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And Why Isn’t Mine Doing That?

July 25, 2012

Last winter, when the big Amorphophallus konjac at work went dormant, I got to dump it out and pot all the little tubers up separately. I’d talked my boss into it after we’d had to tell several people, “sorry, not for sale” – and I love selling weird stuff that no-one else is selling. At first, it seemed like the 14 plants we’d ended up with (not counting the big not-for-sale-one) would never sell – I was constantly talking my tongue off, explaining what sort of weird plant this was, only to have people say, “so it doesn’t have flowers?” and walk away.

But in the end, they sold pretty well – only four left now.

In any case, all of them did something that made me a little jealous. They all started out with one leaf, as expected, varying in size depending on the size of the tuber. But then…

They put out a second leaf. And they didn’t stop there.

This picture is from about a month ago. Since then, they’ve put up a third leaf, and are working on a fourth. And pushing roots out the drainage holes until they nearly topple over.

And what do I get at home? One measly little leaf.

OK, it’s not really surprising. The ones at work were on a table with ebb-and-flow irrigation, and since the zinnias, which were on the same table, are very thirsty plants, the irrigation was turned on at least one, more often twice a day, and there’s always some fertilizer in the irrigation water as well. While my plants at home must survive in the smallest possible pot, on the smallest possible amount of water and fertilizer, for the longest possible time. (That’s one of the main rules in the Nettle Nest. The other is, deal with it or die!)

Actually, I’m trying to be better about watering and feeding my plants. And it seems to be taking effect, because my little Amorphophallus was doing the roots-out-the-drainage-hole thing as well. Today I finally repotted it to keep it from falling off the windowsill. (I just had my Yucca elephantipes do that this morning, of course so close to leaving for work that I could not clean up the dirt-and-pot-shards mess until I came home. And Yuccas have a much better chance of surviving a fall unharmed than an Amorphophallus.) We’ll see if it do anything exciting now.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2012 00:43

    Ugh. Mine SHRANK from last year. The bulb is only half the size and the leaf is about half the size as well. I made sure to put it outside this year so hopefully it’ll do a little bit better with more sun/water

    • July 27, 2012 06:56

      Oh, booh! Fingers crossed for a bigger bulb and bigger leaf next year! I’m trying to remember to feed mine (and the rest of my plants) more regularly as well (though they don’t get nearly as much as the ones at work.)

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