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Titan Arum

Posted by byron_1 z10FL (crvny@strato.net) on
Tue, Oct 22, 13 at 13:47

I have had four Titan Arums, but one died. It was a weak grower the other three lived for 2 years before one was killed by winter, so I was down to two.

Just the other day I watched one of my two Titan Arums begging folding its large leaf after being only one month growing.

I took it out of the grownds and this is what I saw.

The problem is, I do not know if it was the sunlight I have been giving it. I notice that the big leaf before folding turned a lighter green like an orchid leaf when you give it too much sun light. Or it could have been that I did not mixed the soil properly.

What I would like to know is, the tuber is not all dead most of it is still alive. Could I be able to cut the good part and grow it. If I can how would I do it?

I hope someone can help. If this one dies, I will be down to just one.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Titan Arum

I forgot to say, I have noticed that the tuber doesn't have a good root system. Could this be because the plant did not received enough energy to grow the second year. Why does it have just a few roots?


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RE: Titan Arum

i hope this one can be saved ..
? how much light have u been giving the plant?
are u growing it outside?
what fertilizer routine r u giving the plant
also from your pic..if that is the potting mix..i would ask do you have good drainage in the potting mix?
i consider myself a "newbie" to titanum..but i have gleaned alot over the last 3 yrs..thanks to experienced growers..
i have found much success with my 7 titanum corms,and 10+ seedlings using a very porus potting mix..
i use 70% pine bark,30% large pumice
i also,thanks to a good friend from down under..:) i use with every watering a bio fungicide
titanum seems to be very prone to rot..im sure because of moist potting mix,and warm conditions..which it needs of course..
also..your comment on lack of root developement i find with all my amorphs..and just from my unpotting winter stored amorphs (mostly konjac) MONSTER root systems..i would like to attribute this to my wonderful growing..LOL.. but most likely from use of kelp/humic/fulvic acid in my regular fertilizing routine. some of my pots were overtaken and bulging from the huge roots on the corms..
dont give up..ive found even the "tropical" amorphs are very forgiving..with us giving them the opportunity to recover .. good luck..and keep us posted


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RE: Titan Arum

I used to use Schultz orchid fertilizer; they seem to like that. But then it was taken off the market where I live, so I had to use miracle gro :(

That company should be off the market with their crappy products.

I have to say, they have been growing well with little care from me. Now I know I have to care more. I have taken the sick one off the soil, and I am letting it dry to see if the tubber can cauterize.

The other one is full of roots. I got to dig a bit to see if the other one was ok.


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RE: Titan Arum

excellent..yea..i use a 20:20:20 fertilizer with minor
elements..with addition of the kelp/fulvic/humic acid
also i add the powder bio fungicide..
i know some growers that struggle with rot when repotting after flowering,or beginning of dormancy dust their corms
with an all purpose fungicide.. and it helps
hope u r successful !!!!


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RE: Titan Arum

The strangest thing is they have all died by size. The smallest died first.
Now the biggest one grown from the biggest seed is the only one healthy.


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RE: Titan Arum

It's rotting!

It's hard to say why, but drainage is the main culprit!

Hit it hard with fungicide and don't let it dry out, honestly I wouldn't hold out alot of hope!
I'd try to focus on the one that remains!
Fungicide it too, and easy on the water, I let mine dry out on top before watering, it's seems ok with it.

Are they growing in pots?


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RE: Titan Arum

Could it also be that it died because I gave it too much sunlight? How much sunlight is too much?

But I also think I made a huge mistake when I transplanted them. I did not have much orchid bark so I used more perlite. So I did not mixed the media right this time. I have not had any problems with these two for such a long time, I began thinking they were invincible. Not only that but I forgot to puncture holes in their big fancy pots. Why is it that so many big fancy pots don't have holes at the bottom. It you forget to place some, you can kill your plant.

Please let me know if too much sunshine can be a problem. I really like to give my surviving one as much sun as it can get.

Thanks a lot for your replies.


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RE: Titan Arum

your potting mix may be ok..but u gotta get some drain
holes in those pots..:)
i agree with grab on the fungicide too.. since ive used a
bio fungicide..ive had none of the problems with rot..
as for sunlight.. all the "tropical" amorphs like filtered light
not direct light..
i tend to give mine more direct light than they should get..
and the petiole stem shows for it.. my 2 biggest titanums have sunburns.. :( i a bad parent..
so how much sun.. never direct sun..
part of the thing with that much sun..is u r probably cooking the potting mix.. it can get really hot from solarizing in the sun.. thats not good for the corm..
good luck.. dont give up hope....


