From: botanist at malesiana.com (Peter Boyce) on 2008.05.29 at 06:04:01(17638)
The main problem is that these species from the Cuprea group are not at all easy to maintain in cultivation. Over the years I have had almost all of them in cultivation but they seldom persist more than a few years. I suspect that their main requirement is a constant accumulation of fresh leaf-litter to encourage the creeping rhizome-like stem to throw new roots. In a pot this is hard to emulate.
Interestingly, I have just been in FRIM, West Malaysia, and there saw superb large plants of A. perakensis (the West Malaysian sister to A. peltata) being grown in deep containers half filled with planting medium (a very sandy red-loam) with plants'main roots in this mix but the rest of the pot filled with leaf-litter that had been added a little at a time over a period of several months. The root-growth through the lower (semi-composted) leaf litter was extraordinary and the plants looked magnificent. The guy growing them said he never fed and watered copiously and that the leaf litter provided all the plants needed in the way of nutrients. He was also convinced that microrrhiza were playing a significent role in plant health. This mirrors my experience with Alocasia in the wild, where I have seen superb specimens of A. chaii on almost vertical red clay banks, the plants held into the bank by two or three thickroots but with a mass of finer roots penetrating the leaf litter accumulated around the plants. Ce
rtainly our attempts to keep these species in cultivation in tradiotional potting techniques have never been a great success.