My hybrid Alocasia, "Imperial Dark", a cross between my Alocasia "Imperial Giant" and the Alocasia macrorrhizos black-petioled type, is now blooming and today one bloomed opened, ready to receive pollen. So I've pollinated it using pollen from a selection of my cross of A. odora and A. watsoniana - this particular selection has purple undersides to the leaves but otherwise is all green. My goal here is to get a true total dark plant with the hardiness and ease of culture typical of A. odora. The Imperial Dark is a dark version of the Borneo Giant in looks and in size, but it does not have the hardiness of A. odora. One of my "holy grail" goals has been to develop a dark-petioled hybrid Alocasia with A. odora in the pedigree. This could be my chance, at long last.
Will it work? Watch this blog for more info.
I mixed up some soil media (4:3:2 composted pine bark, washed Perlite, ProMix BX) and did some repotting. I have a number of hybrid Alocasias that are really in dire need of larger pots. Imagine a healthy Alocasia almost 2 feet tall in a 4" pot! That's the type of plants begging for new pots. So I got busy and did some of them - more to go.
Also did a "warm fertilization", in which I use warm to hot hose water (hose sitting in the sun for an hour or so) and mix up my Miracle Gro in it, then apply the solution to selected plants. They seem to like the warmth along with their nutrients!
This morning, as always, I checked my plants to see if any of the crosses I've done lately have ripened berries ready for seed extraction. Today the first pod on my Philodendron paludicola has finally ripened up. I did a number of Philo crosses this Spring, but this one has taken the longest to ripen up. Even pollen used from this plant for crosses on others yielded berries that have not only ripened already, but have produced seedlings that are growing!
The picture at right shows the plant when the bloom whose berries I just harvested was newly open. Female anthesis was in mid evening so that is why the picture was taken in the dark. Note that the plant is in a bucket of water - that's how P. paludicola likes it!
Also on the docket today is a small batch of hybrid Caladium seeds that I harvested yesterday; they are in need of being planted today. This is the last of the 2011 Caladium hybrid seeds of a very busy Spring. I'm now looking at thousands of tiny Caladium seedlings. Help!!