A-17 Arisaema wilsonii

Bonaventure Magrys magrysbo at SHU.EDU
Fri Feb 28 18:39:10 CET 2003

A-17, Arisaema wilsonii received this winter had a thick purplish shoot
emerging from the large flattish tuber and the sphagnum wrapped around that
shoot protecting it within its paper packet (amazing how they craft them
over at Kaichen) was slightly moist. All acquisitions were stored in the
vegetable crisper of a refridgerator after having the paper on each opened
slightly for examination and for periodic check up. "Moist sphagnum"
tubers, and most rhizomes (Asarum, Dysosma) went into one loosely closed
plastic shopping bag, dry tubers stored in another. Several weeks ago I
noticed the shoot was elongating on the A-17 and becoming "cramped" in its
wrapper. This was loosened and the sphagnum remoistened. Checking soon
after I noticed more elongation so I potted in a large approximately 15cm
square translucent plastic pot in a mix of 1/2 Scotts moisture control mix
and 1/2 perlite with the tip barely poking out. The pot was placed on the
floor indoors by a north-facing (no direct sun) patio door, a very cool
area. With slightly moistened mix roots could be seen growing down the
sides a week ago and now the shoot is 2 inches above soil level.
Is this early growth normal for this species? Although I like the control
of growing in pot, I prefer the no-hassle of planting out in the garden, so
this plant will have to be gradually acclimated to the 1/2 day sunlight in
my backyard. The good thing is that I can protect from those week-long
rainy spells in summer. Is that a good time to begin drying it out? How
long after completed extension of growth shall I enforce a complete cutback
of watering? After 3-4 months of completing growth, most "captive" potted
adult Arisaemas I've grown showed signs of entering dormancy. Even long
after watering was cut off I was suprised at how much moisture remained in
the mix. I'm not sure if this is because of the loss of the soil structure,
the dying and drying out of all the fine roots, or, because most of the
moisture seems under the base of the tuber, the "sweating out" of excess
moisture from the tuber in order to reduce moisture concentration and
increase carbohydrate and lipid (fats) concentration to protect from
freezing and the formation of internal ice crystals with the onset of next
Bonaventure Magrys
Cliffwood Beach, NJ USA
min temps 8-15F

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