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RE: Titan Arum

What type of fungicide do you use, and do you know if it is carcinogenic?


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RE: Titan Arum

i use actinovate but there are generic makes out there
as well..
its great as against downy mildew, powder mildew, root rot, damping off, crown rot, black spot, rusts and molds
i just mix in fertilizing water..and apply every time..
this is a biological fungicide..there are more potent
fungicides out there too..and i know some titanum growers
use them.. you have to use it properly..im not aware of any carcinogenic properties. checked pack..it is toxic to bees..not listing as a carcinogen.. hope this helps


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RE: Titan Arum

I roast my Titan in the sun, he's not objected yet... No burns... His petiole gets hot and I shade it some...

The pets short, and the leaf smaller than expected, like sun grown amorphs do...I'm hoping it equals more corm growth, aroids seem to work that way...

I was carful when the leaf first emerged...

I think you might have your mix too lean lomodor...I know you did it on purpose, but compost is essential!
Your practically growing hydroponically...

After some thought, I think the amorphs in question may have been hurtin for some time, the roots constantly roting and regrowing, leaving the corm and leaf to fend for themselves, that might explain why they died from smallest to largest... With only what food is stored in the corm, a smaller corm would last much less time than a larger one, with no roots to feed it...
How old are/were they?
And what size?
Where they from seed?


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RE: Titan Arum

No, actually they were growing very healthy and happy before I replanted them. The corn you see on the picture is actually around 15% of the size it used to be. I think it may have been the fact that I didn't mixed the media right, and I forgot to place holes in the pots. Because the media is so coarsed, the water can pile at the bottom and it would seem dry on top. The rains in Florida were brutal this year so some of that rain got inside the pot and did not have an escape.

Have you used volcanic soil as a part if a midea?

I got these plant from seeds. I have been growing them for almost 7 years.


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RE: Titan Arum

Just to make it clear, the media looked coursed on the top, but the rest was more like soil and perlite with vey little orchid bark in it. Since I ran out of orchid bark, I didn't mixed the media right. The next morning I when to buy orchid bark but since I had already planted them, I didn't wanted to disturb them so I mixed the orchid bark mostly on the top. Ridiculous! If I didn't know better I would say that my subconscious was deliberately sabotaging it.

I think the main idea inside my mind was that these creatures were invincible.

On a different subject, I got really surprised that in just a couple of months the corn has gotten so small!


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RE: Titan Arum

To answer lomodor, I have been growing them in my patio. It has a ceiling, so no water comes in when it rains unless it rains with lots of wind. They get shaded light during the summer and filtered sunlight during the winter.


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RE: Titan Arum

sounds like your light is about right..i give mine more sun than they should get..i'll be putting them in more shade next yr when they go outside..
yea.. grab..my newest potting mix is pretty hydroponic..
:) im doing it on purpose though.. i got good results this last growing season.. i do water more.. i use zeolite which helps to hold the fertilizers to the potting mix..
i only have the 1 yr i used..2 yrs ago.. where i made my own potting mix. great mix..but my titanums had fungus
problems..so i decided to use a really porus potting mix
i do hear ya on that these plants are heavy feeders... i fertilize every watering..so..during the summer..they get fertilized every day..
?? grab..are u using a regular dosing of fungicide on your titanums then?? thats my concern with any manure/compost???


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RE: Titan Arum

It got a couple of foliar sprays in the summer of maneb, I made sure to hit the soil good too!
I'm probably gunna dose it again here soon, I'm not 100% sure what I'll use, I've got a few options laying around...

I'm totally out of fertilizer...not real pleased with that turn of evens...the stuff I like hasnt been available, and I can scarcely afford anything at all right now...

I did discover a bottle of MG time release for general use, I may resort to that...my mix is heavy of drainage and not rich enough for it to go long without some fuel!


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RE: Titan Arum

I still can't get over it ......no holes at the bottom of the pot!


