From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo at msn.com> on 2007.02.14 at 20:12:47(15297)|
Reply-To : Discussion of aroids
Sent : Wednesday, February 14, 2007 5:34 AM
To : Discussion of aroids
Subject : Re: [Aroid-l] warm pots/water for aquatic aroids
Thanks for the note! I really should have 'qualified' my note by saying
that what Enid did was AFTER she had followed my advice given in my article
in Aroideana, "Experiencing Urospathas', where I outlined my experiences
with my irreplacable aquatics being lost to exactly what you describe, the
potting 'soil'/mix rotting when submerged underwater.
In my article I outline my battle to overcome this, finally discovering that
by using 4"-5" of rocks/crock at the bottom of the pot, and then using a mix
with LITTLE 'soil' and mainly coarse sand into which I pot the plant ABOVE
this layer of rock/crock, and then placing these pots in LARGE saucers of
water kept no deeper than say 3", so that the 'soil'/mix is kept above and
so NEVER submerged underwater. You must hand-water until you see roots
emerge from the drain holes into the water, and fertilize with a weak liquid
fertilizer more frequently, and change the water on a regular basis to
prevent salt bulid-up. Dr. Birdsey used to submerge his pots (he used pure
coarse sand as a medium) completely underwater, and depended on his fishes
waste products for fertilizer.
If you can, look up and read the article.
Enid took this one step further by just using my method, but used a larger
'saucer'/container with circulating heated water, it is a fantastic method.
All richer 'soil' mixes (not really soil at all!) will rot if submerged.
Here on the other side of the US I stumbled upon the same solution
as Enid, perhaps 5 or 6 years ago. In my case I'm using a Home Depot
inexpensive pre-formed plastic fish pond set well into the ground, a
submersible heater/ submersible pump inside. The pond itself is located
inside my greenhouse- conservatory style- set amongst an in-ground
planting bed (it's too cold in the San Francisco area to sustain a heated
pond outside year-round...).
The one thing I'd like to add here: I discovered that using any solid-
surfaced props (bricks, e.g. or even inverted clay pots) to elevate
my submerged aquatic pots resulted in anaerobic conditions and
serious root die-back at the solid surface/ pot interface. In other
words, the greatly restricted water circulation at the bottom of the
potted aquatic plants resulted in noticeable "dead" zones within the
media profile. I'm growing my aquatics in plastic net pots by the way,
so roots would grow out the sides only- not down through the bottom.
I've since been buying 4" ABS black plastic pipe couplings (slip x slip
type) which are very sturdy and of the correct height for me, then using
a stepped drill bit to bore numerous large diameter holes in the sides
of said couplings; 8 or so holes each. Water (read: oxygen) now
circulates freely beneath the pots. I suppose any strong, very open,
inert support would do the same- I merely found the couplings handy
and easy to modify.
The results have been significant and the plant's increased vigor quite
substantial. They're growing easily twice as many roots as before, so
no surprise (this includes Lasia, Cyrtosperma and Typhonodorum).
On Feb 13, 2007, at 2:36 AM, Julius Boos wrote:
My friends Enid and Sam, of Natural Selection Exotics
have developed what I consider the most simple and yet effective method to
keep her potted aquatics not only growing during our cold/ cool season, but
also flowering reproducing freely!
Her system consists of a large, square plastic 'concrete mixing trough',
abour 4' X 4', or maybe it was 5 'X 5' by 12" deep (any other suitably
sized container would do). These are available at any large hardware
store. To this she adds an underwater aquarium water heater, and one of
those small underwater devices that pumps/ circulates water in many marine
fish tanks you see at a fish store. She puts water in the container so
that it stands about 4"-5" deep, sets the larger 3gal. and 1 gal. potted
plants in it (Urospatha and Cyrtosperma sps, etc.), the smaller 4" and 6"
pots are put on a suitable base (a brick, etc.), to bring them to the
correct height, and then she plugs in the two devices, aiming the flow of
now suitably warmed water across the heater and around the pots in the
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