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  Re: [Aroid-l] Re: Culture information
From: "C. J. Addington" cjaddington at earthlink.net> on 2005.09.23 at 00:20:49(13377)
Hi Kyle and Everyone!
The genus Arum is my personal favorite genus, and my rather
time-consuming hobby, so I thought I would throw in my two cents on growing
them (which may be about all it's worth!).
Of the 26 or so "good" species, I am currently growing 23 of them. (I
can't quite get hold of A. hainesii, A. idaeum or A. jacquemontii, so if
anyone has them, or knows where to get them, I'd love to talk to you!)
Overall, Arums are classic Mediterranean summer-dormant plants. They
start pushing out roots in late summer/early fall (in other words, right
now), grow lushly all winter, bloom in the spring, and go totally dormant in
the heat of summer. They like good drainage, and gritty, alkaline soil. If
your soil or water are acidic ( pH less than 7.0 ) they will really benefit
from a liberal application of ground limestone or dolomite. Most hate soggy
conditions (the exception being A. hygrophilum ), and most prefer some
fairly strong sunlight in the winter for best blooming. A. italicum and A.
maculatum will take deeper shade, but A. dioscoridis, sintenisii and
orientale really want to be out in the sun.
All species will really respond well to heavy feeding, especially with
something rich in phosphorus, like bone meal.
During the summer, most need to go pretty much totally dry to avoid
rotting, and the dormant tubers can in fact be stored naked and un-potted
like potatoes.
In Maine, I would predict that many of these will have to be strictly
indoor plants. They are winter-growers, but in a mild Mediterranean climate
where it rarely drops below freezing. I am fortunate that I am growing my
little guys here in the Sacramento Valley of California ( zone 9 ), since it
hardly ever freezes here, and our summers are long, bone dry and brutally
hot, which they love.
Overall, the closer you can mimic a long dry summer and a mild wet
winter, the bigger and better ( and stinkier! ) your Arums will be. Hope
that helps, and if others are growing these beauties, I'd love to hear what
you are doing with them, and how they are doing!

C.J. Addington

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