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RE: Titan Arum

grab..u posted ..more natural sun exposure,shorter petiole..and corresponding possible larger corm growth
from that..
ive asked this many times,and on a couple forums.. now thinking of it..next time i speak with lou..winniorchids..asking him on this..
i know there are many factors in possible corm growth ..
pot size,fertilizing routine,watering,light exposure..not taking in possible fungal infection..
with my konjac i find this to be true.. next yr..i have to put
my largest konjac corms in much larger pots.. sigh..LOL
so..with titanum..and for that fact..the other 3 "tropical"
amorphs..
would love to see some discussion on this...
hint... hint... :)


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RE: Titan Arum

Byron...it's bad..but live and learn...expensive lesson, no doubt, but it's easy to make a little mistake...and one like that, out of sight so out of mind...I wouldn't be too happy either but at this point I've list more plants than most people will ever get to grow...I'm over things before they even die anymore...

There still a few one of a kind things I'd made on discovered and lost that still huant me all these years later...
The lesson learned there is to NEVER count on a sport or cross to be as winter hardy as its parent plant! NEVER!

Lomodor- I'm sure that you will encounter conflicting opinions, but the basis of my assumption that more sun leads to this or that...is very simple...
What I know: elephant ears!
A full sun grown plant will be shorter and stockier than a shade grown one, assuming their other needs are meet.
Generally the sun grown ones will grow faster, and almost inevitably the corm will be bigger at the end of the season.
Often the sun grown will overtake the shade grown plant in a matter if weeks, and continue to outpace the shade grown counterpart, but even in the instance if very similarly sized plants, the sun grown one will still have a larger rounder fuller bulb...
Things start to get more complicated here, Still in reference to EE...
All I've said above is true to MOST EE that I grow, but they few I do grow that can't tolerate that much light, just won't take it, burn down or atleast slowly recede underground, and eventually give up and go dormant, even tho, their water , heat and nutrient requirements are more than satisfied.

I surmise that the plant needs X amount of light, the leave, being big solar panel gather that light, if it takes a big panel to fill that need they make a big panel in the shade, that takes energy tho!
If all they need can be gathered by a leaf half the size if the shaded leaf, then that's less energy and resources that must be allowcated to one big leaf and can be used to make more smaller leaves, which of course feeds the bulb, which in turn produced more and eventually larger leaves, a larger plant, and/or more plants
The same simple fundamentals apply to many different plants with many differnt needs and as we are discussing, sun requirements.
Push a plant right to the very edge of its light tolerance, and the potential for rapid photosynthesis increases!
All things must be balanced for optimal results, more isn't always better, especially if not balanced, but if the plant can handle more of whatever it is, then it will often accept and use more of the other. i.e. if given more sun, it will need more water, thus allowing more nutrient uptake, which all leads to more rapid photosynthesis, which in turn should produce a bigger plant!

It's been proven time and time again though that these very sound theories will work for one plant and not another, even amongst different cultivars of the same species, that's what really complicates things!
For seeds grown plants, especially ones like aroids, with a tendency genetic variation anyway, it's almost up to an individual grower to find what each slightly different plant wants, maybe all titans are the same to a T, and want the exact same thing, I'm not sure, I lack experience there!

The thing that makes it the trickiest in my eyes, when comes to application of such a theory to amorphs is their rather unusual growth habit, they don't grow slow, but their growth cycle is incredibly slow!
One leaf per year...come on!
Talk about puttin all your eggs in one basket!

You don't have to ability to see what the plants really doing...there's rarely new leaves to measure against, and when there is a new leaf appearing, in my amorph experience, it's almost undoubtedly going to be bigger!
Pups on a Titan are unheard of, can't go by that!

Most of the time all you get to see is a corm before or after planting, a few weeks if ridiculously fast leaf growth, and the extended periods of looking at the same old leaf, albeit an awesome leaf, once it's done growing, that's about it, they don't continue to grow or fill out, all that energy is going right underground to that corm you can't see! Maybe it's packin on weight like mad, maybe it's roots are rotting off once a month and regrowing...

