Nearly black leaves on Dioscorea elephantipes

penfold2(4b, MN)December 2, 2011

I bought a D. elephantipes last spring, and when it arrived it didn't look so good. Kind of like a large raisin. It did nothing all summer and I had my doubts that it was still alive, but then recently it put out a couple leaves. They look dark purple, almost black, and I'm wondering if this is a sign that I should be doing something different, or if they'll green up over time. It's currently in my greenhouse with daytime temps of 75-80 and a nighttime temp of 60. It gets full sun in the afternoon, but it's not that strong this time of year. And I'm regularly watering and lightly fertilizing.

Am I all good?

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From here they could be incredibly dark-brownish green, at least in my fancy - if they're growing, they're alive. Still, I've never grown one of these, but I have a friend who does....

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 9:34PM
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Mine is in a greenhouse that is heated, and I still have green leaves. It may be going dormant. It seems so low in the soil, mine has a caudex above the soil line. Are you pushing it too much this time of the year. I thought was also dead this year, and it started to leaf out again in the winter. So don't give up on the plant, perhaps it just needs a rest.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 9:43PM
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Now is the time that it grows, IIRC. Summer is their dormancy period, ain't it so?

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 9:55PM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

The reason it's buried is because it's a very young plant and I've read that the caudex grows faster when buried for the first few years. Also, it's my understanding that this is a winter grower and now is the time it should be growing, so that's why I'm watering and fertilizing. I'm guessing (hoping) the leaves will green up and continue growing. I was just wondering if anyone else has seen this before, or knows whether it means something.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 9:59PM
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I have a very young one as well. I'm not at all experienced with it and there isn't much info out there. The leaves on mine are green though. I'm not sure if the color of yours means trouble but it's a good sign that it's growing! At least that's what I would assume!


    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 10:03PM
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That's young leaves that will green up as they grow out.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 10:32PM
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