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  Aroids in the garden
From: "E. George Oeser" <george at oeser.net> on 1998.06.22 at 20:54:19(2352)
I ordered several plants today for a new area of my garden. Many of the
plants will be aroids including Amorphophallus konjac, several Arisaemas,
Pinellias, and a Alocasia macrorhizos. The area is fairly shady, tends to
stay pretty moist, and is between to buildings. I live in zone 6b, but with
the microclimate created by the 2 houses, and the fact that we are on a
paeninsula in the middle of a fairly large lake I doubt that these plants
will see temps near the -5 degrees Farenhite listed as the minimum for this
area.
My main concern is the fact that I will be putting these plants in the
ground so late in the year, I am not too worried about the Amorphophallus,
Arisaemas, or Pinellias, but I do worry a bit about the Alocasia. Should I
keep it potted and winter it over inside before planting or would I have
better luck putting it into the groud? The plant is supposed to be a good
size already, and I think I could have it pretty well established before
the first frost, but I am really stretching the limits of the hardiness of
this plant as it is, what does everyone else think I should do?

E. George Oeser

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From: Krzysztof Kozminski <kk at netgate.net> on 1998.06.23 at 05:55:27(2353)
E. George Oeser wrote:

> I ordered several plants today for a new area of my garden. Many of the
> plants will be aroids including Amorphophallus konjac, several Arisaemas,
> Pinellias, and a Alocasia macrorhizos. The area is fairly shady, tends to
> stay pretty moist, and is between to buildings. I live in zone 6b, but with
> the microclimate created by the 2 houses, and the fact that we are on a
> paeninsula in the middle of a fairly large lake I doubt that these plants
> will see temps near the -5 degrees Farenhite listed as the minimum for this
> area.

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From: plantnut at shadow.net (Dewey Fisk) on 1998.06.23 at 06:02:52(2354)
Geore,
If you want the Alocasia to survive and do well... Keep the temperature
around it above 40F. Remember, you are dealing with a tropical species and
the reason that it is not native to your area is that it is too cold for it
to grow... There is no place that is listed as tropical that gets -05F.
Dewey

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From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 1998.06.23 at 06:07:15(2355)
>>I ordered several plants today for a new area of my garden. Many of the
plants will be aroids including Amorphophallus konjac, several Arisaemas,
Pinellias, and a Alocasia macrorhizos. The area is fairly shady, tends to
stay pretty moist, and is between to buildings. I live in zone 6b, but with
the microclimate created by the 2 houses, and the fact that we are on a
paeninsula in the middle of a fairly large lake I doubt that these plants
will see temps near the -5 degrees Farenhite listed as the minimum for this
area.
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From: Bob Riffle <71270.3070 at compuserve.com> on 1998.06.23 at 07:17:48(2356)
Alocasia macrorrhiza will not survive your winter temps. It's
iffy in zone 9, as far as coming back from a freeze, and is really
a zone 10-11 subject, although I've seen some recover from the low
20s; but that was in a climate that has very few freezes compared
to zone 6. You could try cutting off the leaves after the first
light frost and then mulch the root/trunk very heavily with leaves
and a covering of some sort (canvas/tarp), but I've got a feeling
it will die if kept in that condition for consecutive months. Let
us know if you try it as a permanent outdoor subject.

From: "James W. Waddick" <jim-jim at swbell.net> on 1998.06.23 at 07:57:55(2357)
>I ordered several plants today for a new area of my garden. Many of the
>plants will be aroids including Amorphophallus konjac, several Arisaemas,
>Pinellias, and a Alocasia macrorhizos.
>E. George Oeser

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From: Al Wootten <awootten at NRAO.EDU> on 1998.06.23 at 08:23:20(2358)
Krzysztof Kozminski writes:
> I am not too worried about the Amorphophallus,
> > Arisaemas, or Pinellias, but I do worry a bit about the Alocasia. Should I
> > keep it potted and winter it over inside before planting or would I have
> > better luck putting it into the groud? The plant is supposed to be a good
> > size already, and I think I could have it pretty well established before
> > the first frost, but I am really stretching the limits of the hardiness of
> > this plant as it is, what does everyone else think I should do?
>
> I'overwinter it indoors, definitely. By next spring it should be 3-4 ft tall,
> and then if you get enough humidity outdoors, you can expect it getting to
> maybe 8 ft tall, with 4-5ft leaves.
>
> Check out http://u1.netgate.net/~kk/Araceae/Alocasia/JPEG/macrorrhizos.2.JPEG
> or for a possible outcome - I think well worth an inconvenience of having it
> indoors. In zone 6, it is not likely that you'll get enough growing season to
> get it to the full size without a big head start indoors...
My experience with Colocasia in zone 7b has been that the plant dies back
and during warm winter (an oleander survival winter, such as the last two)
makes a strong comeback--a single tuber has colonized
a 3'x3' area now. In cold (10-20 F) winters, it survives, but most often the
largest tuber has turned to mush, though lots of small side plants spring up
from it. I've only had A. macrorrhizos one winter, and I decided to bring it
into the cellar after the first frost had nipped it back. The light there is
weak--geraniums survive but don't flower--and it didn't do a thing overwinter.
It went back out in April. It is now about the size it was when the frost
got it last year--noticeable but nothing like Krzysztof's! How big is the pot
yours is in Krzystof? Other Alocasias do as Julius suggested--they go out
in pot then after a scrubbing the pot comes back in with the orchids in the
fall. I'll probably pot up the macrorrhizos this fall and leave it in pot.

Clear skies,
Al

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From: stacy holtzman <sholtzma at sunflower.bio.indiana.edu> on 1998.06.23 at 08:40:51(2359)
George,
I would play it safe and overwinter it indoors for the first year. Then in
the second year you can perform your hardiness test , perhaps overwintering
some of the babies just in case the big one doesn't make it.
Stacu

---Stacy Holtzman

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From: Tony Avent <tony at plantdel.com> on 1998.06.24 at 05:31:32(2360)
Dear Bob:

Sorry to differ with your hardiness of Alocasia macrorrhiza, but it is
hardy in zone 7b...occasional temp drops to 0F. While it is better in
warmer climes, we have been growing it outdoors for 15 years. It is
certainly not hardy outdoors even in the colder parts of zone 7.

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From: Bob Riffle <71270.3070 at compuserve.com> on 1998.06.24 at 16:08:24(2363)
Tony, I'm confused. You first write:

it is hardy in zone 7b...occasional temp drops to 0F

and then you close by writing:

It is certainly not hardy outdoors even in the colder parts of zone 7

If it is "hardy" in either part of zone 7, what does it look like
after a typical zone 7 winter? You are saying that the trunk will
survive in zone 7 without protection?!? I wonder if we're talking
about the same plant

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