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  konjac and sunlight
From: Lester Kallus <lkallus at earthlink.net> on 1998.07.12 at 19:08:33(2457)
A discussion a short while ago pointed out some controversy about konjac.

If I understood correctly, someone said that konjacs in Japan are grown in
direct sunlight. Is anyone here growing one under direct sunlight?

I ask because my konjac (the black stem variety) was doing perfectly fine
this spring but the leaf then degenerated. I thought that the tuber was
gone but it appears to be sending up a new shoot. I'd like to get as much
growth in the tuber as possible this season and if it would tolerate
sunlight, I assume it would be able to grow even larger. Unfortunately,
there are only 8 growing weeks left here on Long Island and there just
won't be much space to prolong the season indoors.

So, any advice on light tolerance?
Les

From: "Jared R. Shortman" <jared at libcong.com> on 1998.07.12 at 20:50:52(2458)
Where do you live?

Full sun in the SW is a whole different ballgame than in the NE.

There are many growing conditions that correspond with how much sun you can
give a plant too. Remember that when you are posing such questions to a
listserver like this, you are talking to people all over the world, in many
different climates, all with different growing regimes.

Jared R. Shortman

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From: Plantbob at aol.com on 1998.07.12 at 20:55:35(2459)
Les,

I have many A. konjacs in my collection. Some receive a half day of direct
sun (6 hours) and some receive about 2 hours. I also have some in filtered
sun (no direct sun). I have not noticed a difference in all three situations
although
I do not have any that receive full sun all day. I think they may adapt to
the
lighting as they grow thru the summer months.

Bob Kleiser

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From: Lester Kallus <lkallus at earthlink.net> on 1998.07.13 at 06:59:14(2460)
I live in zone 7 and was asking to see if anyone anywhere grows it in
sunlight. If they told me where they lived, I'd then be able to decide for
myself.
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From: Lester Kallus <lkallus at earthlink.net> on 1998.07.13 at 07:05:38(2461)
Thanks - that's perfect. I guess I'll put mine in a spot where they get
sunlight till a bit before noon and dappled light after that. As I said,
my concern for this year will not be the size of the plant but rather the
creation of the largest tuber possible for next year. I live on Long
Island and this season has just not been very hospitable for these plants.
Nights were still dropping into the 40s until the 2nd week of June.
Everything is way behind (but finally catching up.)

A local friend has been growing his in bright filtered light. Although
that plant is getting prettly large, the petiole has been a bit floppier
than expected. That's what led me to believe that it needed more more
light than either of ours was getting.

Les

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From: GeoffAroid at aol.com on 1998.07.13 at 07:12:53(2462)
Les,

The sun in Long Island is not all that different from that here in London in a
good summer (I lived in New Jersey for 6 years so I have a comparison to work
on) and I grow mine here in London in full sun all summer and it has made
bigger tubers, stronger, shorter growth and flowers more regularly as a
result. Hope that helps!

Regards,
Geoffrey Kibby

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From: "Greg Ruckert" <greg at ezi-learn.com.au> on 1998.07.13 at 07:21:32(2463)
Lester,

The paddocks of konjac we saw growing near Dali were growing very happily in
full sun.

Greg Ruckert

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From: "Dr. Uli Siegel" <siegel at mail.sdt.net> on 1998.07.13 at 08:43:52(2464)
Hello Les!

> A discussion a short while ago pointed out some controversy about
> konjac.
>
> If I understood correctly, someone said that konjacs in Japan are
> grown in direct sunlight. Is anyone here growing one under direct
> sunlight?

Yes, I do. But where I live (Southeastern Germany), tropical plants
usually get hardly enough sun - just in this summer, who looks a bit
like an early November......

I keep my A. konjac on my east-facing balcony, where it gets full sun
from sunrise to about 11/12 am. It seems to like it. But it needs
plenty of water, especially when it's warm (what is not usually the
case in our summers...) and - fertilizer! I have a friend, who grows
it directly on his compost heap in his garden! Usually, the plants
start thriving during April and grow until September. I have one old
plant, about 1 meter high and 70 cm leaf diameter. I expect it's first
bloom perhaps next year. Besides, I have many daughter bulbs of
different sizes, and it seems to me, that the smaller the tuber, the
later it thrives and the shorter it's growing season! Some of the
smallest tubers are starting just right now. But they all do really
well, I wish, all my plants would make so few problems! It also does
not need very much warmth.

But I doubt, if full sun (and heat!) during the whole day would not be
a bit too much for it - since some smaller tubers grow in the big
plant's pot and are very strongly shaded by it's leaf, but it doesn't
seem to bother them.

During winter, I keep the tubers in their pots completely dry in my
apartment at room temperature.

I have two small A. bulbifer, too, they do equally well. And one small
Madagascan A-phallus, I got it from a Botanical Garden as A.
hildebrandtii, who finally broke it's nearly 20 month dormancy (!) two
months ago - but this one needs a lot of warmth, it stands indoors on
a heating pad together with Madagascan succulents. It has a very nice
blueish colored leaf.

So, I think, you don't need to worry much about your A. konjac. Just
let it grow and feed it well!

Good growing

Uli

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From: Riley2362 at aol.com on 1998.07.13 at 08:50:19(2465)
My plants of Amorphophallus konjac grow on a fire escape in the middle of New
York City - yes, they fill it rather abundantly. The fire escape faces East
and they receive 4-6 hours of direct sun per day. The love it providing I
keep them watered, about every other day. The unique thing about their
exposure is the direct and reflected heat in that location is often up to
around 105 degrees and they seem to love that also. In fact, they usually
don't come out of dormancy until June-July when it really starts to heat up in
New York. I have grown them on my rooftop which receives full sun all day,
but they did less well there - probably because they got watered less
frequently. I get excellent tuber development with the 4-6 hours of sun and
they multiply like rabbits.
Cheers - Michael Riley

From: "Dr. C. R. Waldron" <cwaldron at frognet.net> on 1998.07.13 at 08:57:51(2466)
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From: Tony Avent <tony at plantdel.com> on 1998.07.13 at 13:26:59(2467)
Konjac Growers:

Growing Amorphophallus konjac in full sun is just like growing hostas in
full sun. The leaves will scorch a bit, but the tubers will be quite a bit
larger than a comparable plant grown in the shade. Hosta growers that want
the largest size plant grow them in full sun fields where the foliage burns
to a crisp, and then sell them dormant when there is no foliage.

As Greg mentioned, we saw large fields of A. konjac in Dali, China, where
they are trying to grow large tuber...not ornamental foliage.

Tony Avent

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