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  Cyrtosperma growing media suggestions...
From: Jeremy P <drplantman at gmail.com> on 2009.10.06 at 16:09:15(20161)
Hiya Aroid-ers,

Just after some suggestions about Cyrtosperma growing media (for C. johnstonii in particular). I've got them in a heated glasshouse (16C minimum) with high humidity (+85%) and am looking to have said aroid of choice standing in a large cement urn full of water - the growing crown will be above the waterline, but the bulk of the media and pot will be submerged.

Any suggestions welcome, and thanks in advance!

Jeremy

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From: Peter Boyce <phymatarum at googlemail.com> on 2009.10.07 at 23:50:17(20164)
HiJeremy,

VITALthat the water remains fresh, ideally with constant movement.

Peter

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From: <ju-bo at msn.com> on 2009.10.08 at 03:35:46(20165)
Dear Jeremy,

If almost the entire pot will be submerged, then your potting/growing medium must be all coarse sand!  Any ''potting soil'' which you then submerge will rot, killing your plant.  Both Fairchild Gardens in Miami and the late Dr. Monroe Birdsey used this ''pure coarse sand'' in their pots which were completely submerged in large tanks/pools which contained MANY fish, the fishs waste provided the necessary fertilizer.
See my article on growing Urospathas (a Neotropical genus much like the Asian Cyrtospermas) in Aroideana Vol. 16, pgs. 33-36.
I also grew many Cyrtosperma sps, and the method has to be the same.
I learned the hard way (experience) and lost several irreplaceable specimens from having the ''soil'' rot when the pot was submerged.  When the dead plant was un-potted, the rotten soil smelt like a corpse.
Good luck.   Write to me off-l and I`ll explain (if you`d like me to) on another method where only the bottom 3" or so of the pot is submerged, and inside this portion of the pot is only drainage rock/material, NO SOIL!
Good Growing,

Julius Boos

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From: RAYMOMATTLA at cs.com on 2009.10.08 at 18:46:50(20168)
Half coarse sand, half peat. Thats what i grow most of my submersed aroids in and they do fine. Keep the bottom of the pot filled about 1/4 way up with lava rock and make sure the waterline doesnt go above the rocks.

Thanks,

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From: RAYMOMATTLA at cs.com on 2009.10.08 at 18:49:44(20169)
Jeremy, I believe the Atlanta Botanical Gardens grew a very large C. johnstonii in what looked like (if I can remember right) a large rock bowl with just moss as the growing medium. Probably keep very moist but not too wet. Just another suggestion. I wouldnt totally submerge the roots though...

Thanks,

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From: <ju-bo at msn.com> on 2009.10.09 at 04:16:07(20170)
Dear All, Pete,

A memory that just popped into my now-sometimes-forgetful ''chemo brain''---  The late Dr. Birdsey used to grow his Aquatics (Typhonodorum, Urospathas, Lasias, etc.) in clay pots in LARGE square concrete ''vats'', maybe 5' X 5' X 3' deep.   There was no water movement in his set-up.  Only the lower petioles of the Urospathas would emerge above the water`s surface, and the pseudo-''trunk'' of the Typhonodorums started just above the water-line.   This way of growing aqatics persists today at the Fairchild Gardens in Miami, last month we observed a local aquatic aroid, Peltandra, being grown with it`s pot completely submerged in the large ''pond''/fish tank to the R. of the entrance of the  main display hall.   Their HUGE Cyrtosperma johnstonii AND a Montrichardia arboria (thorny ''trunks''/rhizomes) used to sit in completely submerged pots in the large fish ''pond'' as you entered the rare plant house near the resturant.   I do believe there was some sort of pump providing some water movement at the Fairchild Gardens set-ups.
What I forgot to mention was that Monroe ''confessed'' to me that he would ''cheat'' by burying one or two (no more!) of the hard, solid tree fertilizer tablets about 4"-5" deep in the sand of the pots, the warning on the fert. tablets said/warned that they were toxic to fish, but Monroe had worked out that just a couple did no harm to his HUGE populations of his beautiful sword-tail and platy fish which he kept and fed in his tanks around his potted plants for the benifit of their waste products as plant food.  The fert. tablets gave his plants an additional ''boost'' in their growth.

Good Growing,

Julius.

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From: "John Criswick" <criswick at spiceisle.com> on 2009.10.09 at 08:48:55(20172)

For some years I havehad a Cyrtosperma johnstonii growing just outside my concrete pond, which isabove ground level by 18 inches (45 cm.) It used to be grown in anotherpond, with roots totally submerged in water. Here it is in permanentlydamp soil and the soil is a very heavy, intractable clay loam, so it would notseem that it needs to be in moss, although that might provide the ultimate/optimumof conditions.

In the attached photoyou can see the Cyrtosperma with a Typhonodourum lindleyi behind it, in thesame soil, and a Musa ornate to the right of it.

John.

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From: "John Criswick" <criswick at spiceisle.com> on 2009.10.09 at 08:53:05(20173)
Well I’ve just readthis Julius, after posting my own experience with C. johnstonii. I am amazed. AmI just lucky? It’s certainly not hard to grow, rather it is, as they sayhere, “hard to dead” !

John.

From: aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com[mailto:aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com] OnBehalf Of ju-bo@msn.com

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From: "John Criswick" <criswick at spiceisle.com> on 2009.10.11 at 10:56:43(20174)
Corrections, beforeanyone else points it out !

typhonodOrum (typo)

ornatA (mycomputer changes final A’s to E’s [ not attuned to the Latintongue] and I didn’t read through before sending.)

