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Large, heart-shaped or pointed like spearheads, the leaves of alokaziya invariably attract the attention of both beginners and connoisseurs of indoor plants. Florists are attracted by the opportunity to decorate window sills and shelves with plants with green, silver and violet foliage, on which there are bright streaks and contrasting spots.
Alokazii is a very numerous species, uniting plants, unlike either in appearance or in size. But if the first glance of a grower always notes the unusual and spectacular foliage, then it is time to be surprised at the device of the underground part of alokaziya and its stem, which is a natural continuation of the rhizome.
Both large plants growing to a height of three meters and very small potted types of alocasia consist of:
- from a tuber-like thick rhizome like a tuber;
- from shortened stem;
- from large leaf plates extending from it, holding on long succulent petioles.
At the same time, it is precisely the root of alokaziya that is the source of plant life, an indicator of its health and a means of reproduction.
Tuber of alokaziya - the heart of the plant
Few people know that for the sake of tubers, alokaziya is bred in many parts of India and on the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Here alokaziya is a large-root, native species for southeastern Asia; it is not an ornamental, but an agricultural plant.
In the conditions of a tropical climate, on specially prepared alokaziya plantations are grown from 1 to 4 years. During this time, the rhizomes grow, gain weight, they form daughter nodules. In the process of harvesting from a single plant, from 1.8 to 15 kg of alopecia tubers are obtained, which are used as a food product rich in carbohydrates and fiber.
Despite some cyanide and calcium oxalate contained in all the plants of the aroid family, which produce a strong irritant effect, oblong or oval tubers of alokazia are eaten after cleaning and heat treatment. Similarly, come with the succulent foliage of alokaziya Indian or krupnogornevoy.
Indigenous peoples, as well as residents of China and Vietnam, begin Alokaziya as a medicinal plant, in addition, tubers are also used to produce alcohol.
What is the value of rhizomes? The energy value of 100 grams of alobium stem tubers, depending on the variety and type of plant, is 293–599 kJ.At the same time per 100 grams of tubers account for:
- 63–81 g of moisture;
- 0.6–3.3 g of protein;
- 0.1–0.2 g of fat;
- 17–27 g of carbohydrates;
- 1.1–1.3 g of ash;
- 46–153 mg of calcium.
In addition, iron, phosphorus, niacin and riboflavin, thiamine and ascorbic acid are present in the rhizomes of the plant.
Unfortunately, most species grown as indoor plants do not have nutritional value, but they do an excellent job with decorating residential and public buildings.
However, for the plant to please the owner with a decent appearance and health, it is extremely important for Alocasia to create conditions resembling those that surround the plants in their homeland - in the subtropics and tropics of Asia and Oceania.
Competent care - a guarantee of beauty and health of alokaziya
Alokaziya plants are recommended to contain in bright but reflected light. Since there are no direct rays of the sun under the canopy of the tropical forest, they can provoke the appearance of brown or reddish-brown spots on the foliage of Alokazia — burns. Extremely sensitive plants and to dry air.
If the disease of alokaziya and its diseases, as on litmus paper, are reflected in the leaves, the reason often lies underground.
Any damage or discomfort of alozy tuber is reflected in its well-being. Excessive or improperly organized watering, drying up of the soil and cooling of the soil and the green part of the plant, lack of nutrition and even its excess can cause such a situation.
Not surprisingly, the question “What to do if alokaziya disappears?” Can be heard from many novice growers who have not yet mastered all the requirements of the inhabitants of the tropics. Lovers of exotic plants, faced with poor growth of a pet, foliage fallout or the appearance of spots of different shapes and colors on it, first of all, you should pay attention to the condition of the roots of alokazii and analyze the care of room culture.
Between irrigation, the soil at a depth of 2-3 cm should dry out, the rest should keep uniform humidity.
For this, not only is the plant watered in several stages, but it is also necessary to drain all the moisture that has drained into the pan. The roots of alokazii are extremely sensitive to drying and stagnant water. This circumstance is important to take into account when the autumn-winter period, when the plant needs rest, and reduce its watering. If this is not done, the risk of developing fungal diseases of alokazia, to which the culture is unfortunately very sensitive, cannot be avoided.
In addition to using warm, separated water during irrigation, attention is also required when feeding tropical crops.
