Dormant Alocasia Poly ... how to wake the dumb thing up?

paul_(z5 MI)September 14, 2013

Or A. X amazonica (as the two seem to be used interchangeably from what I have seen).

So a number of years ago, I got one off the "death row" rack at Lowes largely because I wanted the pot and figured if the plant died then at least I'd still come out ahead. Well the plant has done pretty well for me thus far though I'd really like to get it beyond a 3 or 4 leaf stage. It has bloomed a number of times over the years and currently is about 1.5 feet tall.

Well a couple of years ago when I repotted, I separated out a couple of baby corms that had leafed out. They grew for a while then one went dormant (have no idea why) and a month or two later croaked. The larger baby continued growing slowly until sometime last fall/early winter when it went dormant (again, no idea why). I tried keeping it lightly moist but that made no difference. This summer I put it outside on my plant rack hoping the summer heat would do the trick and awaken it (tried to keep it moist). No deal. Well now temps are beginning hit the low 50's at night and so I have brought it back inside. Still zero signs of new growth but the corm seems firm/hard still. So what must I do to wake the dumb bunny up? (The mother plant, btw, just keeps chugging along ....)

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petrushka

look at 'alocasia bulbils' post on the 2nd page - i documented what i did to wake up pups and also the tubers.
in short the best info i got was on the british forum hardytropicals.co.uk. the guy there applied heat and lots of moisture - in spring , mind you! to wake them up.
...so I put it on a heating mat and when it did not sprout, kept pouring more hot water on it! and jacked up the heat too...

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 9:02PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Here's the link.

Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: alocasia bulbils

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 7:21PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

That's really weird ... Makes me wonder how it gets the trigger in nature.

Thanks folks!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 6:12PM
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petrushka

alocasias habitat is steamy jungle - with 100% humidity and daily drenches, temps of 95f or more. so what's weird?
lots of tubers/corms need bottom heat and moist conditions to wake up. it's the temp of soil that matters most, not the temp of outside air.
if you tuber is very small it might not wake up once dormant.
it is advised to grow baby tuber for sev years until it is sufficiently large to survive dormancy (that's true of many plants).
they usually go dormant when temps drops below 65F. so keeping it out below that will def induce dormancy.
there is no reason to try to wake it up now - you should wait till spring. keep it just barely moist, almost dry , but not too cold - it might rot. better to keep it in soil as is and then repot in spring.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 5:14PM
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tropicbreezent

You need to remember you're operating in an extremely cold climate, there's no Alocasia in nature there. Although some species do extend into cold areas, they're areas you'd still consider hot. Also, with the addition of the word "amazonica" into the name it becomes a bit misleading, Alocasias come from Asia/Australia and not from South America. So if nature doesn't provide the heat for you, as Petrushka suggests, you have to provide it yourself.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 11:51PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

petrushka, the temps mentioned in the waking the corms up post exceeds the jungle temps you mentioned -- and it is those temps from the post that surprised me.

"they usually go dormant when temps drops below 65F. so keeping it out below that will def induce dormancy"

Neither the baby nor momma have ever been outside. I grew both the baby and momma indoors -- so it surprised me that the one went dormant but the other did not. (Nor had temps in my apt gotten that low.)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:37PM
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petrushka

R: ultra high temps .
what can i say, the guy was successful and my 3 rather large tubers lost most of the leaves, one all, two had just 1 leaf and those were yellowing. i had nothing to loose.
i had pups growing in the same pot with mama twice - they would never have more then 1 small leaf at a time.
if you looked at my 'bulbils' posts - you saw how large the new leaves became on pups - 6-7" in 7oz cups! i kept them on the heating mat and bagged for 95% humidity until mid-aug, for almost 5 months! it helps to develop good roots and they grow much faster.
it takes them a lo-ong time to wake up even with heat.
i was concerned about hi temps too, so my temps weren't as hi as suggested in the beginning and nothing was happening.
i had to up the heat the 2nd mo AND put more HOT water before i saw roots poking out of the perlite.
dunno - it worked and i'm happy. now i know what to do if big mama goes dormant.
to think, i was ready to chuck it - which is what most people do, once all leaves decline.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 10:38AM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

I'm not a big fan of petruska's method, it seems extreme and risky, cooking bulbs in a bag...

There's no argument from me that it worked tho!

I prefer gentler methods myself...if I was asleep, and someone poured blazing hot water on me...I'd wake up, but I'd throw a fit once I woke up!

These alocasia don't seem to mind tho! Atleast not from what I've seen'

They are very slow to wake up once dormant! No doubt about that!

I too would caution you not to wake it up yet, unless you can artificially provide ample heat and LIGHT then you will only be stressing the plant worse, and likely sealing its fate...

I'd wait until march or April and start uping the heat and moisture, if all goes well the plant might reappear in may or June lol...

As to tropics reference of the name amozonica...there's apparently no correct name for this plant, poly is wrong, it's not a polyploid, amazonicas wrong, it comes from Asia, Alocasia mortefontanensis is name given to it when the original cross was made, over 100 years ago!

For those who haven't read it, this link I added maybe helpful! It's an interesting read either way!

I try my best to not get hung up on names of plants, I like the plant, ill grow it!
I might name it Cindy or frank so I know who I'm talking about...

Here is a link that might be useful: Exotic rainforest

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 1:15PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

If it is like caladium, you can't skip an entire growing season and have them survive. Amaryllis bulbs, yes. You can keep them dormant over a year and easily wake them up and carry on like nothing happened. They keep sooooo much reserve energy in that bulb. But caladium? No. Keep them dormant for more than a year and you have dead bulbs. I don't know whether this plant can be kept sleeping through a second winter and still be awakened next spring. ???

Carol

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 12:21AM
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tropicbreezent

It'll grow right through the year here but then can go dormant for no apparent reason anytime. Dormancy can also go longer than one year, it seems to go according to its own time.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 2:29AM
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