I’ve been growing cold hardy varieties of amorphophallus outdoors for some time, but last year i got my first Konjac and Bulbifer varities. After they went dormant I put them in peat moss in a bucket in my basement without any light. I just noticed today that all of the bulbs are sending up spikes in total darkness. Will they be ok to store this way until outdoor temps rise enough to move them outdoors, or will i have to move them into sunlight to keep them happy.
How big are the bulbs? If they are large, it is possible that you are seeing flower spikes, which always come up earlier. But if you keep them in moist medium and they are at room temperature, then that could easily be the leaf coming up already. I keep mine dry, either just sitting in empty flower pots or a grocery bag. I don’t worry about keeping them dark and all of mine are still asleep, although possibly showing a little swelling starting at the growth points.
If yours are really growing, I would pot them up and just keep them somewhere as sunny and bright as you can manage in the house. Then bring them out when temps warm up enough.
Here are some of mine just kept out of the soil and dry.
A. Konjac “nightstick”
They were both fairly large. Id guess at least a few inches wide. One was larger than my fist. I let them dry for a few days and then placed them in completely dry peat moss. I was guessing flower spikes but im not sure. Here is what is going on.
There is at least an inch of peat moss covering the corms.
If you feel brave you can pull them up and check them. If there are no roots forming, then it is a good chance they are flowers since they really don’t form any roots until they are putting out leaves. I had some flowering last year that started to push up their spikes early so I put them in my crawl space where it was in the mid-40s which slowed them down. I still had flowers by mid-march, but got lucky since on the days they were stinky it was warm enough to just leave them outside. I had a friend who had to put theirs in the garage since it was too smelly for inside and too cold outside.
When they go dormant you can usually tell pretty easily (at least with Konjac corms) since the dormant bud for a leaf is relatively short, but the flower bud will be taller (3/4" maybe?).
I left some larger ones out in the ground so we’ll see if they flower later this spring. Konjac, and probably Bulbifer, should be hardy to zone 6 at least, so I only dug up some I had in pots or a few that I didn’t want to leave in the same place in the ground this year.
What are the ones you have in the ground?
Pretty sure its Sauromatum venosum that i have in ground. Bought a one from a cheap mail order nursery years ago as a “voodoo lilly”. After one season it produced about 13 daughter corms. They seem to do very well here in part shade with little winter protection.
Yes, I think those are tough as nails. I’m not sure, but I do think that the shape of those spikes coming up is what I remember seeing for flowers. Hopefully that is what you’re getting. Here are two of mine blooming early last April after starting to come up in March.
So I pulled them out of the peat moss today to have a look. Three of the largest are pushing a spike with no sign of roots growing. Should i get them in the sun or can i try to keep them dormant longer in the darkness? Unfortunately my basement is heated and i dont have any other safe ways to keep them cool other than an outdoor shed l that has zero insulation.
I’m curious how it’s going. Any updates to share on what is emerging?
I wanted to up pot them and move them into the light. My fiancée insisted that they would be fine in the basement for now. So were keeping them in the dark currently. The spikes have not gotten much larger since I posted this thread. Ill keep you posted to any new developments.