You just can't tell!
I'm sure someone reading this will say to themselves at about this point, that I'm way off base and I'm cooking my titan to death...ill admit, that's a possiblity, but I credit my green thumb to to basically one thing, understanding that plants to tell us things, sure they don't say feed me Seymour... I think Monsanto is workin on that though...but they be try to let us know what they need, we all know a wilted plant is screaming for a drink, usually, could be overwatered too tho, and with failing roots unable to take even a sip!
Most are less familiar with what yellow edges mean, or curled under leaf tips, or curled over, or brown dead specks on the leaves...etc etc...it's a complex language, and each plant speaks their own language, some are well documented! Others, like our titans, aren't so well documented, atleast not a language I speak! Not metaphorically speaking this time! I speak English, the best I can do is hope the pages I'm viewing have a translator on the page... Or I get to see awesome pics of titans...like a 2 year old making up a story to go with their picture book...

I also tend to think that these plants may tolerate or even enjoy more sun than we think!
Sure as a wee sprout they tower over moss maybe, and are so tender a single beam of direct sunlight might just do it in right then and there, but the design of most aroids to me, is an aggressive one, amorphs especially!

Blasting their leaf thru any other plants canopy with ease and quickness only to unfurl line a big umbrella shading all below it!
Once these thing reach a certain size they are bound to only find more and sun with passing season.
Once they hit the 20' mark, they are in a completely differnt story of the canopy, and I'm sure in places, they must be the canopy, other places, they will surely never see the canopy top.
There's no doubt they seek out the sun!
In they short time the leaf and pet. are growing, mine needed quarter turns twice a day, I did a good job spinning it and only got a few kinks in the pet. but there was no stopping it for tilting the flat plane of the leaf directly toward the direct sun here, which is hot! Not as hot as where you guys live, and no where near as hot as where it's native to! Ill get back to that...
I aslo brought it in my sun porch, after the leaf was fully formed where it only receive direct sun in the very early morning, none after 9 or 9:30 am, and all thru UV treated double pane glass, no artificial light, no skylights and a low ceiling so that his leaf stood too high to even catch the bright indirect light that does come in, but gets eaten up quickly by the carpet and such.
What's Buford do?
DROOPS! Like crazy!
Stretching his leaf down low as he could, completely changing his appearance and much more effectively arranging his solar panel to catch light in his new environment.
It was so dramatic that it scared me, it looked in a matter of 3 days that leaf completely gave out and went limp, but upon further inspection, it was as firm and turgid as ever, maybe more so, ask if be was giving it everything he had to get down low and catch just one extra ray!
That brings to my final point before I quit goin on...and go to bed!

These guys come from an area that the suns very intense, and daylength is consistently longer than any of us experience, that's got to make a dramatic difference in the amount of potential growth any of us achieve!
We're almost right back where we started, more light=more photosynthesis...that whole thing...
Anything I can do to get just a little more weight on the corm for next year, is what I want to do, it's all about getting that corm big! Atleast that's how I see it.
It's sort of a long run approach I guess, but I always garden for next year anyway.
I can say that the results this line of thinking has yeilded with A. Konjac is working very well in my opinion, last years leaf was a shade grown leaf, iwas given the plant already potted and in full leaf, I promptly acclimated it to the most sun it would stand, much less than it took all year this year, and it's corm growth fed exceeded its breatheren, back at the place I got it from.
I recent spike with the lady that gave it to me, she was shocked to here it's size, in the 2 years away from home it had out grown all her plants, including her original plant, which was over a pound when she gave me mine, which she said was only a little over 6oz.
Her largest now is 3.5 pounds, pappy tipped the scales at over 7 once I finally weighed him properly.

If you made to the end here...kudos!


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RE: Titan Arum

What would you guys think about the best media for a Titanum growing outside in a sometimes very rainy environment, like Florida.

Right now, I think that if I would have grown them outside, they would have died a long time ago.


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RE: Titan Arum

wow..grab..thats alot..:) and much appreciated!!
i agree our plants do communicate with us by how they look..and grow..typical for specific habits..
bryon..only thing i would be careful of by planting right outside in the ground..if thats what your thinking..is nematodes..they will eat the corm..
i put all my pots on something..never right on the ground..
just in case..if you are thinking for u in s.florida..then it depends..for me..im sold on my new potting mix.
as grab pointed out though..its basically a "soil less" mix.. and pours the water out..so.. then with a "denser" potting mix.. if u do get alot of rain all the time.. that can be a problem too.. the corm sitting in to soggy a mix..
if u can control how much natural rain the pots get..then maybe a "denser" mix is for u..
i would recommend checking out potted plants/container gardening forum..alot more experienced writters on the topic there.. especially tapla (al) he ROCKS !!!
good luck to ya..


