Philodendrons, Elephant Ears, and Other Aroids forum→Root rot on Pastazanum, McDowell, Mamei & Gloriosum.

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Name: E PB
Hong Kong (Zone 7b)
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emmapb
Jun 9, 2020 4:54 AM CST
Hi there aroid community. I received these philodendrons in the mail. They were wrapped in wet tissue paper with a plastic bag around the roots. This is the state of the roots when I opened up the bags. Is this a case of root rot? If so, how do I go about it? Should I try to skim off the layer of black rot? Or would I just be damaging the roots even more with the scraping?

Thanks for any advice and help!
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[Last edited by emmapb - Jun 9, 2020 5:48 AM (+)]
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Jun 9, 2020 6:50 AM CST
Wow where did they come from?

Some of the roots look lost but other do not. The black coloration could be from the soil that they were previously grown in. It seems like there might have been a rule in play that wherever they came from was not allowed to ship soil, so they tried to wash it off. Some of that may be old fine soil still clinging to the roots.

The white ones are definitely ok. The way to tell if the roots are dead is to squeeze them gently...if they are dead they will be mushy or hollow, not firm. If the tips have obviously been lost and there is a 'string' hanging out its dead.

You should proceed really carefully and take each plant and thoroughly inspect it root by root. Cut off all the obviously dead ones, you can train damaged ones up to where viable tissue starts. Leave obviously healthy ones alone.

The damage has been done, IMO there is not a lot you can do to cause more. The plants look like they were previously healthy....there is a chance of course they will recover...but they have been set back by this treatment and it will take time and rehabilitation.

After you have trimmed up everything back to only what is viable, I myself would put them all into damp sphagnum moss and let them try are re-root before planting them.
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Name: E PB
Hong Kong (Zone 7b)
Image
emmapb
Jun 9, 2020 2:23 PM CST
I bought them from a lady who lives in Whyanbeel, a rural town up in Queensland where they have almost perfect conditions for growing tropicals. Fortunately, she sells her cuttings at an extremely affordable price compared to other growers who are trying to make a quick buck at the highest possible profit.

Some of the roots are squishy up until they are hard and firm. Thanks for the expertise advice, Gina1960 - I really do appreciate the knowledge you pass down to other growers.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jun 9, 2020 2:51 PM CST
Oh Emma that is very kind of you to say! I approach root problems in aroids the same way as in repotting orchids....slow and methodical.

I know what you mean about the sellers looking to make a quick buck...we have a lot of those here too. A few of us call them 'node flippers' because they import plants from Asia and resell them almost immediately for 3-4x what they paid for them. They aren;t real growers, they are just opportunists
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Name: E PB
Hong Kong (Zone 7b)
Image
emmapb
Jun 9, 2020 3:04 PM CST
I can definitely see what you mean by them being opportunists. They usually sell tiny cuttings consisting of 1 node and very little leeway to work with - just an attempt to make as much money as possible, by giving the customer the bare minimum.

It's hard to come by people who grow and sell for the purpose of increasing and restoring biodiversity of threatened species, or just for the beauty of the plant itself - not just because it's been marketed as a rare plant!! I'm not sure if it's just because of where I live (being a temperate oceanic region), there's not a whole lot of people growing aroids for the sake of biodiversity or botanical reasons, it's more like a trophy collecting sport.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jun 9, 2020 3:48 PM CST
Its the same way here. I live in a temperate area as well, my zone is a borderline zone in Florida just a cut above the more tropical zones. Its a lot more possible for the Arctic Express to come park itself over my part of Florida than it is over Miami. But even South FL is not immune and neither is Central FL (Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota, etc). But its happening less and less as the planet warms. I have not had a real freeze in 3 winters.

The thing about my plant collection is that I started collecting in the 90's, and many of the aroids I have are considered 'old' now. In the intervening years, many of these plants have been tissue cultures multiple times, inadvertently hybridized, many that were popular have fallen out of favor, many that were unknown then are available now (because they have been discovered and brought into the plant trade). Some of my plants are forms that were available in an earlier time period, and are no longer available in the form that I have.

I do try to share those with other younger collectors on occasion, because, I have been told by a few botanists that they are a 'more pure' unadulterated form of the plant.

I do sell plants but not many. And I sell things that will have absolutely no problem growing, unless the buyer is hopelessly inept.
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Name: E PB
Hong Kong (Zone 7b)
Image
emmapb
Jun 9, 2020 4:25 PM CST
Wow, since the 90's! That is incredible, from all the photos you've shared I can tell you have an amazing collection and clearly know what you're doing.

