gotten me near 100% flower set on my tomatoes. I think just be cautions and experiment on plants you are not afraid of loosing. Ive noticed the the effects of ga3 are not usually permanent. So if you do get negative results and the plant does not die then most likely it will return to normal.

"StroWi at t-online.de" wrote: Dear Tom,

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From: honeybunny442 at yahoo.com (Susan B) on 2008.03.27 at 18:09:00(17250)
I've always heard that too, Bill.
Craig used big containers because he had big tubers! I remember him saying there was only one larger size pot made and after that he didn't know what they would do.
Susan

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From: dburch23 at bellsouth.net (derek burch) on 2008.03.28 at 10:13:48(17256)
Hi everyone,

Rousing from my lethargy with my usual snotty questions: Where were all you
amorphophallus experts lurking when I wrote in last September to try to get
articles for an Aroideana colloquium on storing aroids? This initiating
flowering topic would have been a great one to add to that, or in place of
it.

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From: hyndman at aroid.org (Scott Hyndman) on 2008.03.29 at 00:17:47(17258)

With regards to the excellent discussion on the factors that can
affect flowering in Amorphophallus titanum, I would like to add that
there can be individual genetic differences that can influence
blooming as well. Here's a recent picture of me with an 8 year old
plant of Amorphophallus titanum that I grew from a seed obtained from
Tito Wee. Tito's seed came from one of the original plants that also
came from seed that Jim Symon first brought from Sumatra over 15
years ago. So the plant in this picture is the result of a sibling
cross from two of Symon's original plants, a second generation if you
will. I have other sibling plants that are not more that a meter
tall showing great variability within the population. This
particular plant growing in a 133 liter pot (35 gallons) should bloom
after the next dormancy later this year, or early next year. My
sincere thanks to Randy and Ty Strode at Agri-Starts, Inc., Apopka,
Florida, for letting me keep the plant there in their state of the
art greenhouse for the past two years as it definitely has now out
grown the screened in pool area at my home in Vero Beach. Thanks to
the expert grower's care at Agri-Starts we should see a bloom within
the next year.

Regards, Scott

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From: Thomas.Croat at mobot.org (Tom Croat) on 2008.04.07 at 19:20:48(17319)
Dear Bernard:

I am sure that Emily Colletti will write up some of the many notes that we have received regarding how to flower A. titanum. When these are available to me I will share them with you.

Tom

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From: StroWi at t-online.de (StroWi at t-online.de) on 2008.04.08 at 00:36:57(17323)
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