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Despite the exotic appearanceMany species of amorphophallus do not require special efforts from the grower during cultivation and maintenance. Several dozen varieties of these tropical plants can be seen in the greenhouses of botanical gardens and even at home.
As a houseplant, amorphophallus can give its owner an unpleasant surprise. All members of the genus are pollinated by insects, which are attracted by the putrid smell of the flowers of the plant. The “scent” acquires maximum power at night, gradually weakening towards the end of flowering.
But the intensity of the unpleasant smell and its duration varies with different species of amorphophallus. Therefore, only a few varieties are suitable for cultivation at home, which can be found in specialized stores under the common commercial name "Voodoo Lily".The flowers of amorphophallus in this case are just as attractive and large, but almost have no smell.
The main condition for successful cultivation is:
- the presence of loose fertile soil;
- creation of a penumbra;
- constant feeding during the appearance of the flower of amorphophallus and leaves;
- pest prevention;
- compliance with temperature and humidity conditions during the growing season and rest.
Temperature regime for home amorphofallus
For most species, daytime temperatures of around 22–25 ° C are considered optimal. At night, the room can be a little cooler, up to 19 ° C.For example, brandy often grown as a homemade amorphophallus perfectly adapts to room existence at a temperature between 20 ° C and 25 ° C.But there are exceptions:
- For amorphallus kiusianus from southern Japan, air heated to 25 ° C becomes critical. In the heat of the plant, the foliage quickly fades, the duration of flowering decreases.
- And the plants of amorphophallus bulbifer are more hardy and grow well and bloom at 15–30 ° C.
Soil mix and fertilizer for amorphofallus
The rapid growth of powerful inflorescence and the subsequent appearance of the leaf and children should be provided with a high content of mineral and nutrients. From this calculation and make up the soil for the guest from the tropics.
It is recommended to add to the soil mixture for indoor plants of amorphophallus:
- dolomite flour, which will enrich the mineral composition of the soil;
- vermiculite and sphagnum moss to create structure.
But even with an abundance of organic matter in the prepared soil, fast-growing plants need constant feeding. For amorphophallus, fertilizers with a predominance of phosphorus are preferred, for example, in the ratio of 30:15:15 to nitrogen and potassium.
By observing the plant, you can choose the correct mode of fertilizer application, as a result of which, during the rest period, the tuber will not waste its strength, but will grow and increase its weight.
Planting Amorphophallus Tubers
The development of roots on domestic amorphophallus begins in the upper part of the tuber, therefore, when planting, the corm is significantly deeper. Growth horizontally located under the soil of the root system is very intense and stops only with the appearance above the soil surface of the apex of the flower of amorphofallus or its leaf.
Shallow containers are used for planting babies and bulbs formed on a sheet of amorphophallus bulbous. Adult large tubers, especially those plants that regularly bloom, need a more spacious container.
In order to provide active flowering and facilitate the care of amorphophallus as in the photo, the size of the pot is selected depending on the caliber, type and weight of the tuber:
- If the pot is not deep enough, the growing tuber can be deformed or rot.
- A narrow capacity for planting prevents the initial development of the roots, so the pot is chosen with a diameter of at least twice the size of the corm.
At the bottom of the tank, a powerful drainage layer is required to facilitate the removal of excess moisture and not giving up the root system. As a drainage it is better to use expanded clay or pieces of steamed bark. Sand in this case is not desirable because of the possible compaction during watering.
Home care for amorphophallus
Only a few types of amorphophallus do not have a dormant period, the rest of voodoo lilies after the death of the leaf need to rest. This is due to the climate in the homeland of the plant.
Young, not yet flowering specimens, may hibernate from 3 to 7 months of the year, but as soon as the tuber matures, the rest time is significantly reduced. If flowering, beginning in spring, opens the growing season, then its completion is in August or September. In some species, slower growth or a real “hibernation” occurs after the withering of the flower of amorphophallus. This happens when the flowers are successfully pollinated, berries begin to develop in their place, and the leaves never show. If the inflorescence is removed, after some time a strong cutting will appear over the ground, topped with a dissected leaf.
Wilting leaf means that it is time to make seasonal changes in the care of amorphophallus at home.
To prepare the plant for a rest period:
- limit watering;
- exclude additional feeding;
- reduce the content temperature by 5–7 ° C;
- create conditions so that the tuber does not dry out during the dormant period or, on the contrary, does not rot.
When the first signs of activity appear on the corms, watering and dressing resume. When the growth of the amorphophallus flower occurs, leaves appear, the soil in the pot should be constantly moderately moist. Feeding is carried out regularly, at least 1 time per month. In August, fertilizer is no longer needed.
Breeding features of the amorphophallus houseplant
Vegetatively home-made amorphophallus easily reproduces not only in nature, but also in a regular apartment. On an adult tuber during the growing season, several daughter nodules are formed, which are separated during transplantation at the beginning of a new season or after its completion.
Formed for independent life, children can easily be separated and planted as independent indoor plants of amorphous phallus.
Some species produce viable leaflets on the leaves. After entering the soil, they take root and the next year take the form of young nodules. Both small kids and leafy bulbs easily take root. The main enemy of young plants is drying. Therefore, it is important to closely monitor the soil moisture and the condition of tubers during storage.
Often, when taking care of amorphophallus at home, it is possible to get ovaries and seeds. Pollination of female flowers is carried out as early as possible, on the first day of flowering. When the berries are ripe, fresh seeds are extracted from them. Because of the thin outer layer, the drying of which threatens to ruin the germ of growth, sowing in a sphagnum or loose, slightly acidic substrate is carried out without delay, with wet seeds. Shoots should be expected in 1-3 weeks.
Pests of amorphophallus
The main pests for the inhabitants of the tropics are nematode worms and mealybugs. Since the signs of their presence in the soil are already detected by the painful appearance of the plants, prevention should not be neglected:
- The soil for planting homemade amorphophallus is necessarily decontaminated.
- Thorns that are damaged or diseased are carefully studied and separated from healthy ones.
The specimens with injuries, scars or warty formations are cleaned to healthy tissue, dried and treated with a broad-spectrum pesticide.
Since pesticides and other chemical plant protection products are harmful to humans, personal safety measures should not be neglected.
Tubers with extensive defects are destroyed. If one does not pay enough attention to the treatment of tubers, even in the disinfected soil one cannot exclude the repeated infection of plants, as well as the occurrence of a secondary bacterial infection or the settlement of the pot with an additional number of other soil insects and microorganisms.