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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Feb 19, 2015 9:04 PM CST
I was reading the book, big bad book of botney.- and found some serious cultivation errors with bird of paradise plant. it states the leaves get 28 inches long by 2 feet wide, first mistake, i know of none that get that wide.

second it said to keep them re-potted frequently as they need to spread out. i learned on here birds like to be pot bound, unless you are growing them on- which i'm doing for the time being.

secondly it said they need part shade to shade to bloom, i gasped i know they love sun as much as possible.

i do have to say he said they like sea air which is true. i tried to contact him but couldn't due to my email differences with AOL
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Feb 19, 2015 10:12 PM CST
The title is The Big, Bad Book of Botany
Author is Michael Largo

In my opinion it is not meant to be a serious book about botany, just something entertaining and amusing. I find that you can write a letter to the publisher (Harper Collins) of any book and they will forward the letter to the author.

http://www.harpercollins.com/9780062282750/the-big-bad-book-...

As for the size of the leaves, it would depend on which variety and where the plant is growing. Here is a photo from our database.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - Feb 19, 2015 10:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Mike Dunton
Liberal, Oregon (Zone 8b)
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MikeD
Feb 19, 2015 10:16 PM CST
You can usually get messages to authors through their publisher. Some authors do maintain their own web pages and communicate openly with the public. Others maintain privacy.

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/michael.largo.73

Website - http://www.finalexits.com/

Looking at the comments at Amazon, you aren't the only one who has issue with the book. You can also leave comments there as well. http://www.amazon.com/The-Big-Bad-Book-Botany/dp/0062282751

Good luck.
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Feb 19, 2015 10:16 PM CST

Plants Admin

I doubt it matters to him if there are errors in the book, apparently numerous errors have been noted by others as the first reviews show, he should see those eventually.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Big-Bad-Book-Botany/dp/0062282751
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18505810-the-big-bad-book...
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Region: California Plant Database Moderator Roses Irises Clematis Garden Photography
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Calif_Sue
Feb 19, 2015 10:17 PM CST

Plants Admin

Ahh, had my post open too long, Mike found the same Amazon reviews.
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 20, 2015 5:20 PM CST
Yep, my giant White Birds get 25ft. tall and the leaves can be 6 or 7ft. long by 2ft. wide. So it does depend upon what variety he's talking about.

That's the great, and sad truth about books nowadays. New information is so quickly available through internet sources now that a book can be out of date before it even gets published. An author can't be expected to list every variety of plant, much less keep up with ongoing research.

Orchid books are out of date nearly weekly now and it's a real shame. The orchid botanists are re-categorizing and renaming many types of orchids as they research them on a cellular level. Almost any orchid you buy has a new name waiting for it when you research its parentage.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Feb 20, 2015 9:03 PM CST
Yep.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Feb 23, 2015 9:10 AM CST
"This plant likes to be rootbound" Oh, this is sad, and I don't believe it for a minute. There are no pots in the wild.

No plant likes to be rootbound. What they like is for their roots to NOT rot, which can happen so easily in a pot with dense soils, like ground dirt, or bagged mixes of predominantly tiny particles of peat. Having very little soil around the roots makes it difficult for even the most dedicated plant-overwaterers to rot the roots of their plants. This is not ideal, just a way of coping with inappropriate "ingredients" in a pot. A more porous, chunky soil (like cactus/palm, if one is buying bagged,) can have air in it even when it is moist. Roots need oxygen and moisture at the same time to function. When there are tiny particles of any kind in a pot, such as peat, sand, silt, clay, they filter into all of the tiny spaces in a pot, eliminating the air. "Overwatering" is the label and manifestation when roots have suffocated and/or rotted, combo of both. There is no one thing folks can put in to make soil better, but removing tiny particles of any type will definitely help. Over time, organic bits decompose into smaller bits, so even the "best" soil, if it has organic components, will need to be replaced when this happens. The speed at which this happens depends on many variables, but on average, about 1-3 years.

๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
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โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Feb 23, 2015 9:19 AM CST
That's a really great explanation, Tiffany. I virtually cringe when I see an article/book, written by a so-called "expert", that uses that phrase "This plant likes to be root-bound". I'm with you! A plant may grow well and/or just survive being root-bound, but that doesn't mean that that's the way to grow it best. Certainly some plants really like to stay on the dry-side, but with proper media, the vast majority of plants will not die of "over-watering". The frequency of watering is not the real issue here, it is the fact that the media retains that water too long. That's what I believe anyway. Sticking tongue out
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Feb 23, 2015 9:53 AM CST
I feel so strongly about trying to dispel this myth, I copied/pasted that from my profile on here. I put it there for whoever clicks on "me" to consider. One has to grow according to their soil, so if it's peaty potting soil and taking forever to dry out, a tiny pot, rootbound condition, &/or drying to the point of almost-wilt may be tools for survival, at best, but not conditions by which to grow an optimal specimen.

Roots that have filled a pot, &/or formed a pancake shape at the bottom of a pot are also very exposed to periods of being too dry, then too moist, hot/cold, and completely vulnerable when in a weakened state to pests like root mealybug. When roots are no longer able to grow, the foliage is not either.

