Cyrtosperma johnstonii HOW to grow this one?

chris32599(9b-10a AZ usa)October 5, 2005

I have seen this plant for sale lately as cheep as $10...I know they like bogs and water, but what else about them...sun or shade.. cold tolerance etc... I read they are not real cold hardy but.....

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aroideana(Tropical Australia)

best way to grow these out of the tropics is in a tropical aquarium , they do best in a shaded spot . Keep the tank heated and it should thrive all winter. Best one I saw was over 3m high and it had several flowers and even seed , it was growing in a deep pond in a nursery up here in Cairns.
The owner told me he had got sick of it wilting so he threw a pot into the pond , he was very surprised at the result .

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 4:22AM
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bihai(zone 9)

I have one. I grow it the same as I grow Lasia the pond. Potted in heavy clay type soil with a sand overlay, set into the pond with the water just over the lip of the pot.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 7:08AM
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chris32599(9b-10a AZ usa)

Hi Bihai

You are always good with infomation, keep up the good work... do you keep it in the pond during the winter?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 3:03PM
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bihai(zone 9)

Hi Chris, thanks! I try to never deal in absolutes as far as plants are concerned, because many people can make things work with plants in different locations and situations that one would never think would be able to be done...just because "the literature" says one thing doesn't mean its 100% true for everyone everywhere in every situation.
Yes, I have a small pond inside my greenhouse where I overwinter Lasia spinosa, variegated crinum asiaticum that I grow as aquatics, sometimes maybe a few ALocasia macro albo variegatas if I have any that aren't going dormant (sometimes they go dormant even in the greenhouse in winter) and the C. johnstonii. The pond is probably about 200 gallons +/-. The only "pump" I have running is a Little Giant that powers a large alligator spitter. That's enough to chew up most of the mosquito larvae...the rest get gulped by one goldfish. I keep the greenhouse a minimum of about 58F at night in winter. Hopefully, I will still be able to afford to do heater runs on propane, and with the higher prices from Hurricane Katrina, I may have to back the heat down a little.

The pond is situated in full sun, however, there are 2 huge stands of heliconia immediately adjacent on 2 sides that are both 18 or so ft tall and whose leaves get 7-9 ft in length and about a foot or more wide, so that gives it a "dappled light" effect. The Jade Vines and a dwarf climbing monstera "Ginny" also filter some light, so its not really in full sun. If it was I would put a water lily in there!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 7:35PM
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raymikematt(z7b SC)

Get yours from NSE if you can. I just recieved two of them today and they are exceptionally beautiful plants...very healthy and large for less than 10 bucks each.

I havent had a chance to grow them yet but I do grow other aquatic aroids (Cyrtosperma, Lasia, Urospatha, Anubius) and they do well in a mix of sand and peat, with about an inch or more of Lava rock at the bottom of the pot. Sit the pot in the pond with the water level not over the level of the lava rocks. A nice tall plastic pot would be best for this. Also, I keep my ponds heated with large submersible aquarium heaters. Julius Boos best explains this in one of his posts on Aroid-L a few years ago. You could do a search.
Michael M.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 10:36PM
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bihai(zone 9)

Michael, I have found with my Lasias that they really don't even need any soil to thrive. They are matt forming bog plants in their natural setting, growing laterally and sending out roots that get as long as 3 feet. They escape their pots very quickly. Have you found that to be so? I have one that's so large I can't remove it from the pond anymore. Its in a 15 gallon container and stands almost 6 ft tall. I keep it in "semi check" by taking cuttings off of it.

WHere did you get your Urospathas and Anubius? I'd be interested in trying some of those.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 7:32AM
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raymikematt(z7b SC)


I do have a few of the Anubius that were just plopped into the bottom of the shallow pond in the back of the greenhouse and they have gotten out of your Lasia's, they cannot be removed and are getting very large. So yes, Id agree, they can be grown without soil. Ive also grown Lasia in pure spaghnum moss as well as the aquatic Homalomena expedita, and they do fine as long as they are fertilized every now and then. I got the Aquatics from different places but if your looking for Anubius species, try a local tropical fish store. At one time one of my local shops had like 5 different species of Anubius. Also email brian, he grows lots of these. If I ever get any pups off my Urospathas ....or seeds, Ill definately let you know.
Michael M.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 8:53PM
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bihai(zone 9)


    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 7:06AM
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Bihai - your greenhouse and plants are absolutely gorgeous. The greenhouse is bigger than my house! I am so envious - God, please forgive me for my envy! I've always wanted a greenhouse, but at 57 years old, I doubt I will see that happen. I will eventually have light set ups in my back room (about 150 square feet), it is south facing, with sliding glass doors and an East window as well, so I won't need much. But, I doubt I can grow the heliconias and such even then.

You helped me out with something, though. I have a purple passiflora, and always thought it was 'Incense', but it seemed a little off from the pics I see of it...the flower, that is. Now, I'm positive it's 'Lavendar Lady', which is hardy outside in my zone. The only problem I have is that it is so late to break dormancy. Usually doesn't come up until July. Needs lots of heat. I let the gulf frits eat it, and of course, they like the flowers better than the foliage. I also have lutea in the backyard which can take a bit more shade.

I am attempting to grow more alocasias and colocasias in the ground, but some I have gotten late, so I will have to overwinter them indoors.

Once again, your pictures are stunning.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 7:16PM
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bihai(zone 9)

Thank you Susan, I appreciate that!
Lavendar Lady is one of the hardiest passifloras I know of, besides Coerulea. Those 2 don't even do dormant here. For some reason, the deer don't eat those 2, but they love Passiflora coccinea. So I can't grow red passiflora. I had a Lavendar Lady inside the greenhouse because I thought it would be cool to have one snaking up the grapevines, but it became massive and took over! It created its own canopy! SO I took a lot of rooted "trailers" and put them outside on my fence and spent a week up on a 12 ft ladder removing the Lav Lady from the greenhouse.

I also made the mistake of planting a Thunbergia coccinea inside the tried to do the same thing and I still haven't eradicated it. It pops up where you least expect it. I think it has an extensive underground network in there.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 8:09AM
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i'm kie from surabaya east java indonesia
i've a several plant that i grow on the pot on my front porch.
i've two kind cyrtosperma : johnstonii & cuspidisphatum, but i've a problem especially with my c johnstonii, how to keep the red lines still brights at their leaf veins? please, could you send me some tips to have a great ecosistem to recovered the red colours in their leaves?
thanks berfore...

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 11:18AM
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For this plant is a kind of medicine can help people who being cancer!!!!! You can dry it leaf or root with sunlight and boil with water and drink like tea.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 10:12AM
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