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  Interesting Story
From: plantnut at shadow.net (Dewey Fisk) on 1998.06.14 at 07:56:38(2304)
Craig Allen, Curator of the Rare Plant House at Fairchild Tropical Garden,
tells me the following....

After Hurricane Andrew the Rare Plant House was almost destroyed and there
was no room or place to really 'take care' of the Amorphophallus titanums
that they had. These were from the seed received from Dr. Jim Symon. So,
they stayed in 10 inch pots for almost three years. The plants were
watered and fertilized normally because they were in a controled condition.
Over the almost three years, the 10 inch pots swelled and were 'as round
as basketballs'. When, finally, circumstances were ripe for repotting, it
was found that each of the 'basketball' twelve pots had multiple tubers in
them. It seems that the stress of being confined had made the tubers
devide instead of becoming one large tuber. He now has over fifty
plants.....(Sorry, FTG does not ship.) This goes against all that we have
been told about A. titanum not having pups but.... who has left tubers in
one pot for almost three years till they swelled up? It is amazing just
what someone can learn by actually neglecting a plant.

Craig also tells me that when repotting, he put the tuber that is now in
inflorescence in a thirty gallon pot. Normally, this tuber would have gone
in a much smaller pot but the experience of blowing up the pot was to be
averted.... This is the one that bloomed... So, conclusions are these....
To multiple... leave in a crowded pot.... To bloom.... put a medium
size tuber in a very large pot.

Again, this is contrary to all we have been told about this plant but....
Nothing is ever certain and new information often makes old information
untrue and obsolete.

The inflorescence should be open the first of the week... Monday, Tuesday
or, at the latest, Wednesday. I shall be there with the camera just firing


From: Gary Meltzer <kathann1 at tsoft.com> on 1998.06.14 at 19:57:27(2307)

At 09:57 AM 6/14/98 -0500, Dewey Fisk wrote:

>Craig Allen, Curator of the Rare Plant House at Fairchild Tropical

From: Steve Marak <samarak at arachne.uark.edu> on 1998.06.14 at 20:28:32(2310)
Dewey, in light of your *very* interesting story, I guess I can find the
strength to admit it:

My name is Steve, and I ...... am a habitual Amorphophallus underpotter.

Since A. titanum is the Holy Grail of phalloid phanciers, I am ashamed to
admit that I have mistreated it in any way whatever. Only hearing that
even a Fairchild sometimes underpots things gives me the courage to
confess. (I will ignore the fact that I was not trying to repair hurricane
damage - an excuse I am quite happy not to have.)

In my case, knowing the eventual size of A. titanum, and my very limited
indoor growing space, I intentionally kept most of the titanums
underpotted, trying to grow them smaller and "harder" to give me more time
to enjoy them (and find suitable homes for most of them, eventually).

I noticed some time back that they did not seem to resent this treatment,
as I'd feared they would. Only this year, though, did I convince myself
that there really were more petioles in some of those pots than there
should be.

A number of us have reported on large A. konjac tubers which mysteriously
decided to become several smaller tubers, without any cultural trigger we
could identify. I've had a similar experience with A. albispathus, too.
After becoming rather crowded this past year (and, as a habitual
underpotter, I did nothing about it), it went into a veritable orgy of
offset production. On repotting those, it appears I will have several

It will be interesting to observe just how widespread this behavior is in
the genus, and how reliably it occurs. Maybe instead of calling myself a
habitual underpotter I could claim I am a researcher on the forefront of
Amorphophallus propagation.


From: plantnut at shadow.net (Dewey Fisk) on 1998.06.15 at 07:50:16(2314)
>Dewey, in light of your *very* interesting story, I guess I can find the
>strength to admit it:
>My name is Steve, and I ...... am a habitual Amorphophallus underpotter.

My name is Dewey and I, too, am a habitual Amorphophallus underpotter....

I do it for economic reasons. It costs a lot of money to pot some of these
things in 30 gallon pots. I cringed this spring when I had to put a 35
pound tuber of A. paeoniifolius in a 30 gal... but, if I did not, it would
fall over...

I have experienced the multiplication of tubers in tight pots but I did
not really think anything about it at the time.

I have a plant of A. titanum in a 7 gal. pot that is just over 4 ft. high
and it has been 'up' since spring of '97. I really wonder how large the
tuber is and if it is pot bound. There is no evidence of swelling on the
sides of the pot...

The more we observe, the more we will learn...

Be sure and check out the Web Page for FTG and see this marvelous plant.

From: Wilbert Hetterscheid <hetter at vkc.nl> on 1998.06.19 at 11:49:06(2338)
O.k. I've had it with you guys!!! Torturing Amorphophallus in small pots
is just NOT DONE, o.k.!!!!!!

Now to the phenomenon itself: phalloid tubers/corms usually have small
additional buds all over, usually dormant. When the tuber doesn't feel
happy (reasons may be being cramped, having lost the apical bud, being
severely damaged, either mechanically or by nematodes) these accessorial
buds will start developing new shoots. Multiple leaves may arise and
every leave is entitled to its own tuber, and that is exactly what

It may all seem o.k. but the plants are suffering.............sob, sob.


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