For those having trouble overwatering, this is a really tough tightrope to walk, you can't make mistakes. It's so much easier to just be able to be wrong, and give plants a drink before that magic moment when they're about to wilt but haven't yet. You still can't take the very 'best' mix and keep a cactus moist, but you sure can avoid overwatering other plants that like and need to stay moist by just continuing to love & water them like always, in a soil that's not conducive to rotting the roots while moist.

An argument could also be made that because 'new' plants usually need to mature before blooming, maturing would likely often coincide with filling its' pot with roots.

To have a great plant, it must have great, healthy, growing roots.

Understanding the roots of the myth (pun intended) can help with understanding how to get past it. No doubt it may have been a workable tool in the past when bagged peat began to be marketed as a potting medium, or may even come from a prior time when ground dirt was the only option. To compound things in recent times, some potting soil has silicone gel bits that exacerbate the moisture retention problem because the predominance of tiny particles of peat requires some drying for roots to get oxygen before that is even added. It would be more accurately called moisture retention soil, not moisture control. By understanding more about how roots work and what happens to them in a pot in different types of soil, we are more able to provide more suitable, less risky conditions. Something I'm constantly working on, and I look forward to learning more!
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
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โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
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drdawg
Feb 23, 2015 10:07 AM CST
Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 23, 2015 10:10 AM CST
The bird of paradise we were talking about at the beginning is the shorter orange/blue bloomer that gets only about 4ft tall. I think the term 'pot bound' might have been misunderstood, as we were saying in another thread about this plant that it really doesn't bloom well until it had made itself a tight clump. Even in the ground where it has room to spread, it makes a crowded clump then blooms and blooms. So if you have a small starter plant of this type, you should definitely leave it and not divide it until it has increased to a good size clump or you'll never see blooms.

Other plants behave the same way - my Agapanthus pouts for about 2 years after I divide it, then once it's crowded itself again, it blooms like crazy as long as I leave it alone. Tiffany's absolutely right about the drainage, for sure. I add new potting soil, a bit of fert and amendments to the top of the pot each year, and it 'eats' up all those goodies over the summer and fall.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 23, 2015 12:46 PM CST
Meant to add, and this is just my opinion but what good would it do to contact an author of a book to tell him you think he published some bad information? He can't change what he published years ago or recall the books and put out new ones. Books aren't like the internet, with new information every day or week, unfortunately. A monthly gardening publication like Organic Gardening magazine (don't know if it's still around, even!) would be a more reliably current source.

There's a LOT of information out there in books that is tremendously out of date, and much of it has been proven wrong by ongoing research especially in Botany. Universities with Agriculture, Horticulture and Botany schools are constantly changing their handouts that are distributed - for free! - through your County Extension services. That's always your best source for current information.

If it's a tropical plant that you're growing indoors, possibly a County Extension in a southern state would have more specific info on those plants since they grow in people's gardens down here.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 23, 2015 12:57 PM CST
I am the source for this, Elaine. I teach the "Tropical Plants" course to our Master Gardeners. Boy, that's scary, huh?! Whistling
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 23, 2015 1:17 PM CST
Right, Ken . . Big Grin but don't you get updated info from your County Extension, and the University, too? Surely you don't teach the very same 'Tropical Plants' course year after year? Lots of things change, like plant names, diseases, fertilizers and pesticides to just name a few but you know this.

The originator of this thread, Plantsmylove, was asking how to contact the author of a book they were reading called the Big Bad Book of Botany because they thought some of the info in there was wrong.

Just sayin' y'know . . it probably is but there's really no use telling the author now. The lesson to be learned is to keep current by doing research online or through sources that are up to date, like good gardening magazines.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Feb 23, 2015 1:25 PM CST
And if you're concerned about other people getting inaccurate information, I think MikeD has the right idea: post a review in the comments on Amazon.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
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drdawg
Feb 23, 2015 1:34 PM CST
Oh, the Extension Service and the Master Gardener program (under the umbrella of the Extension Service) constantly updates literature and programs as information changes. Basically no one in the general vicinity grows tropical plants like I do. I don't know why, that's just the way it is. I change my presentations around, but that's more to simply cover a wider range of tropical plants. Most people don't even understand the basics of growing tropical plants. I only know the basics of what a grow, a drop-in-the-bucket considering the hundreds of thousands of tropical plant varieties. Orchids are what I know best, or at least what I grow most, but there is more interest locally and probably state-wide in houseplants, the vast majority of which are tropical plants.

You are right, Elaine. Keep reading, keeping watching videos, keeping learning. Information will always be a-changing!

I missed that post about reviewing on Amazon. Tell me about that.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Feb 23, 2015 3:17 PM CST
Here ya go, Ken. Click on the Amazon link, then click on "reviews." The first review is a doozy!
MikeD said:You can usually get messages to authors through their publisher. Some authors do maintain their own web pages and communicate openly with the public. Others maintain privacy.

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/michael.largo.73

Website - http://www.finalexits.com/

Looking at the comments at Amazon, you aren't the only one who has issue with the book. You can also leave comments there as well. http://www.amazon.com/The-Big-Bad-Book-Botany/dp/0062282751

Good luck.


Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Feb 23, 2015 4:28 PM CST
That sounds more like an entertainment book than a reference book. It includes such info as, "Some [plants] found in ancient mythology hold magical abilities, including the power to turn a person to stone."
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Feb 23, 2015 4:46 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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