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From: Adam Black <epiphyte1 at earthlink.net> on 1969.12.31 at 16:00:00(20175)
I don't recall if anyone has mentioned it yet, but has anyone tried the "mesh" pots for aquatic aroids? I would imagine these would be beneficial to allow for better circulation through the pot and media. I think they are more commonly used for water lilies so would think they would apply perfectly toward aroids. I have a Montrichardia in need of repotting and I am going to give it a try.

Adam

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From: "John Criswick" <criswick at spiceisle.com> on 2009.10.12 at 12:02:41(20177)
I have had very variedsuccess with Nymphaeas. The books say large containers with no holes andNO animal manure; only good topsoil. Then you have to keep giving fertilizer(the Nymphaea fertilizer is EXPENSIVE) or the plants start decreasing in size.

But I observed that ayellow nymphaea which had grown over the edge of the pot, had sent roots spreadingin all directions in the gunk on the concrete floor of the pond (largely fish excrement). And the lily went wild! Huge leaves and flowers.

So I started puttingnymphaeas in fairly wide, but very shallow plastic containers, reasoning thatthe roots like the aeration on the surface of the soil medium. I use cat littertrays or shallow “wash pans” (pre-washing machine). Inthe bottom I put 4 inches of well-rotted pig manure, topped by 4 inches ofloam. I plant the nymphaea in the centre and cover the loam withsand. Then I gently submerge the container in the 18 inch deep pond, but notkeeping the crown 6 to 8 inches below the water surface, as the books tell youto do.

I consistently getgood results that last for many, many months without adding more pig manure.

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From: <ju-bo at msn.com> on 2009.10.12 at 13:01:05(20178)
Dear Adam,

Go for it!  Let us know how they do!

Good Growing.

Julius

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From: STARSELL at aol.com on 2009.10.16 at 06:57:30(20184)
John,

I have grow water lilies and Lotus for decades using water lily

pots. There are many sizes available of these from suppliers

such as "Lilypons".

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From: "John Criswick" <criswick at spiceisle.com> on 2009.10.18 at 13:42:43(20191)
Yes Alison I have manyyears ago grown nymphaeas in Lilypons tubs and fertilised with Lilypons fertilizertablets for nymphaeas. I had good results but the fertilizer tabletsneeded to be applied too often and I have a million other plants to lookafter. The shallower tubs are good, and similar to the washpans I amusing. Both the washpans and the pig manure are far cheaper than Lilypons products.

John.

From:aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com [mailto:aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com] On Behalf Of STARSELL@aol.com

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From: Dan Levin <levin at pixar.com> on 2009.10.21 at 22:58:36(20198)
Adam,

I've been growing aquatic aroids in plastic mesh pots set
into a pond for many years now. The pond is inside my
heated greenhouse (in the SF Bay Area) and the water
is further heated by a immersion/ aquarium heater and
constantly circulated with a submersible pump with the
return to the pond flowing over a small waterfall.

As you posited: water/ O2 circulation inside mesh pots
does appear better compared with using conventional
nursery pots for this application. I offer this assessment
based upon faster growth rates and reduced die-back
of new growth (i.e. sometimes a new shoot will rot out)
in my given conditions.

The media mix I use in my mesh pots:
4 - washed Monterey sand (#2/12 screen)
2- pumice

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From: <ju-bo at msn.com> on 2009.10.23 at 08:05:42(20205)
Dear Dan and fellow aquatic lovers,

Dan, your method sounds as close to perfect as possible!  It incorporates both Enids and my methods of growing these plants! 

In reading about the medium in which you pot your aquatics, I`d venture to say that your pots in all actuality COULD be completely submersed if needed, and the ONLY item in your mix which just MIGHT decay would be the peat moss, but this should NOT rot (check it from time to time and report back, please!) and smell like a dead rat, in commercial "Soil" mixes, lots of the material incorporated into them DOES rot, smell BAD and kills the plant!

The reason I keep POUNDING this point (and I so appreciate your input!) is as follows---back when I sold Aquatics at the Fairchild IAS shows, I`d screen the buyers pretty closely and give advice on HOW to grow them, no soil mix BELOW the water line, etc., etc..  Well, the very next year I` be approached by a past-year buyer who might be pretty irate, saying that the expensive plant he purchased had JUST died.  I`d question him/her on if they had done as I instructed, and some BS would come back at me, like--"No, you see we decided to experiment and did so-and-so, which I knew was GUARENTEED to kill the poor, now-irreplacable plant!  I`d then go off on a rant, saying don`t you recall all the things I TOLD you that you could not do???  Why did you NOT, as I strongly suggested, grow the plant to blooming/fruiting size UNDER MY PROVEN-TO-BE-SUCCESFUL methods, THEN collect and grow the seeds to experiment with, and THEN do what YOU might think is a ''better way'' to grow these rare and expensive plants??  I never got a satisfactory reply.  MAN--I still get upset just recalling it!!

I agree with you about re-potting, leave them be as long as possible, but if and when you REALLY need to re-pot (my Urospathas and some Certospermas grew to 6' +!!!), I don`t believe that root breakage is a major concern, as in heated water the plants replace these roots VERY quickly!

Do you know how I might contact Dylan Hannon??

The Very Best to you and ALL friends on aroid-l.

Julius

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From: "mossytrail" <mossytrail at hctc.com> on 2009.10.25 at 16:40:44(20207)
Yes, people are notorious for that. One of my labmates used
to work in the pet trade, and buyers were the same way for
him. They would, for example, buy an exotic crayfish. Next
day, they would return the crayfish, with the complaint, "it
ate all my fish." He would reply, "you may recall, we told
you it would eat fish." They would then say, "yes, but I
didn't think you were serious."

Um...if he wasn't serious, he wouldn't have told them.

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