Northern winters

Bonaventure W Magrys magrysbo at SHU.EDU
Wed Nov 24 19:49:25 CET 1999

In reply to Rob McClure and to all:
Wow I wish I had zone 9. That would be semitropical for me and I could grow so
much more. I too am eagerly awaiting pictures of the Arisaema gigantea to be
posted somewhere.
You've corroborated a coupla things bout some species for me. Ringens I hear is
an early riser so I took mine, which I got from Barry
Yinger's Asiatica in bloom in the beginning of March, out of its spot in the
garden in July (mid-summer here) and washed it off and brought it inside. It had
been acclimated to FULL SUN to about 2pm but even so did not mature the huge
seed head it was forming by sikokianum pollen. The tuber had a few offsets but
was the size and shape of a tangerine. Instead of wrapping it in a sheet of
newspaper Hershey-kisses style (protects the growing point) I just wrote on the
tuber with magic marker and placed it in the back of a bottom kitchen cabinet
with my Sauromatums [no, I don't allow those to go into bloom there (something's
rotten in the kitchen!)]. Now it is sending up a growing point!
Last year I got some candidissimums sent to me by Ellen Hornig in March to bloom
early (rather than waiting until July when all other Arisaemas are out of bloom)
by placing them on the floor grating of my indoor orchid lights setup. The bare
bulbs only got light incidental mist daily with strong metal halide light on
them for 16 hours a day. They were soon "pointing". After a while they were
planted out and most bloomed in gardens early while the "untreated" tubers took
their time, not deigning to make an appearance above ground before the end of
June. I dug up a few of the larger ones at the end of this summer and they are
also in the kitchen cabinet now.
Tortuosum has always been tricky for me. The first year I rotted both the indoor
and outdoor ones. Last year I tried dormance the cabinet method and they dried
up. Now they look happy left in pot dried out. Though there has not been water
in months when examined there is moisture in the medium directly below the
tubers! Do they "sweat"? The tubers are still turgid and look happy and I don't
dare put them in the vegetable crisper of my refridgerator with my others. (By
the way, no fruits ever, or tomatoes, cucumbers, brocolli or any other
flowereing vegetables ever enter my refridgerator. These will produce ethylene
gas that may damage the dormant inflorescence bud.) The pot is on the floor of
my lab under my desk at work near a cool window where I have time to take a
daily, now only weekly, peak at them.
I suspect that tropical Arisaemas can be treated in this manner also, it works
well also for my Amorphs as well as Calanthes, Eulophias, and Catasetums besides
the hopeful outcome for these tortuosums. (Bletillas are not happy unless left
dormant in the ground outdoors).
Anyone in this group have any luck with Chen Yi Cypripediums? (I did not, and
now knowingly would not, purchase them firsthand.) They grew well under the
until 90F in the shade wiped them out.
Such are the vagaries of our zone 6 climate here in central New Jersey USA.....
Bonaventure W. Magrys
(with 1 successful triphyllum albescens x nepenthoides seedling going into its
first dormancy and several candidissimum x sikokianum seeds looking like they're
about to pop.)

More information about the Arisaema-L mailing list