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RE: Titan Arum

Lomodore, Can you tell me where do you get your pumice from? When you wrote large pumice how large is every pebble. Is it around 1/4 of an inch?


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RE: Titan Arum

byron..i get mine online on ebay.. its 5/8 + " there are many sizes..whatever your potting mix..try to get all the ingredients where they are close to same size..that way there are not pockets in your mix..leading to water perking there..you want the water to flow thru your mix..whatever
level of drainage you want..
down in s.FL you might find a local source.. here in utah
there are no local sources..:(
good luck...


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RE: Titan Arum

I just got the Actinovate. How much do you use for the arums?

I think the corn although small is not damage. I have to wait till all of the stem on top has dried so that it can be easily disconnected. The problem is, would it start growing like if it was young again with a small leaf? Or would it catch up with its former size fast. That is if the corn survives, which I am hoping badly that it will. There is not much growing energy for a corn that size, so I am hoping that the fertilizer I give it will help it grow without problems.


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RE: Titan Arum

i use 1 tablespoon actinovate to 5 gal..
u know the plant better than we do..but i find these plants
are pretty tough.. give them what they need..take care of them and they make it.. the better conditions..the bigger they grow..and sooner to blooming size.. :) which is what we all hope for.. i sure do..:)
on what size petiole the corm puts up.not sure.. right now.i would just hope the corm survives..and puts up a leaf so the corm can start putting on size again..
good luck to ya !!!


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RE: Titan Arum

Thanks for all of your help!


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RE: Titan Arum

I just bought a fertilizer called Jack's Classic 20-20-20. When I opened the plastic container I notice that it was broken. I did not mind that, however when I saw the fertilizer inside the plastic bag I became concerned that pherhaps this fertilizer might be old. Especially when the bag appears to have a tiny pin hole somewhere and therefore not completely airtight.

This is a pic of it:

As you can see, the blue fertilizer has a few white spots and darker blues in some areas. It is not consistent. Does any one here uses Jack's Classic 20-20-20? I feel like I should retune this; I bought it on line.


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RE: Titan Arum

i dont use jacks..but i understand its a good all purpose fertilizer.. i hear ya on maybe returning it..or maybe contact the seller..email them same pic and ask whats up ..???


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RE: Titan Arum

They told me it was a normal thing that some may not be airtight and the colour may be bleached.
But it just doesn't look new. I don't know how old it may have been sitting somewhere, or weather it has lost any potency. I just wish it would have been airtight. I will just check at the store some other brands and see if some have it.


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RE: Titan Arum

I better off return it and buy another.

On another subject, I can not find pumice in my area either. Some places are full of gravel and sand but no pumice. I will have to buy it on line.


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RE: Titan Arum

byron..yea..same for me..i cant find a local source for
pumice either..:( so..over the winter i order couple boxes
every month..come may..time to pot stuff up..i have 15+ boxes..this last growing season..it got me thru..
mmm.this yr though..i have 6 titanums that will need to go
in pretty big pots.. 80 gal at least..i can feel my aching
back already..LOL :)


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RE: Titan Arum

Wow, those are some big plants. They would be flowering soon. When they flower, are you planing to take them to a large, public botanic garden?


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RE: Titan Arum

my thinking is im probably still 2 yrs out to flowering..if i dont kill them before..sigh..:(
i get alot of attention by passers by already..i had 3 big titanums in front..one gal..a botanist enthusiast knew what they were..:) most.. r those palms??? :)


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RE: Titan Arum

How tall are they now, and are you giving them full sunlight?


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RE: Titan Arum

my 2 largest to start corms..17 #, 12 # are now just over 8ft,and 7ft tall..thats above the pot..so thats just the petiole.. thank goodness i have high ceilings..:)
i have them in front of a big 11 ft wide south facing window
and i have 5 T5 light fixtures in the area..going 14 hrs a day..so they get pretty good light..
leaves and petiole have good green colour..so i think im
giving them enough light..when they were outside..they
got more ..im thinking a bit much actually..the 2 largest
have sunburns on the petiole stem..so.. my bad on that..
i know its a discussion here "how much light" to give titanums.. i consider myself a "newbie" to titanums..so..im still learning..i think good light..but not strong direct light is best..thats what im going to be giving them outside spring- early fall 2014..
also..i dont think its possible to over fertilize them.. it is of course..:) but i tend to err on lighter side..so i have been feeding mine ..in vegetative stage.. heavier..
i use a mix..15:35:15 the aroid.org site suggests using
a higher P fertilizer for corm growth..


