Ken Landis loken423 at YAHOO.IT
Mon Oct 30 20:15:53 CET 2006

I don't want to give advice but just outline certain considerations and the way I meet some of the cultivation problems we all have.
Growing any plant in a pot is like keeping an aquarium, it is a miniture ecosystem which must reach an ecobalance, where the soil is as important as the plant. We have all noticed how it takes some time before a plant reaches
a happy state and gets stabalized in is new pot, in other words only when the plant, substrate, water and pot reach an ecobalance things start moving.
I never use sterile earth or bought composts. The reason is that earth is and must be alive with all its micro organisms for plants to florish. By sterelizing the potting medium you kill everything your plant needs to be healthy. Plants have evolved for millions of years to live in a soil pulsing with life and in simbiosis with all that earth contains. A sterile compost is only such until it leaves the bag. The moment it is exposed to the air it is ready to host anything, good or bad but the balance in which the good overcomes the bad is still far off.Commercial growers use sterile potting mediums but then they grow plants in a highly controled and near sterile ambient and undertake strict programs of anti bacterial and fungal treatments besides heavily fertilizing the plants to boost what the plant already does perfectly if given a chance.
No one in their right mind would take a baby, keep it in a sterile tent and douse it with medicines against any and every possible illness while pumping it full of high nutrient foods and vitamins beliving that it would grow healthy and happy. However that is exactly what we do for our cultivated plants.
Said this, I store the dormant arisaema tubers with a dusting of sulfur and good air circulation, I use a coarse leafmold (leaf mold that has not altoghether rotted into humus siffted through a wide sive) and sand as a potting medium plus a good drainage layer at the bottom of the pot. For most plants air in the soil is more important than water especially for bulbs and tubers. More plants are killed by lack of air than from a shortage of water. The watering must, of course, be dosed according to the plant's need depending on the atmospheric conditions. The root systems of bulbs are not very extended so there remain pockets of substrate into which the roots don't penetrate, especially if the pot is too big for the plants being cultivated, and these are the areas where the moisture accumulates and molds and fuguses thrive.
Besides the plant I'm growing, I plant a clover plant in each pot. This has two advantages first it regulates the water content of the pot because its extensive root system envelops and penetrates all the substrate and second it adds nitrogen to the soil, which also helps. When the clover gets too big I trim off the top and let it reshoot. In the meantime the roots keep on working.
I hope that I haven't been too long and that this might be of some help if not directly at least to spark some experiments that will give results that benefit us all.
All the best,

Russell Coker <cokerra at BELLSOUTH.NET> ha scritto:
Hey Adam.

I'm glad you responded.  First, try Catchflower again.  Its back up and seems to have more available this year.

The other thing I wanted to ask - I'm almost certain it was you - was about storing new tubers.  Didn't you mention that when you received tubers from Chen Yi that you DID NOT plant them until you saw signs of growth as the weather warmed up in the spring?  I'm wondering if part of my rot problem comes from potting the new tubers when I receive them in December.  As a matter of fact, my tubers of jinshajiangense had rotted by February!  Could you explain your method again?  If anyone else has any advice, I'm sure I'm not the only person on the list who would benefit.

Thanks, Russell
----- Original Message -----
From: Adam Fikso
Sent: Sunday, October 29, 2006 10:58 PM
Subject: Re: catchflower

Hello Russell.  I can't even find Catchflower on the web any more, and as I remember, after trying for a few months some time ago, I inferred that they had shut down.  I don't really know. I'm curious too. Adam Fikso in Glenview, IL  Zone 5a
----- Original Message -----
From: Russell Coker
Sent: Sunday, October 29, 2006 9:28 PM
Subject: catchflower

Hi Everyone.

I hope you all had a successful summer of Arisaema growing.  Mine was only fair, and I have given up trying to grow Arisaemas in pots.  No matter what kind of soil I used, I still ended up with lots of rotten tubers.

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