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  [Aroid-l] Helicodicerous question
From: Deni at yaxhampark.co.uk (Deni Bown) on 2007.09.26 at 17:48:37(16340)
Hi Leo,

My experience of growing Helicodiceros is almost the opposite of yours.
For a start, I live in E England so growing conditions are very
different. I keep my plants under glass, min. 45F in winter, and we have
cool summers, though the greenhouse easily reaches 80-90F on sunny days.

I use a very gritty potting mix based on John Innes No. 3 (i.e. a
loam-based medium) and the smallest pot - a 2-inch tuber might be lucky
and get a 6-inch pot. I repot them every year in September and they
come into growth Oct-Nov, dying down by May-June, after which I keep the
tubers in the pots and bone dry. After repotting I don't water until
I'm sure they are sprouting and rooting as I reckon there is enough
moisture in the new compost to get them going. Even when they are up &
running, I go easy on water as I reckon that most tuberous aroids in
pots tend to rot very easily unless temperatures are consistently high
and they are in active growth. (From what you say though, this may not
be the case for Helicodiceros as it sounds like you water plenty even
when there's no sign of growth.) I don't fertilise much either, just the
occasional general liquid feed dispensed unscientifically to one & all
when I remember.

My problem is that they grow very well - like weeds - but spend most of
their energy offsetting instead of getting big and blooming. Every year
I chuck away dozens of pea-sized offsets. The largest leaves I get are
maybe 7-8" tall with 5" blades. They always look a bit weedy, not with
the kind of muscle to produce an inflorescence.

I have pots and pots of Helicodiceros now but we're talking quantity not
quality. All I want is one whopper that blooms so I can
surprise/delight/amuse all who pass by.

Perhaps there's someone out there who can advise us both!

Deni Bown

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