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  Aroid growing season
From: dmartin at cdmas.crc.fmlh.edu (Don Martinson) on 1997.09.24 at 22:18:10(1340)
I wanted to address this subject some time ago, when there were a few posts
regarding the dormancy of various amorphophalli, but I went on vacation
(oh, darn!), and well, you know how it goes. Anyway, I'm back, and I'll
get this off my mind.

For years I grew A. konjac here in Milwaukee without any apparent problems.
Plant late May-early June. Leaf emerges in 3-4 weeks (exception: if it
has bloomed the previous March or April, the tuber may remain dormant for
the next year!). Come September, the leaf will either begin to yellow and
die or will be cut down by our first frost, usually by mid-October.
I used to plant the tubers in the ground, digging them in the fall, but the
past 2 years, I've planted them in 5 gallon plastic pots, and they seem to
do quite well. When large enough, I get blooms in March/April whether the
tuber is planted or not.

Upon joining Aroid-l, I discovered to my delight, that there were even more
amazing plants of this general type and through the generosity of many of
you, I have acquired several other genera and species. Among them,
Amorphophallus titanum, yuannensis, peoniifolius, bulbifer prahnii (forgive
any mispellings). This year, in particular, only the konjac has grown more
or less "on schedule", and the others are only now (late September!)
breaking their dormancy. This causes some problems for me in that instead
of being able to keep them dormant during the winter, I will have to either
keep them under lights or use up valuable window space, each of these
options being less desirable than growing outside in the light and warmth
of summertime.

Several list members suggested various factors that probably influence
dormancy in these plants to a greater or lesser extent: light,
temperature, nutrients, overall health of the tuber, etc. It seems to me
that this would be fertile (pardon the pun) grounds for research projects
for those in an academic setting. Working in acedemia myself (altho in the
medical field), there are always fellows, graduate students, post-docs,
etc. nosing around for research projects. It appears that this is a
subject of which not much is known, although I do not have access to a
database in botanical research.

Questions? Comments? Snide remarks?

Don Martinson

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