----- Original Message -----|
Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2003 4:40 PM
Subject: Re: Dry heat death for aroids?
> Hello Leslie,
> I fear not the fires of Hell. I live in Phoenix.
> The lack of humidity is the problem. Benches with wet pebbles are
> useless; don't even bother.
> Dry heat is much more tolerable than wet heat for humans. In Arizona we
> sweat, and the water evaporates to cool us so rapidly we don't feel wet.
> In moist heat the sweat stays on the skin and gived the wonderful sticky
> sensation. Plus, since the water doesn't evaporate and doesn't cool us,
> the body sweats more, resulting in even more of the delightful sticky
> wet hot feeling.
> Skin is an incredible barrier to water loss; heat does not suck water
> from us unless we run around with our mouth open.
> Noses conserve moisture in the desert; the longer the nose, the better
> it works. As air is inhaled, water from the nasal mucosa evaporates to
> cool and humidify the incoming air. This also cools the nose. During
> exhalation, warm and water-saturated air from the lungs passes through
> the cool nose, precipitating out the water on the lining of the nose,
> from which it drains to the throat and is swallowed, together with
> whatever else is inhaled that is not in gas phase. And you thought pack
> rats had long noses just so they would look cute to humans.
> The water in Arizona is high in dissolved solids. Misting systems result
> in a beautiful, lacy deposition of minerals on your plants after a few
> days. Not many plants enjoy this.
> Full shade is important. A few of the large plants like Sauromatum
> guttatum or whatever name it is now that I won't remember, and some
> Amorphophallus, will tolerate a few hours of outside sun or a half
> days's sun through a window.
> Caladiums tolerate a half day of full sun outside if well-watered.
> Imagine that.
> I could never grow taro in my pond. The turn crisp. Taro grows here in
> the shade quite well if watered.
> I never had an anthurium live long enough for me to get the price tag
> off the pot.
> Spider mites are the greatest hazard. In just a few days they can damage
> an aroid leaf to the point where the plant will die.
> Mark Dimmitt of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, a much
> better aroid horticulturist than I, has tried various Amorphophallus
> outside in the ground without success. Tucson has more summer rain and
> humidity than does Phoenix, despite being only 110 miles / 200km
> It is also 1000 feet / 280m higher in altitude than Phoenix.
> I've had my best success with Amorphophallus bulbifer, konjac,
> paeoniifolius, and caladiums. I haven't tried a lot of the delicate-leaf
> things because that's not what interests me. I can keep alive the most
> difficult cactus but I kill pothos within a week. If you don't have a
> humid greenhouse, I would suggest
> 1) in the house
> 2) spray with water a lot
> 3) expect spider mites - they will come sooner rather than later
> 4) learn how to love cactus
> Leo A. Martin
> Phoenix, Arizona, USA
> Like cactus and succulents?
> Central Arizona Cactus and Succulent Society