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  Proud mama (arums)
From: Ellen Hornig <hornig at Oswego.EDU> on 1997.01.13 at 07:23:54(112)
Much to my amazement and delight, arum seeds planted a year ago
September have, in fact, germinated, and are putting up their
first leaves (A. gratum, korolkowii, and orientale). The percentages
so far are not high - roughly 15% - but they're only just peeking
up, so maybe more will show. I'm so proud! :-)

And now a question (to justify cluttering the airwaves with gratuitous
boasting) - has anyone on the list had experience growing the above
species outdoors, and if so, under what conditions? Winter lows?
Snow cover? I know they're only 1/4" high, but I like to plan ahead....

Ellen, in the frozen north of upstate NY

From: W T McClure <W.T.McClure at durham.ac.uk> on 1997.01.14 at 09:13:45(125)
I've been itching to ask a couple of questions but, as all other
'beginners' on the list can sympathise with, I've refrained from asking
for fear of being branded a moron. However, i ask myself these questions
over and over again because the subjects come up time and again. First,
why is that when aroid tubers go dormant do growers generally stick them
in a box or what have you? What's wrong with leaving them in the pot to
grow again? Presumably, in the wild they don't get up and go into a cave
to rest. Is it because the potting medium is exhausted of nutrients? The
other question is how do you deal with sowing seeds that take up to a year
or more to germinate? Do you vigilantly keep the seed compost moist at
just the oh-so-right level for such an incredibly long time? Is it
possible to germinate these seeds in the home or is equipment associated
with glasshouse or conservatories necessary? I imagine
that people who regularly sow aroids seeds must have a large number of
seed pans scattered everywhere as well as growing plants. The attention
and organisation involved in keeping track of these 'lifeless' seeds and
their environment would seem to me mind-boggling. I guess love knows no
bounds (barf!). I know that when I try to germinate seeds outside of
early spring they almost always don't germinate and rot, or they germinate
and rot anyway.

+More
From: Don Burns <burns at mobot.org> on 1997.01.14 at 10:44:23(126)
On Tue, 14 Jan 1997, William Perez wrote:
> I've been itching to ask a couple of questions but, as all other
> 'beginners' on the list can sympathise with, I've refrained from asking
> for fear of being branded a moron....

William,
I have found that everyone on this list is most tolerant of those of us
who need some basic information. It turns out that we all were in that
place at some time or other. It is also clear that there is not much
information in print on the horticultural treatment of aroids. But this
may be due to the fact that the genera are so diverse in habitats and
growing habits. I don't know how many plant genera have both tuberous
and non-tuberous plants, but this in itself makes handling Araceae unique.

In the case of Amorphophallus I have learned from Wilbert Hetterscheid
that certain tubers of this genus can be removed from the medium while
dormant while others must stay in medium. (See the web site pages for
this info.) I have also been told that Drancontium reacts negatively to
the disturbance of its root system. Certainly Guanghua Zhu can elaborate
on this for us. So ask away - many of us will benefit from hearing the
answers to your questions.

As for germinating seeds, I am fortunate to live in a climate that will
allow this to be done outside at almost any time of the year. But I
still provide the seed with protection from the elements. I have found
that the disposable plastic containers, many of which come from
bakeries are very useful for germination. I cannot speak for the UK,
but here bakeries will probably give some away. They can also be
purchased at stores that specialize in selling ingrediants for bakers and
candy makers. The containers are very handy because they can be closed
to maintain humidity at high levels, and since they are clear one can see
what is going on inside without opening them, similar to an incubator.
I have also germinated seed inside of plastic bags as Ellen has, but I
like the plastic containers because they provide physical protection as
well. Since these clear plastic containers are hard they can be stacked,
thus saving even more space.

I am sure some of the other list members will have their own unique
solutions.

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From: Ellen Hornig <hornig at Oswego.EDU> on 1997.01.14 at 16:01:19(128)
On Tue, 14 Jan 1997, W T McClure wrote:

> I've been itching to ask a couple of questions but, as all other
> 'beginners' on the list can sympathise with, I've refrained from asking
> for fear of being branded a moron. However, i ask myself these questions
> over and over again because the subjects come up time and again. First,
> why is that when aroid tubers go dormant do growers generally stick them
> in a box or what have you? What's wrong with leaving them in the pot to
> grow again? Presumably, in the wild they don't get up and go into a cave
> to rest. Is it because the potting medium is exhausted of nutrients? The

Answering for myself - I only do this for aroids that I don't trust to
winter over successfully in pots, frozen solid (i.e. many arisaemas).
They take up a whole lot less space packed in bags or boxes, in peat moss,
in the refrigerator, than they would in pots.....go figure. Pinellias
and hardy arisaemas *do* stay in their pots. As to medium deteriorating -
yes, that's a valid concern with soilless mixes. They do start to break
down and get dense and wet after a year. Nutrients can be (are)
provided artificially.

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From: plantnut at shadow.net (Dewey Fisk) on 1997.01.14 at 16:04:39(129)
William Perez...

Sorry I can't help with the seed portion of your message.. But, the reason
I unpot my tubers is so that I can watch for fungus. Also, to harvest the
'babies'.
Dewey

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From: grsjr at juno.com (George R Stilwell, Jr.) on 1997.01.14 at 20:03:49(135)
Wiliam,

I leave my tubers in the ground.

On the long germinating seeds, use the Norman Deno method. It takes
practically no space, assures moisture will be there, and lends itself to
cold stratification in the refrigerator if needed.

Dr. Deno's address and the price of his book and supplement were in a
recent posting on Aroid-L. Buy both. You need the original and the
supplement is well worth the modest price.

Ray

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From: Rand Nicholson <writserv at nbnet.nb.ca> on 1997.01.15 at 08:56:14(139)
>On Tue, 14 Jan 1997, William Perez wrote:
>> I've been itching to ask a couple of questions but, as all other
>> 'beginners' on the list can sympathise with, I've refrained from asking
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