Planting Arum Maculatum Tubers

susanlynne48(OKC7a)February 26, 2006

Okay, so I already have an arum maculatum tuber in the ground. It comes up with a leaf every year in winter, but so far, has never flowered.

Yesterday, I bought six tubers at the garden center - 2 to a package. They are in solid green plastic bags in peat moss. I couldn't see them well, so I just went by touch to make sure they were a reasonable size compared to some of the other packaged tubers and firm to touch.

The brand name is Van Bloom. This time I want to make sure I do this right, not that I did it wrong. Maybe it takes a few years to reach blooming size? These tubers feel like they are about 2" tubers, maybe about 1" in diameter - kind of elongated.

I know that arums like well-drained soil. I am assuming they like moist soil? Do they like rich soil? Would equal parts of compost, peat, and garden soil, with some pine bark thrown in, and a little chicken manure be okay?

Do they like to be fertilized, and if so, with what - like kelp, high phosphorus, or what?

Is it best to plant them in the ground now, or wait until after last frost? Or, after last frost, plant them in pots for the first year? I think they would do fine in pots outdoors over winter here, since I am in zone 7.

I see little about planting these well. I know they are native, or that they perennialize easily in some areas, but mine has been very slow to take off. I did notice yesterday that the single leaf it has sent up, which is a fairly large leaf for this plant, is preparing to send up another leaf, or what looks like it will be another leaf.

Thank you for your responses.


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This another one that has a very limited growing season here, basically mid-winter to late spring You should plant it now.

They are native to the U.K. where the weather is hardly ever as extreme as here. Best situation for me is under deciduous oaks and elms where they get full sun this time of the year, but more shade as it gets warmer in spring.

Since the temperature here can be anywhere from 10-90F in late March, they have good & bad years. Better the last two years with heat records being set in autumn rather than spring.

I drench them with high-phosphorus soluble fert like Miracle-Gro for flowering plants in mild to cool weather when they are growing their strongest.

You will have to put forth some effort to grow these in OKC.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 9:30PM
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I figured that....wouldn't ya know. At least I have gotten foliage the last 3 years I have had the one in the ground. It's the flower/berries I haven't gotten yet.

And you know we basically get the same temp extremes as you. Like last weekend to this week (7-10* to 80* this Wednesday, then back into 40*s to 50*s). It's hard to keep up with what shoulda coulda woulda.

So, what about my calla tubers, Keiko?


    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 9:45PM
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Callas are so easy and adaptable I always have some going as houseplants. They grow well at room temperature, just needing a window with a few hours morning sun.

In the ground they try to grow every chance they get. They started growing during a mid-January warm spell this year and then got frozen back. I think they will pop up again with this week's warm weather, but probably get frozen back again one or more times in the next six weeks. Sometimes they flower with very sparse foliage before last freeze. Well-fed plants generally flush in June and then I let them go dry and dormant for 2-3 months so they will flower reliably again. The years we get heavy rain in September they are flowering again for Thanksgiving.
A convenient way to handle in Dallas where we don't get much summer rain.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 7:27PM
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Ah, yes, windows. I remember those vaguely. Most of my windows are covered by something-either entertainment centers, carports which create little light by them, headboards (which cannot be moved around), heat vents (over which no plant would survive; and they wouldn't any because the cats love to perch in these windows behind the blinds), lamps, child's bookcase, so hmmmmmm. That's where all those windows went!

One day, one day.....


    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 7:27PM
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stevethelizard(SE uk z8-9)

hi i live in the uk and have a problem with these, they are a bit of a weed, the only help i can give is they grow here on a clay soil mostly under hedges. i have to say you are lucky they dont like your area cos you would never get rid of them, i compost a load every year and i still cant get rid of them on my allottment.
sorry about the rant i do likethem really

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 6:37PM
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I'm not sure I understand what you're saying Steve. On your allotment? You mean in your garden? yard? I know, it's my inability to understand British terminology.

I bet your conditions are quite perfect for these little buggers (see, I'm picking it up!). There are many times I wish I had UK growing conditions, or PNW growing conditions. But, I'm stuck with hot, humid Oklahoma City. This year, it's been hot, dry Oklahoma City. I keep praying and hoping for rain, and we get teased with like 1/10th of an inch. But, we DO have clay soil - boy do we ever.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 11:07AM
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stevethelizard(SE uk z8-9)

SORRY!! I should have explained allotments have been around in this country for centuries in the form of ground rented to local peaseants by the large land owners, so however little land you had you could rent more to grow food for a percentage of your produce or services to the landowner. now they are managed by local govenment who are obliged to provide sites if more than 6 people in an area want them (this is a law from the second world war when just about evey bit of workable land was used to grow food)I have a 30' X 40' plot that costs me about $20 a year i dont know if you have anyting like this in the states??
and i know what you mean about the rain we have had the 2 dry winters and have a hosepipe ban allready and winter isnt even over
the clay sounds good if you have enough shade and can get some good organic matter into the soil they do grow in quite dry conditionsbut i reallydont think they are that fussy in my back garden te keep popping up in all different positions good luck
i do seem to have gone on a bit

    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 6:08PM
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