If alokaziya does not grow or gives deformed small foliage, it's time to support the plant with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The best period for fertilization is spring and summer months, in which alokaziya is actively developing and can be released on a sheet per week. Alokazii feed universal complex compounds, but in a concentration two times weaker than for other indoor plants.
In winter, people from tropical forests cannot be fertilized, otherwise mineral salts trapped in the soil can cause serious burns of the roots of alokazia and its tubers.
Plants prefer air with a temperature of 22–26 ° C.Moreover, its cooling to 12–15 ° C causes a slowdown in all vital processes, the plant sheds foliage and hibernates. A further cooling is the inevitable death of the tubers of alokazii, which must be taken into account by gardeners who take out the plants for the summer time to the garden or to the balcony.
Symptoms of illness of alokaziya and its disease
The situation is aggravated if alokaziya was not only in the flow of cold air, but also the soil in the pot is saturated with moisture. A weakened plant quickly loses its tone and is attacked by pathogenic fungi, putrefactive bacteria and pests. The first blow take the roots of alokazii. Their fabrics change color to brownish, soften and collapse. As a result, alokaziya itself does not grow, weakens and loses its decorative effect.
A weakened plant suffers from diseases such as alokaziya such as stalk rot and root rot, spotting, as well as fusarium and blight. These diseases usually appear as brown or black spots on the leaves. The affected areas are surrounded by a yellow or orange halo.
As the infection grows, Alokazia loses its foliage, and neither top dressing nor other care measures can return the plant to its former beauty.
If the florist detects signs of a disease of alokazii, it is necessary:
- to remove damaged and fallen leaves;
- isolate the plant;
- to check the condition of the roots and tubers of alokazii;
- somewhat limit watering and adjust care;
- treat the aerial part with a systemic fungicide.
In a situation where the disease of alokazii affected the tuber and its roots, it is important to remove all the rotted parts. And do not worry that alokaziya disappears. Even with the loss of a significant proportion of a tuber, a plant can be propagated using both parts of the stem and affiliated nodules connected to the parent tuber or already growing separately.
When examining the roots of a diseased specimen, it is important to find such nodules and also to process them.
How to grow alokaziya tubers?
With the help of daughter tubers, it is easiest to get a new alokaziya plant. At the same time the young copy will keep all signs of a favorite grade, will be strong and healthy.
Sometimes the sprouts of such “daughters” can be seen in a pot next to the main plant. In this case, alokazii are simply seated in separate containers, trying not to damage the small nodule and a few more roots.
If the nodules are attached to a large rhizome or are formed directly on it, they can be planted with the appearance of at least two leaves and a sufficient number of roots for an independent life. Before planting into the ground, alokazia tubers can be treated with epin, if there are damages on the surface of the rhizome, they are first sprinkled with chopped wood or activated carbon.
Soil for the roots of alokazii need loose, with good access of oxygen. And here you can use a mixture of sand, peat and perlite or ready-made soil for orchids. Not bad culture is rooted in sphagnum, but after the formation of the first roots of alokaziya transferred to the ground.
In order for a tuber to grow faster in a container covered with film, it is important to keep the temperature around 22–24 ° C, and sometimes to air the plantings.
Rooting the tops of the alocasia tuber
If an adult plant is severely affected by rot, or alokaziya does not grow for some other reason, for example, due to age over 4 years, you can update the specimen by cutting and rooting the apex.
All leaves are removed from the plant, and then the upper part of the stem is separated with a sharp blade, with no traces of rot and mechanical damage. The cut is treated with coal powder and dried for an hour. Root the resulting stalk can be in a loose mixture of peat and sand, while the plant must cover the film.
After a couple of weeks, it is necessary to wait for the formation of roots, which means that it is time to graft the sphagnum moss with the garden soil. After acclimatization on such a plant, healthy young leaves appear soon.
Making alokaziya give air roots before removing the tops can be, if you wrap the trunk with moist moss. After a month, healthy rhizomes appear under this “dressing”, which facilitates transplantation and reproduction of the culture.
If the upper part of the alozy tuber is cut from a healthy specimen, the remaining part in the soil will surely give new leaves and continue to grow.
Even a part of the rhizome can give life to a new plant, if it has at least one sleeping bud. Such a stalk is treated with coal powder and, if necessary, with a fungicide, and then transplanted into separate containers.