Re-potting The Amorphophallus

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all well. My neck of the woods has been very hot and dry. We did manage to squeeze 1/4 inch of rain out of a cloud a couple of days ago and it rained a little more or less in surrounding areas. It was a very spotty system.

I am going to talk about my Amorphophallus in this post. That sounded a little weird. Anyway, if you want to read about this plant from the time it was given to me by Mrs. Wagler, you can go to its own page HERE.

The Amorphophallus was still dormant when I took the potted plants outside for the summer. Well, maybe I should back up a little. As soon as the temperatures started getting a little cooler last summer, the Amorphophallus went dormant. Even before I moved the plants inside for the winter. A month or so after that, I dug around in the top few inches of the pot and found nothing but the Oxalis bulbs. Then spring came and I put the plants outside. In an earlier post, on May 24, I had written about finding a few Amorphophallus bulbs, etc. Well, as time went by, there were more than I had originally found. In all, by the time they stopped coming up, there were eleven. At least I think they have finished coming up.

This spring I probably should have added new potting soil to this pot. Last year I transplanted them into a larger pot and added Miracle Grow or Schultz Potting Soil which has timed-release fertilizer. This spring, I didn’t add any new potting soil to this pot, so it is a high probability there was no fertilizer left. As the plants grew their leaves were not the healthy dark green they were last summer. I supposed that may be the result of not enough nutrients.

One mistake I made this spring, and I am ONLY going to tell you about one, was buying a HUGE bag of potting soil from an Amish greenhouse. It had nothing to do with Amish so you can scratch that word if you like. It was just a big bag of commercial potting soil and is probably the kind they all use. Their plants always looked so good, so I figured it must be good potting soil. When I first opened the bag it has WAY MORE perlite than Miracle Grow or Schulz. After a while, I realized I kind of sorta screwed up a little. So, a couple of weeks ago I went to Lowe’s and bought a big bag of Sta-Green potting soil with fertilizer. Why did I buy Sta-Green instead of Miracle Grow? Well, the bag was somewhat bigger for one thing. Even so, all potting soil is definitely not created equal. Every brand is a little different and even more so if you live in other states. From the top of my head, if you live in California, Georgia, Idaho, etc., the ingredients are slightly different. The Sta-Green brand doesn’t have as much perlite which was fine because I have extra. I liked the Schultz brand because it doesn’t have the big chunks of bark that Miracle Grow does, which was better for cactus and succulents. I use 2 parts of potting soil with 1 part chicken grit and 1 part perlite for cactus and succulents. The “experts” recommend using pumice instead of perlite for cactus and succulents, but I have not found any pumice locally. The bag of potting soil I bought from the greenhouse has so much perlite I only added chicken grit. Earlier, I also bought a bag of organic potting soil from Dollar General that had a hole in it. They sold it to me at a discounted price I couldn’t pass up. It is AWESOME and I mix it with the other potting soil for plants that needed more organic material that would decompose.

I could write a whole post about potting soil but this post is supposed to be about the Amorphophallus.

I moved the Amorphophallus and Calla to the side porch on July 2 after the Japanese Beetle attack. The light behind the shed completely changed and I didn’t want the beetles chewing on their leaves.

On July 16 I decided to do something about all the Amorphophallus plants in this pot. I have no idea if this is “allowed” or not at this time of the year, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. I am not an Aroid expert, so I have a good excuse if I screw up.

 

Common sense just seems to tell me there are too many plants in this pot. Total, besides the Oxalis, there are 11. The Oxalis didn’t appreciate being moved to the side porch in more sun.

 

When a plant is in a pot you can’t see what its root system looks like, of course. You never know if there aren’t many roots and all the soil falls off, or if there are a lot of roots and everything comes out nice and clean. In the above photo, you can see there are plenty of roots and everything came out perfectly well.

Then the question was, “Ummm…?” I lightly pulled on the stems on one of the smaller plants and it was in there pretty good… So, I realized this was not going to be as easy and I thought. Sometimes smaller plants with not much of a root system will pull right out, as with Alocasia.

