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  Re: Aroids growing better in water?
From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2002.05.25 at 15:05:05(8877)
To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2002 3:24 PM
Subject: Re: Aroids growing better in


I can only suggest a method that I use for growing 'wet loving'
genera such as Urospatha, Dracontioides, Cyrtosperma and Anaphyllopsis, AND
Spathiphyllum canifolium, all notoriously reputed to be difficult or
impossibly to grow over extended periods of time. They all
grow in nature under VERY wet conditions, some almost submerged for long
periods of time, some with the rhizome, roots and petioles constantly
submerged, but if you do NOT grow them in the manner I will once more
detail, they WILL rot and die. I believe that in nature
there is an imperceptable movement of water through the flooded soil, plus
many 'natural' fungus supression agents must be present under natural/wild
conditions. I have been frustrated MANY times when I have
explained the method I use to grow these wonderful plants, gave specimens to
folks, then a few months later I receive a call telling me that the plants
have died. Invariably when I question on HOW they potted them,
they admit to doing something different or 'trying something new', I then
sometimes 'loose it' and ask them why they did not grow them the way I
detailed for at least as long as it would take for them to mature and
produce seed, THEN do whatever experiments they wanted to with whatever
'new' potting method THEY might think up! An irreplacable,
wild-collected plant was lost by their 'monkeying around'!
Enough 'preaching'---
Place about 3 to 4" of 1 to 2" larva rock in the bottom of a suitably
sized plastic pot. Place some small gravel on top of the rock
(about 1/2 ", this prevents the soil mix filtering down through the larger
larva rock). Make a mix consisting mainly of coarse washed 'play
sand' ( Home Depot or K-Mark) and peat moss, a handfull or so of a
commercial 'soil-less soil mix is added' Plant the specimen in
the pot with roots spread as far downwards as their length
allows. Place the pot in a LARGE saucer of water
which allows about 2" of standing water at all
times!!! The whole idea of this method is to prevent
ANY of the soil mix in the pot from being CONSTANTLY under water at any
time, if the 'soil' in the pot is allowed to sit underwater, the plant
will rot and die, and your 'soil' mix will smell like a corpse when you
un-pot the dead plant. Grow in bright light but NOT full sun, say
under the canopy of a tree w/ N. exposure. Water from
above DAILY till the roots are observed growing out of the drain holes of
the pot into the water in the saucer. I also treat the
plants with a soluable fungicide about every few months as a precaution,
rinsing the saucers out the next day, same after I
fertilize. A good rain is very benificial in 'flushing'
built-up fert. salts out of the pots and saucers. Use a very
weak fert. mix say every two weeks, and change the water in the saucer
as often as you can, say every week or two at the very
least. Protect from ANY cold, wind is also BAD news!
Ron, I think that Spaths would LOVE this method!

Good growing!!


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