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RE: Titan Arum

You say that you are a newbie at growing Titanums. How long have you had these? I assume that you did not grow them from seeds.

I got mine from seeds, because I heard that sometimes you can get a plant that might be a different giant Aroid; because there are so many giants that look exactly like the Amorphophallus big leaf.


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RE: Titan Arum

this is my 3rd yr growing titanums.. 4th with amorphs..
yes..up to seeds i have now..all my titanums have been corms.. ive always bought corms from reputable growers..so im not concerned about getting something other than what ive bought.. as for titanum..you would know it wasnt a titanum pretty soon..the corms get to my knowledge..largest of the amorphs..paeonifollius can get pretty big..but its a very different looking corm..also paeonifollius has a "bumpy" petiole..titanum doesnt..
as with leaves..there are variations of leaf size..i have 2 titanums with huge leaves..over 13" long each..others..leaves barely get 7 ".. i find all of them equally interesting..:)
there are a couple serious growers out there..2 in the USA..couple overseas .. that are crossing some of the "tropical" amorphs.. not all successfully.. im sure to soon to make any real conclusions.. but..will be interesting what may come of it.. !!! :)


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RE: Titan Arum

Have you heard of anything concerning their soil PH?

I think my soil might be quite a bit acid with all of that bark in it.


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RE: Titan Arum

in nature..i understand that titanums grow in low altitude
areas ,very high humus, with limestone below..
i know major grower that uses farad potting mix exclusively..
it is peat,pine bark,perlite..vermiculite,limestone..
and they have fantastic results..
i use a very porus mix..my own making..i like it..i do water quite frequently.but i like that over possibility of perked water in the potting mix..i know others that would find my mix to be to porus.. i think this is where the gardener
creativity comes in..what works for you..in your specific
growing conditions..
when you check your pH on your soil.. you can add limestone, or other liming agent..here in utah..we have very alkaline water..so i think with my slightly acidic potting mix.. with use of alkaline water..what my amorphs are getting is pretty balanced..


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RE: Titan Arum

?? what did we all fall asleep?? lol sure miss comments from
fellow titanum enthusiasts!!!!
my largest 4 titanums are going good..still.. yea !!! havent killed them.. sigh..
midsized ones..2 are just sending up petiole.1 has leaves opening up 2 are dormant... small ones..all are dormant..have been for just over a month..
i can see with one of largest titanum.. it isnt a big corm..was 7 lbs.. but the petiole is tallest of all..?? go figure.. it hit the ceiling..leaves are just opening up.. i would guess if it had unlimited height room..it would have got to just shy of 9 ft tall.. oh well..
gotta put up greenhouse next yr.. or find one to rent..


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RE: Titan Arum

I can't wait until I can have massive flowering sized titanums. I have mine growing in promix hp for good drainage under a humidity dome as shown here.

Is there anyone on this forum with lots of titanums close to flowering size? I am mainly a bamboo collector with some peonies, and would rather get a titanum bloom soon rather than 5-7 years later.


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RE: Titan Arum

hi steve.. r u looking to buy a near blooming size corm.??
if so. winniorchids in NH has them blooming size.. they are $$$$$ though..:)
2 sold on ebay early fall this yr..they were around 70#,and went for around $1100..i think.. which is a good price..but depends on your budget..:)
i know theres been much discussion on many boards.. ?
how big does a titanum corm need to be to get to blooming size..
i have been of the thinking over 50#..but i do know there have been some that have gotten a corm to flower in 30ish # size..
of course the flower on the smaller corm was nothing like the monsters that come from a 200# corm..muttart conservatory's was over 11 ft i think..and they have a 240# corm..
good luck to ya..and let us know..post pics.. if u do get a big corm.. :)


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RE: Titan Arum

Based on the rate of growth that I've heard of it will be at least 5 years down the road before mine get to blooming size, but if I cannot get it at a decent price, then I guess I'll have to be patient with the little plants I have.

Perhaps sticking them inside a greenhouse can make them grow faster.


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