Aroids forum: Such a nice Jewish boy...

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Kentucky 😔 (Zone 6a)
Region: Kentucky Tropicals Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Swayback
Jun 4, 2013 9:41 AM CST
Last year I decided to try and keep a few of my A. Portora actively up and growing thru the winter, in the greenhouse.
There was a time I thought elephant ears require a dormant winter, I'd been told that and witnessed them give it up, now I realize it's these damn dark winters that force that dormancy on them, that and the over all decline in conditions!
It forces dormancy in me too...
At any rate, I kept 3 portora up all winter, they never missed a beat! But it was a slow beat, they are rockin now tho!
I push my EEs hard at times, even in this extremely variable may weather they have thrown a leaf a week! A few of my colocasia have managed 2 a week! But it was 55 degrees last night, I hate that, I know these tropicals don't enjoy it much either!
Anyway, as usual, I have a bunch of tubers that promptly bloom when I toss em back outside, more now than ever, my collection is recovering!
I think they do this because the plant gets abruptly halted, and still has a bloom deep within the tuber, if that makes sense.
So...I notice cataphylls are pushing out of the 3 portora I keep active, (along with the 4 pound tuber I dry stored, and many other EE too)
I keep a close eye on them as hybridizing is a growing interest of mine
(I owned 2 self made hybrids, and a seed sport of a few ears but lost them when my greenhouse froze, one was my pride and joy) but I awake the other day and do my daily exam of my plants, and I can see the spathe starting to push open the petiole and emerge, but on one of them, I could clearly see the male flowers with no spathe surrounding them!
I thought it was odd, made a mental note and moved on...
Well that bloom is out! As are many more and to my surprise this is what I see:

Thumb of 2013-06-04/Swayback/cb6e8f
Thumb of 2013-06-04/Swayback/6e38d1
Thumb of 2013-06-04/Swayback/786efa
Thumb of 2013-06-04/Swayback/22c91e

Never seen anything quite like it, I suppose it may be a side effect of forced blooming, but these 3 I kept active and growing had ample opportunity to push blooms out in the greenhouse, but they grew leaves instead, so maybe my "bloom deep within the tuber" theory is bunk, I dunno...
I do know this one bloom has a practically non existent spathe, tho it is there...but otherwise seems perfectly normal.
I certainly lack the expertise of this forums moderator, but I have never seen the like of this, and I have grown a few aroids in my day... Fun stuff I thought I would share, please comment on it, especially if you have insight as to why this might happen, or if anyone's ever noticed this before, I certainly have not, but Ive seen as many blooms in my life as Lariann probably has seen in a day...hopefully she chimes in, it's her baby after all.
Thanks for reading my ramblings...
Please tree mail me for trades, I'm ALWAYS actively looking for more new plants, and love to trade!
[Last edited by Swayback - Jun 4, 2013 9:54 AM (+)]
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Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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eclayne
Jun 4, 2013 5:57 PM CST

Plants Admin

With the exception of Thai Giant I've never had an EEar throw a bloom. No help with your questions but I sure am enjoying your photos and "ramblings". I kept my x portora growing over-winter as well, 4" pot last July and it's topping 4' grown in the basement. I'll be planting it out this weekend.
Evan
Name: LariAnn Garner
south Florida, USA
When in doubt, do the cross!
Forum moderator Pollen collector Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Aroids Seed Starter
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LariAnn
Jun 4, 2013 6:11 PM CST

Moderator

Although your portora bloom shows an exceptionally abbreviated spathe, I, too, have seen them come out with spathes much smaller than the spadix. I have not focused on this phenomenon but I suspect it may be related to the wintertime activity (or lack thereof). You kept yours going in winter so that gave the plant a chance to initiate flower primordia, but the cooler nights (cooler than summertime) may also have caused parts of the developmental process to stall somewhat. Leaves get smaller in the winter due to less sunlight and cooler temps (I'm talking Florida here) so since the spathe is, developmentally speaking, a modified leaf, it makes sense that what affects the leaves would affect the spathes as well.