Tissue culture is an interesting topic - I wonder how resilient to pests and disease they are, considering they are grown in such tightly controlled environments. I also do wonder what percentage of plants nowadays are tissue cultured or "pure".
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jun 9, 2020 7:24 PM CST
Its hard to know, but from what I have been told, many plants on the market now are different in various ways from plants that were around during the time period I started collecting. Every generation that gets tissue cultured apparently has the potential to change a little, because the tissue samples don't come from a single plant but from multiple plants. I don't claim to be an expert on TC at all. But I have asked a lot of questions of more knowledgeable folks. What I gleaned is that because of this method of mixing samples, that is how sometimes they get aberrant clones. Some of the these are desirable in that they are unique enough to be named as new cultivars of a plant. Some of the plants I have were not from tissue culture. They were from vegetative propagation or by seedling propagation from other collectors.

You can still get plants that are not tissue culture plants from some sources. But anything you get at a box store or nursery will likely be from TC

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Name: E PB
Hong Kong (Zone 7b)
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emmapb
Jun 9, 2020 8:53 PM CST
Interesting! Thanks for the insight, Gina! I'm all ears!
Name: Tofi
Sumatera, Indonesia
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tofitropic
Jun 14, 2020 8:45 PM CST
great plants, I live in rural area in my country, and there is no near source of collector-items plants, the only choice is buying online.
to me for newly arrive plants especially bare roots or cutting I will wash the plant in weak vitamin B1 and very low concentrate fungicide solutions, for cuple of hors before planting in medium of choice, depending on plants some bagging will be of beneficial, especially some aroids, but not all, and for succulents better on a drier side... i will also spray leaves with weak B1 soluion every 3 days. it really is beneficial in my experience
Name: Adrienne
Ohio (Zone 6b)
Adriennevs
Jun 14, 2020 9:10 PM CST
Does the B1 solution have a brand? I'm sure it's different here but I'm wondering if it's similar to super thrive.
Name: E PB
Hong Kong (Zone 7b)
Image
emmapb
Jun 15, 2020 1:37 AM CST
Thanks @tofitropic for the advice. When it comes to fungicides, which one is best? I've seen some people say to avoid copper fungicides at all cost, then again ,I've seen people advise the opposite.
Name: E PB
Hong Kong (Zone 7b)
Image
emmapb
Jun 15, 2020 3:35 AM CST
After following @Gina1960 advice, I can see fine white root hairs forming on the main pink root! Hooray Hurray! It's sitting on the heat mat in damp sphagnum moss - so far, so good!

The photo doesn't do it justice, a bit hard to see due to the condensation but it's coming along.
I appreciate the help I've received from you guys!

Thumb of 2020-06-15/emmapb/aa8e45

Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jun 15, 2020 6:20 AM CST
The best fungicide to use on stuff like this is CAPTAN. It comes in a canister as a powder, and you can use it as a dip, or make a slurry (it never completely dissolves in water) and soak the plats root system and base before you plant, then use the slurry as a soil drench to water in. It is easy to control because it is a powder, it is not generally used as a spray, so the chance of inhaling it is small compared to other fungicides.

I was schooled about Captan 20= years ago when I was collecting and growing rhizomatous plants like heliconias, etlingeras, calathea, other rare gingers, unusual bananas....unless your live in South Florida and can go a nursery where they sell already containerized plants, the large growing species of these plants are sold by the rhizome....they are dug to order right out of the ground cut apart from the body of the mother plant, all the roots are removed and the rhizome is washed then it is mailed. The roots are removed because they always die anyway, and the plant has to completely grow a new root system. Captan is used before planting to kill any fungus, because trying to reroot these rhizomes can sometimes end with them rotting before they root.

The B vitamins are commonly used here as Superthrive. Some people swear by SUperthrive, some people say its crap.
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Name: E PB
Hong Kong (Zone 7b)
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emmapb
Jun 15, 2020 5:27 PM CST
Interesting. None of the local nurseries where I live sell the rarer plants, I guess it would be due to geographic factors, namely temperature and humidity. Although, I have read from others that humidity is not a huge factor in growing majority of aroids, with the exception of velvet leaf species.

I am curious as to what would happen if I left a tropical plant, for example, a Philodendron gloriosum outside in the cold winter. I'm assuming the leaves would be the first to go but what happens to the stolon? Would it come back and start putting out growth when the weather starts picking up again? Or is it completely done for?
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jun 15, 2020 7:49 PM CST
Well...........that is a good question. I had a heater failure in my greenhouse one winter when the temps were in the 20's for more than one night and I didn't know it had happened. I lost some things. But my gloriosum survived
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Name: Tofi
Sumatera, Indonesia
Peppers Vegetable Grower Butterflies Garden Procrastinator Roses Bookworm
Tomato Heads Tropicals Salvias Plays in the sandbox Frogs and Toads Fruit Growers
Image
tofitropic
Jun 17, 2020 8:21 PM CST
I never use copper fungiside as well, and I just use the one commonly used by farmer here, I have Mancozeb, and it has great results for me, as we use it in low quantity, perhaps a package serves for few years.

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