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Thursday, 14 Dec 2017

Cultivation Tips

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The aroids display such a diversity of ecological types that it is difficult to give detailed information regarding cultivation that will be applicable for all species one is likely to grow. It should also be noted that we grow in the equatorial tropics and that plants here are more-or-less active throughout the year. In temperate climates many aroids will stop growing in the winter even if kept under artificially heated glass, since light levels and day lengths are simply too short to support good growth. For customers growing plans in areas subject to cold, dark winters, it is best to keep the plants just damp and 'ticking over' until the better weather of spring rather than forcing them to grow when they really should be resting. Cultivating plants under artificial lights is one solution to the winter dark, but is not an area in which we have expertise, although more information may be found at the horticulture links site of the The International Aroid Society.

 

For the purposes of the aroids on which we concentrate, which are mainly forest species without a distinct resting phase, even the Amorphophallus. there are two cultural requirements that need to be considered: an ample supply of water and regular feeding.

 

The moisture needs of the plants means that they should always be grown in moisture retentive but well drained compost that enables copious watering without the problem of waterlogging and subsequent compost deterioration. After much experimentation we have found the following mixes work well for almost all species when grown in containers:

All seedlings, young plants and mature plants of the smaller growing species are grown in:

1 part ground (milled) sphagnum moss
1 part perlite
1 part charcoal (1-2.5cm pieces + dust)

Mature plants of the larger species (e.g.,
Alocasia robusta, A. sarawakensis, etc.) are, when they are c. 20cm leaf diam., moved into:

1 part perlite
1 part charcoal (1-2.5cm pieces + dust)
1 part sterilized mineral soil

Climbing species such as members of Rhaphidophora, are established as young plants in a mix of:

1 part ground (milled) sphagnum moss
1 part perlite

and then planted out at the base of trees and allowed to begin vining. If they are to be kept permanently in pots then they need to be provided with a suitable climbing pole. We find that rough saw wooden pots, which must be raw wood and not treated with preservative, are the best support as they provide an excellent surface for the climbing roots. Plants that reach the top of the support can be gently trained to grow down the support and then up again, although you may find that plants trained in this manner, rather than allowed to continue an uninterrupted ascent, may be reluctant to produce mature leaves.

 

All our aroids are fertilized once a week within a 10:10:10 + micronutrients at the lowest recommended concentration. On feeding day plants are watered with plain water in the morning and given the diluted feed wen still wet in the afternoon.

 

We are very happy to answer specific questions regarding cultivation needs for the aroids by email.