Advise On Planting New Rhizomes

aveo5January 31, 2012

Hi All.

I was directed to this forum for my Sans. questions/comments. I am. I JUST got some Sans. rhizomes from EBay. 3 variates. 'Congo','Twisted Sister' and 'Jade Dwarf Marginata'. Ok.

The last two came with plants attached, but they just are not 'perfect' plants, so they only cost $1.25 each! The 'Congo' was $1.50, but it arrived as totally only rhizomes, no plants/leaves. That is what I expected, but I got big plants on the other two, only with a cracked leaf, or a missing leaf...not 'sale perfect'. Thus the great price.

And I know they grow from rhizomes. So I bought the 3 variates. But the 'Congo' rhizomes came totally bare.

Now I know roots go down, I am not that dense. BUT the biggest rhizome I got,has a very large 'fat tuber' shaped growth on it, that is pointing upwards. If I plant it with the 'tuber' pointing up, the roots will be planted sideways, If I plant it pointing down, the roots will be pointing up AND sideways. BUT I am 99% sure that this 'tuber' is a rhizome section that had the plant at the end of it, and it was removed. Won't a new plant start from that point? So if I plant it wrong, it wont grow....right? There are three spots where I can see plants were removed and they have calloused over very well.

So plants will grow from the rhizomes either at the point the plants were removed, OR on new growths...right? Anyone know about how long that takes? And which way to plant this big 'Congo' rhizome with this oddly pointing 'tuber/rhizome'?

Somehow I dont think it will do much if I plant it upside down. I have contacted the seller to ask what to do with it...but I might as well ask you all about it. You might have encountered this in your growing.

I am soaking the roots now, in wet paper towels, they were bone dry, they are nice and pliable. The 2 varieties with plants on them I can plant, no issues. But this one big 'Congo' rhizome has me stumped,...the one with this big 'tuber/rhizomes' on it. I got 3 'Congos'...the other two I can plant, roots down and bare side deep do I plant them? This one with the 'tuber/rhizome' on it may go in sideways, if I cant figure out which way to plant it...and how deep for all 3 Congo rhizomes,....then fingers crossed....unless I get better advise. Anyone?

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Aveo,

Me again, please stop soaking the bare rhizome, that's the opposite of what it needs; not a good idea (IMO).

I can't quite follow this in words, could you pls post pix? Really I need to see it.

I planted a rhizome some time back & I have results. I'll try to find the pix ......

I don't know how long it takes. I know you want the best for your plants, I don't think it's as complicated as it seems here. Likely it'll right itself whichever way it's planted. (I remind myself these plants have grown for thousands of years w/out humans to right them or make sure they don't root upside down.)

This was June 2011

It took one year exactly to get to that point from an absolute bare hunk of root.

I'll look around for a bit later pix.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 9:35PM
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I dont have any pics. and I dont know how to post pics. I have tried for years, and they never post. I gave up trying.
Wow if it takes a year to get a Congo leaf,even of that size, it is going to be a bunch of thrown out rhizomes. Wont waste the potting soil on them. Good thing they were only $1.50 for 3 rhizomes. At least the others have plants on them, Got to find me a growing Congo.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 11:31PM
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Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

Aveo, We don't waste or kill our plants here. We love them. So if they take a year. It will be someting you can be proud of. If you must, give them to some one who will take the time to grow them.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 8:30AM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

Sorry for asking but what part is the Rhizome ? I've heard that before and even asked but don't remember getting and anawe.

Thanks whoever responds, I think its a leaf.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 7:52PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Greg,

Rhizome is the root. I don't mean to be rude Greg, but maybe you'd consider starting to look things up for yourself. I happened to see where you asked it I think on the Sans. Forum & no one got around to answering. Part of starting to learn about plants is also starting to try & look things up oneself. It just takes starting, we'll help you, but we can't do it all for you.

You needn't apologize, but it has been pointed out that you frequently come back w/ several more questions for each answer you're given.

I don't wish to discourage your inquisitiveness (I'm kind of curious myself), and I am all for learning, but it's time for you to start doing some of it yourself.

This is a case in point, one could search:

rhizome, definition of

this is one of the first results that came up:

rhi÷zome (r z m ). n. A horizontal, usually underground stem that often sends out roots and shoots from its nodes. Also called rootstalk, rootstock."

So that's how one starts searching for oneself. Baby steps are a good thing.


I hope you don't throw those out, we who grow these don't regard it as waste of soil, that's not a sentiment many gardeners I know share. Maybe before you do that, you'd give them to someone who WOULD grow them.

Good lesson in reading up a bit on something before one buys it.

Still, Aveo, I wish you don't give up on them.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 11:44PM
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Well as the seller of these plants/rhizomes told me....'just plant the side with the most roots facing downwards,...DUH!, and it will sprout out and the growth buds will be facing up'. Well I am going to plant them in pots this weekend and put them outside under a tree and look in on them when i pass them by, cutting the lawn. I am not taking up space in my limited Stapelia/Orchid/Rare & Exotic plant area. The Congo rhizomes can go under one of my trees and see if I get any sprouts from them,great. If not, they have a year.

The ones with actual plants on them, will go on my front porch. They are pretty, and for only $1.25, I got 2 big 'Jade Dwarf' plants, and a smaller 'Twisted Sister'. So they can go into pots, and put them to be seen on the front porch.

Except for a cut off leaf, and a cracked leaf, they are in perfect condition. Hey, if the seller considers them 'imperfect' and cant sell them as 'perfect',it saved me a ton of money. The 'Congo' is all rhizomes. THAT one I would have loved as a plant with a cracked/cut off leaf!

Time will tell if anything comes from those rhizomes.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 8:13PM
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They don't need to be perfect to grow just for shows, don't stress over this, it's not that hard and I think you got your head together and are on the right tract. Go for it. Norma

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 9:11PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hey Aveo,

Look again at what your Seller said & look again at my pic. See those 2 roots sticking out? Well, you'd expressed your concern about exactly that; it happened w/ my plant & the plant didn't seem to care. Look the little pup is growing & the roots look alive & the plantlet is fine.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 10:46PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Here's the same Rhizome & pup now

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 8:00PM
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Just pot the rhizome under a thin layer of compost,water lightly until either leaf comes up or it rots.
No other way to do it !
If you think about it,offsets come from rhizomes that are usually deep in a pot.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 5:22PM
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Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

Welcome to our family. Always good to have another person's response. Have you been involved in Sans long?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 6:06PM
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