Hope this helps,
LariAnn
Be the Captain of What's Gonna Happen!
Kentucky 😔 (Zone 6a)
Region: Kentucky Tropicals Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Swayback
Jun 4, 2013 6:59 PM CST
Indeed it does help explain it or atleast gives some insight, 4 other portora are blooming too, with normal spathe, so clearly it's not normal for them even under adverse conditions...
I mostly just thought it was neat, and wanted to share
I find it rather attractive myself
Please tree mail me for trades, I'm ALWAYS actively looking for more new plants, and love to trade!
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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eclayne
Jun 5, 2013 10:35 AM CST

Plants Admin

Here's mine all wrapped up and ready to move outside.
Thumb of 2013-06-05/eclayne/e61257
Evan
Kentucky 😔 (Zone 6a)
Region: Kentucky Tropicals Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Swayback
Jun 5, 2013 7:41 PM CST
I can't believe you get no flowers, how tall is that, it looks good, mine get roasted in the greenhouse, it always makes em look rough, that and the spider mites...
Really I think they put on more bulb in the hot sun, and can certainly take it once that size, but let it get too dry for too long and that sun will mess it up bad, but it's a resilient cross that for sure!
With this many blooming it should be a good time to try my hand at crossing them, I'm sure back crossing them would yeild some interesting variety
Anyone have angle advice on when they might receptive?
Shrug!
Please tree mail me for trades, I'm ALWAYS actively looking for more new plants, and love to trade!
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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eclayne
Jun 5, 2013 9:01 PM CST

Plants Admin

Most of mine I let go dormant and stay dormant thru winter Swayback. Some new one's I added last year, like portora, I purchased late so I didn't think they were big enough for that and I grew them on. She's about 4' now and her latest petiole is almost twice as thick as the previous. Others I grew on were pups and to be honest not much thrived in the basement except portora and Z. aethiopica 'White Giant'. The others just hung in there but they've started to take off now. The spider mites were a real hassle as were these little black flies. Neem oil and spraying everything down with water 2 or 3 times a week helped alot, but what a pain.

Sun really isn't an issue here, except the lack of it. Everything I've tried seems to do best in full sun although some do fine in part shade. I added moisture crystals, dry, to the soil for a few last year and they seemed to like that. I'm wondering if amending with sphagnum peat will be OK. I don't know if they mind really acidic soil though.

When you talk about them getting roasted in the GH, do you mean over the winter and spring?
Evan
Kentucky 😔 (Zone 6a)
Region: Kentucky Tropicals Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Swayback
Jun 7, 2013 9:51 AM CST
It gets hot in my GH fast, once the suns up and the temps above 0 outside, my GH will be near 100 degrees, or over!
I think it's a combination of heat, intense winter sun and dryness, I don't water enough in water to keep them happy, if I did I wouldn't be very happy, too much water to hual, and it's way to cold to use the hose in winter...
I tend to think that if any of those 3 points I listed where not a factor they would look fine now, but they r coming around quick!

Aren't those wintertime spider mites fun! I bet the basement helps keep them in check too, they run amuck in the GH, seems odora genes take mites well tho!

Update: there now two mini spathe flowers poking out, possibly lendin credit to lariann's explanation...
The newer blooms spathe is much larger, tho no where near normal
Thumb of 2013-06-07/Swayback/e320b2

Thumb of 2013-06-07/Swayback/c4f098

I did notice some scent coming from the earliest portora bloom last night, no heat tho...
Last year one bloomed and I crossed it but had to dig it before the berries where ripe... Once dug it promptly dropped the seed pod... Grumbling
I've got some pollen in the freezer from last fall, I bet it's dead but ill still try...
Please tree mail me for trades, I'm ALWAYS actively looking for more new plants, and love to trade!
Name: Drew
Piedmont N.C. (Zone 7b)
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homer1958
Jul 11, 2013 4:50 PM CST
Have had similar occurrences with my large Portora as well Swayback. LariAnn hit the proverbial nail on the head with her explanation for sure.
[Last edited by homer1958 - Jul 11, 2013 5:02 PM (+)]
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