Alocasia infernalis

garyfla_gw(10 Florida)June 9, 2014

Need some advice on a new approach . I grow a lot of alocasias but this one is giving me fits put it into a terrarium
where it started to grow but was chewed off by somethibng
moved it outdoors to a houseplant section of my garden potted up with coir and fir chips started to recover then went into sharp decline . Still have the underground growth which seems in good shape but no leaves .
Suggestions on method to use this time?? Thanks gary

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I've got a number of the Jewel Alocasias but not that one. As I understand it's relatively easy to grow but needs more heat than the others. Otherwise it's very quick to go into dormancy.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 9:30AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

I've been getting just the opposite info!!lol "difficult to grow ,sensitive to cold and heat easily overwatered " All the people I know personally have had the same experience .
Overwinter I kept it in a terrarium so no temps under 60,80 percent humidity . Was doing well there but something ate it lol
In a pot in the garden temps above 68 70 percent humidity. Why would it go dormant in those conditions ?? can find no reference to a dormancy except for cold.
tends to have a trailing habit and have noted the tuber is much longer. Maybe an epiphytic approach seems to be working on a jade fern Thanks gary

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 5:14AM
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Assume you mean the other temperature scale, Google makes that 15.5 degrees, which is fairly low. If it stays that low for long periods then it's not surprising it would go into dormancy. But as your weather warms up it should come back, so probably just a matter of time. When I did research on them there wasn't a lot to find. But a lot of the Jewels grow as lithophytes under rainforest canopy, hence the good drainage and air around the roots. But also some of them grow on limestone, so they probably don't like it if their medium get too acidic. I've also found that sometimes they'll go for years then suddenly go dormant, regardless of season. Even had some stay dormant a few years and then come back again. With watering, the warnings I found were that you shouldn't leave them out in the rain and just water sparingly. But mine are out the whole wet season in the rain, around 2000 mm in 5 months. Plus they're permanently on my automatic irrigation system. But the drainage is good with plenty of air around the roots.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:45PM
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so i tried to look for info ...very little beyond 'very hard to grow, harder then al. cuprea'.
perhaps it needs 65F as minimum, may be even 70F? and 80s daytime with 80% humidity...very steamy in otherwords ;)
in an old post from tropicshere (old site, but posts are still accessible) there was a scant mention of growing it on stone...not clear what it could mean...perhaps lava rock in the mix?
the most is on unmentionable dg forums awhile ago, but no detail.

Here is a link that might be useful: very hard to grow

This post was edited by petrushka on Sun, Jun 15, 14 at 14:15

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 2:10PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Well that would explain why it did better in a terrarium??lol
odd how if you call something a "Jewel" in becomes tempermental?? Works that way with orchids and ferns also lol
Anyway it's completely leafless now sitting in the heavy shade area among the houseplants but the rainy season has started I did mix in some fir bark into the coir and the tuber is still quite firm so there is hope.
Thanks for the info!!! gary

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 5:26AM
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The reference to stone is as I mentioned before, they tend to be lithophytes. We have native Remusatia species here which grow the same way, and dry season they just go dormant, even with watering. It's in their make up. But your mention of fir bark and coir suggest your medium may be too acidic. The Jewels usually grow on limestone.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 3:19PM
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so it started my reading on lithophytes (i could use info for another aroid: ZZ).
so what would you use as limestone substitute? limestone gravel? perhaps chunks of coral/coral stone (they have a lot of that in dade county,fl). and mix it with LF sphag (nz, used for orchid growing)?
i read that it is important to actually match the stone that it grows on natively. so pumice or lava rock will not do?
and perhaps any kind of bark should be avoided: too acidic ? what about some coir chunks instead of bark to hold moisture?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 5:28PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

I checked with a local nusery from which it came from.
They are tissue culturing them using fiber glass wool.
Have some of that that I use for aqaurium plant seedlings may give it a shot?lol
Are you referring to zamioculus?? Only problem for me is standing water. They will grow in every media I've tried even grow them in the ground. They may be lithophytic but certainly not necessary in my experience.
have some ferns microsorium thailandicum and a elaphoglossum species that I've been told are "Obligate
limestone lithophytes" but none of the nureries are using it. The problem with them is a lack of vigor they grow but slowly and are green rather than the shiny blue color . gary

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 3:56AM
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perhaps there is some nutrient problem?
i found this discussion on orchid board : cal/mag supplementation for lithophytes on limestone. doesn't palm fertilizer contain hi % of those?
also i read that all aroids just love magnesium (epsom salts) - never knew that! do you ever use it for alocasias? or any other aroids for that matter?
i never had a problem with zz's until a repot. after a root trim (idiotic in retrospect) nothing i did would stop the progressing rot. except total dryness.
also i read that fl soils contain higher then avg P, to such an extent that fertilizers formulated for local use contain 0 P?
i wonder what does it grow on in malaysia?
the agri-starts info:
÷ Dry Going into Night
÷ Well-drained, moderately dry
pH: 5.8 - 6.2
EC: 1.5 - 2.5

Here is a link that might be useful: see page 2-3

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 4:30PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

IME Alocasias are very easy to grow except for two things enough moisture and temps
My wife brought home the infernalis from a local Walmart . the tag said "Black magic" since I already have a ton of these growing in standing water I put it in the marsh garden.
within an hour it was limp lol on closer inspection noted it was NOT Black magic" Odd they'd give the same name to two members of the same family. Anyway since winter was coming put it into a terrarium recovered and was growing rapidly but was chewed off by a rat I believe.
Repotted and moved to the shade garden where it declined even further lol
Most all my aroids are grown in the garden but in pots due to my very poor soil mostly in dappled shade none have ever given me a problem many become weedy lol.
For the terrestrials I use a mix of pine bark fines and a bit of top soil for aquatics I use mostly fracted clay
the ZZ I grow away from the irrigation under a guava in a shallow pot with gravel and a bit of top soil but is mostly growing in the ground now, having climbed over the edge
Generally I don't pay any attention to pH except for a couple of acid types ground orchids and gardenia but use the same mix but add acidic ferts.
Usually if a plant becomes finicky i just move on to another kind lol Way too lazy to work that hard !! gary

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 4:30AM
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