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  [Aroid-l] Cyrtosperma
From: mjkolaffhbc at earthlink.net (mike) on 1970.01.01 at 00:00:00(17150)
Greetings to all,
It was great to read both Brian Williams and Windy Aubrey's
descriptions on growing Cyrtosperma.
Here in the Chicago area, from time to time, the upscale
garden centers, and some of the specialty Tropical greenhouses,
offer this plant for sale, along with other Aroids.
There was a specimen at the Garfield Park Conservatory some years ago,in the Aroid
House of course, that was at least 10 feet tall, and perhaps 5 feet in diameter.
The plant was happily growing in the pond of that greenhouse.
That was my first introduction to this member of the Aroid family.
I do not have any Cyrtosperma at present, but my experience with the
growing technique is along the same lines. When I have grown this plant,
I have used a conventional nursery can, which in turn was placed into
a water lily tub, only partially filled with water. A different version was
to place the container directly into a pond. Another method of planting I
have used,is to put the plant directly into a water lily tub, which is
fitted with a side bottom drain. This makes emptying the tub easier.
I have experimented with various Aquatic plant media, either
for pond or aquarium plants. There are a few on the market. Here are some
of the trade names. Pond Care Aquatic Plant Media, Eco-Complete, Flourite,
and Volcanit, are just some of them. Most are composed of a neutral clay
mineral product, which will maintain a neutral to slightly acid pH.
I combine this with a small amount of modified soilless media.
This is composed of brick cut sphagnum peat moss,well aged compost,and rice hulls.
Each of these components in varying amounts. I adapted this method from growing Gunnera,
which likes moisture, but doesn't always like to have wet feet.
In theory, this mix provides organic matter, but should not contribute to rotting.
The upper strata of the container is composed of the soilless media
and the aquatic plant mix. The lower portion of the container will have
more or all aquatic media,as well as larger stones or slate chips.
I screen off the drain holes, to prevent media washing out of the container.
As has been already mentioned, water temperature is very important.
Here in a zone 5a climate, these plants must live indoors until spring
is well upon us. The more likely case is that the plant will not move outside
until May or June.
While kept indoors, I have used a submerged heater to maintain a warm
water temperature. Once outdoors,a heater is used until Summer weather warms thing up.
I found out quite early on with growing these plants, that they do not like
cold weather. However, they are a remarkable addition to any Aroid growers collection.
Here in the Midwest, we have to work a bit harder to keep our tropical plants happy.

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