Aroids forum: Colocasia esculenta bulb bloom question

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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Oct 30, 2014 8:30 AM CST
I've been wondering all summer about this, so might as well ask.

After about 15 years, my original mama bulb made several blooms last summer. This spring, the mama bulb had turned to mush, but had many nice size pups around what was left of its' base. I'm wondering if this was because it had pushed itself up out of the ground somewhat and was too exposed to the arctic blast, or if they would normally do that after blooming?

July:
Thumb of 2014-10-30/purpleinopp/746c48

September:
Thumb of 2014-10-30/purpleinopp/940035
Thumb of 2014-10-30/purpleinopp/d01f68
Thumb of 2014-10-30/purpleinopp/90bc7c

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Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
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eclayne
Oct 30, 2014 9:29 PM CST

Plants Admin

I've not read of blooming doing anything other than stalling increase in leaf size. Maybe they're growth rate slows down a bit as well while blooming. If the parent tuber rotted it was most likely due to the cold and wet.

They build a new tuber on top of the old (as well as pups) so that might have been too exposed. Hopefully someone who has them actively growing year round will chime in with advice about preventing rot from happening this winter. You could just give them a blanket of mulch.
Evan
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Oct 31, 2014 8:05 AM CST
TYVM for your input, Evan! I couldn't find any info about C. esculenta being monocarpic either, but it never hurts to ask.

I'm a "huge mulcher," and never had a problem with any rotting before on any of these things... I'm just a few miles from FL... except that one big one that was especially exposed during last (especially harsh) winter. I have quite a few of these in the ground for a few years, and had the mama bulb in a pot for over a decade before PIG'ing a few years ago. That big mama started winter under a nice pile of leaves, but they either blew away or disintegrated too quickly. There was night after night of below freezing, then an ice storm with 2 nights in the teens. It was hideous - the kind of long, cold winter I moved to AL to escape. But TY so much for offering the most excellent advice. Spot-on, couldn't agree more!
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Oct 31, 2014 8:46 AM CST
I agree that the tuber more than likely rotted due to the wet, cold winter. I'm in Florida, on the coast, zone 9b and a few years back we had two consecutive crazy, wet and cold winters .... with ice! I've never seen anything like it in the almost 48 years I've been in Florida. I lost many tropicals those years. I do recall a winter in the 80's when we went to Miami for Christmas to visit family and there was a freak freeze in the northern half of the state and I lost some decent sized cactus plants that I'd grown from seed. Cactus can usually take cold temps but it was just too wet and cold for three days so they all turned to mush. I keep saying I want to move farther south and in a couple more years when my husband decides to finally hang up his professors hat and quit teaching we are going to move a bit farther south to be closer to my sister and her husband ... but who knows, the way the weather seems to be changing I might be wanting to move to the islands by then. Smiling
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Name: Kurt Nehrbass
Buffalo, NY (Zone 5b)
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KurtMN
Nov 6, 2014 3:30 PM CST
I agree with everyone else on the cold killing the mother tuber. Up here in Buffalo, NY I had a nice sized 24" pot that started out with one tuber and multiplied through the summer and I wound up with a very large pot full. Usually I would leave the plants outside until a good hard frost killed the leaves back at which time I would hack off the tops and store it. Unfortunately it rained the day before and I took the pot into the basement wet, by the time spring came, just about all the tubers were rotting. I did manage to save a few thankfully. Fortunately I didn't have any problems with my Alocasias since they never stay out when it's going to freeze.

Rolling my eyes.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Nov 6, 2014 4:46 PM CST
TY, Kurt! Sorry that happened!
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