Jim McClements, Dover, DE z6 JimMcClem at AOL.COM
Tue Jun 12 02:55:25 CEST 2001

In a message dated 6/11/01 4:22:31 PM, asiatica at EZONLINE.COM writes:

<< The quality of drainage makes an enormous difference in year to year
survival in the garden here.  Even though our soil (decomposed sandstone
loam) drains very well, we still get the best survival on steep
hillsides and raised beds.  There are a few species, such as A.
heterophyllum, A.tortuosum, A. ringens, A. ternatipartitum, and A.
candidissimum, that don't seem to mind periodic wet feet, but in
general, the more drainage the better.  We think a good way to grow them
is in a pure coarse sand raised bed with a layer of rich soil about 5
inches below the top of the sand.  Jim McClements garden layer cakes
should be ideal too. >>

I would emphasize the the word "COARSE"!! Two years ago what was delivered to
me wasn't very coarse and I made the mistake of going ahead and using it in
constructing several of my "layer cakes". They've been death on arisaemas!
However, in one such bed, used mainly for seedlings, I also mixed in some
stuff from North Carolina called Permatil, a fired slate product which is
advertised as an additive to till into clay soils, and which also discourages
rodent invasion, and the arisaemas in that bed are doing well so far. I think
Tony Avent has been using Permatil for some time, and he may wish to comment.

It also may be interesting to some to know that Dick Weaver, former co-owner
of WeDu Nurseries and a pretty good plantsman, told me at least ten years ago
that he had given up on arisaemas. Most rotted, even in his raised beds.

And, of course, there are some who contend that the best way to keep
arisaemas is in pots, where the moisture and winter temperature can be more
easily controlled. I'm sure that I'd over-water them!


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