 

These little guys were anchored in pretty good! I accidentally broke the first one off. So, I started running my fingers through the roots to see if I could get them separated and get the plants loosened up a bit so I could pull them out. I was also surprised how deep some of their bulbs were. No wonder I didn’t find them before!

 

The second one came out better. The third one had even more roots!

 

Some of their roots were so long that they had to be broken off a little to get the plants out. Normally it is OK to trim the roots anyway since they will go back. It is a lot easier to trim the rooms than try and put them all in the pot. I used to not trim the roots, but after so many years of re-potting plants, I learned it is perfectly fine and doesn’t hurt the plants. They don’t bleed.

 

After I separated all the smaller plants, I left the two bigger Amorphophallus together just like they were in the beginning (as I bought them in 2017).

 

I also left the Oxali triangularis subsp. papilionaceae in the pot where it had always been.

 

Ummm… I found another mystery bulb. Well, it doesn’t exactly look like the Amorphophallus bulbs did in the spring, but this is likely from the stem I broke off in the beginning.

 

I found this Oxalis bulb so I put it back in the soil. I added fresh soil with timed-release fertilizer to the big pot amended with a little more perlite and organic potting soil.

 

Looks like a big happy family to me…

 

So, after starting with two plants in 2017, there are now eleven…

 

I put the mystery bulb in its own pot, even though it is likely to be the Amorphophallus that broke off. The stem with no roots or bulb is likely not going to make it, so it will still make a total of eleven. I put the stem with no roots in a pot anyway to see what happens. It would be weird if it actually grew roots, then there will be 12.

That’s it for this post. My next one will be about what I saw Monday night at almost 11 PM. It was AWESOME!!!

Stay well, safe, positive and GET DIRTY!

7 comments on “Re-potting The Amorphophallus

  1. Vicki says:

    I’m curious – especially as I’m not a very experienced gardener (like my Mother and Grandmother before her).

    Why did you leave the two big Amorphophallus in the one pot? Was it just because you couldn’t separate the roots? I mean to say they are so big and surely their root systems will become potbound pretty soon, won’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Vicki! I love your question! As you can see from the photos their root system is already quite large and their bulbs are likely fairly deep. Even though I found a few bulbs earlier, most of the ones that came up were deeper. The two larger plants are what was in the pot last year, so it is likely the smaller bulbs I found were not from the two larger plants. So, they are deeper. I opted not to go through the trouble to pull their roots apart and possibly break the plant and break a lot of their roots. These are my first Amorphophallus so I am just learning. It is much better separating the bulbs and re-potting in the spring before they start growing, but I had no clue there would be 11 plants. I think I only found 4 very small bulbs in the beginning. The bulbs of these two plants are likely MUCH bigger. Realizing these plants will go dormant in late September-early October (like they did last year) I decided to leave them as they are and add more and better potting soil below their roots, along the side of the pot, and on top. I have experience with Parlor Palms that were so pot bound there was no soil left except on top. You never know what you will find when you remove plants from a pot. Some plants grow a root system so fast it would amaze you, while others are very slow. Take for example beans… Beans can grow roots 60′ long or more in proper conditions in a very short period of time. The other reason I left the two plants together is because they like each other and have always been together. They didn’t want to be separated. 🙂 Thanks for the comment and your question!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I am not familiar with this plant but I bet the original plants are thrilled that the children are out on their own.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Debbie from surrey uk says:

    Hi Rooster – great pics in that post , anyone could follow the leader & do that now! 2 becomes 11 (maybe 12!) is really good – perhaps you could start an online plant sales business – have you ever thought of that? I’m looking forward to seeing what the mystery bulb is – exciting! 🤩

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello there, Debbie! I have thought about an online plant business but I need more plants. With the few I have, it certainly wouldn’t be much of an income. It would be an outlet for extra plants, but I have that anyway. I take them to the greenhouse and she gives me plants in exchange. 🙂 I am thinking the mystery bulb is surely the Amorphophallus that broke off. Actually, I guess the mystery is if the bulb will brow new leaves and the broke off plant will grow roots. Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  4. […] those of you who may have missed the post where I removed the babies, you can click on “Re-potting The Amorphophallus”. All nine of them are doing great, even the very small one and the one I accidentally broke […]

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