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  Growing Remusatia vivipera
From: "D. Christopher Rogers" <crogers at ecoanalysts.com> on 2007.06.29 at 19:48:18(15904)
Greetings, all!

I have been away for quite a while, busy with fieldwork, but I am back
now and wanted to share my experiences with Remusatia vivipera.

Last year I posted to the Aroid List a question about the best way to
grow Remusatia vivipera. I had read that it was commonly observed in the wild
growing epiphytically. All who responded to my missive told me that they were
growing the plant as a terrestrial.

So, I swapped some Helicodiceros muscivorus tubers for some Remusatia
vivipera juveniles. The plants came from the great and generous Harry Witmore
of www.cloudjungle.com. The plants he
sent were the progeny of plants originally procured from Plant Delights (www.plantdelights.com).

I planted two as epiphytes in my greenhouse, two in pots of soil in the
greenhouse, and one in the garden outside in the ground. The greenhouse is kept
between 10 and 32 degrees C, with the humidity between 40 and 70 percent. Out
side it is typical northern California central valley: dry and hot.

The epiphytes were planted in a mix of small orchid bark, pumice, leaf
litter, long fibered sphagnum and green moss, in baskets hanging about six feet
from the floor. They are watered once a week. The potted plants are on a shelf
at the same height so as to give them the same temperature and light, and are
in a potting soil of peat, pumice, sand, and a little compost, with some
osmocote for good measure. They are also watered once a week. The outside plant
is in an alkaline clay-loam soil, with lots of mixed in compost, in partial
shade, amongst the Alocasia odoras, with a heavy carpeting of babies tears, and
is watered by a sprinkler every night. They have been growing in these conditions
for the last three months.

The results:

The plant in the garden is struggling, but I think it just might make
it. It has put up one new leaf. It is, after all in a very dry climate with
alkaline soils, high in dissolved salts.

The plants in the pots have put on about 10% growth (i.e.; they are 10%
taller than when first planted). They still only keep two to three leaves at
any given time. The individual leaf blade area has increased by 8%.

The epiphytes have put on 114% growth, and have 4 to six leaves at any
given time. The individual leaf blade area has increased by 67%.

It appears to me that R. vivipera really likes to grow epiphytically. I
have yet to have any stolons with spiny bulbils appear, let alone flowers, but
I think that they will be along soon. I hope that this little experiment is

Happy days,


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