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UNIQUE PLANTS

This section lists our favorite tropical plants that work well under, and around, bamboos in the garden. Many are aroids and most are large leafed. Some are weird (in a good way!), most are unique, and a few are rare. In most cases, these plants need to be grown in filtered light (as is the norm under mature bamboo). We have many exciting options and will continue to add to this section as the newest section of our nursery develops.

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Amorphophallus titanum - Corpse Flower

Extremely rare seedlings - available while supplies last. Seedlings are available in two sizes: About 7"-9" tall in 3.5" diameter pots and 15"-20" tall in 6" diameter pots.
The famous Titan Arum is known for its rarity, its stunning and massive bloom (largest inflorescence in the world), and the horrible fly-attracting stench produced when the bloom opens and is receptive for pollination. They are not carnivorous, attracting flies and beetles strictly for pollination.
Amorphophallus titanum blooms are rare in cultivation with an estimated 3 – 5 blooming events per year, worldwide. In its native Sumatra, blooms in the tropical forests continue to occur naturally but, with forests being cleared, the habitats are steadily decreasing.
A bloom in cultivation is always a huge event and will attract plenty of attention. Media coverage is inevitable with each outlet counting down the days to their predicted bloom opening.
The time from seed to bloom can take five to ten years, most often seven to eight years. The plant’s foundation is an underground tuber, or corm, that supports a petiole (stalk) with palm-like leaves. Each year, this petiole and leaf goes dormant – wilting and rotting away. Below the soil surface, the corm rests for a month or two then sends up a new, larger petiole. The hidden corm is also getting larger each year. When the corm reaches about 40-50 lbs. (and larger than a basketball) it will have stored enough energy and will send up a pod instead of a petiole and leaf. This pod swells and elongates for about a month and there is no doubt of an eminent bloom. A long spadix emerges from the top of the pod and can make the entire bloom more than six feet tall. Finally, the bloom opens in mid-afternoon. The odor of rotting flesh is released in bursts every 30 seconds or so to attract flies and beetles into the gaping vase of the bloom. Just before midnight, the female flowers that make up the inflorescence become receptive. In its native Sumatra, the flies within the bloom’s vase may be carrying pollen from other Corpse Flowers. In cultivation, this must be accomplished by hand if pollen can be sourced. Tropical Bamboo Nursery was in contact with a grower in New Hampshire who collected pollen from his bloom. He kept the pollen frozen and sent it, overnight, to us. We applied the pollen to the flowers using a camel-hair brush attached to a bamboo stick. The next day, the bloom began to close. The Corpse Flower closes to trap the flies inside the vase because it is about to release its own pollen. In Sumatra, those flies would then be released, covered in pollen, to (hopefully) pollinate the flowers of another bloom. We bored a 5 inch access hole in the side of the bloom and watched for the pollen. That evening, the pollen began to stream out of the ends of the stamens on each male flower, like tiny strings of yellow toothpaste. We collected this pollen, froze it, and sent it overnight to the Missouri Botanic Garden for their next bloom.

Growing these plants is not technically difficult. They're just not very forgiving. Many failures occur because, over several years, people can become complacent.
Please understand that this is will be an "at your own risk" purchase. We cannot guarantee anyone's green thumb.

To give you an idea of what's needed to ensure success, these are some growing rules:
* The plant must be grown in a quality, sterile, light (well-draining) potting mix. It should not be planted in the ground.
* It must be kept warm. Never let it suffer below 50 degrees F and try to keep it warmer than 80 degrees F as much as possible.
* Full sun is OK but partial, filtered, or broken sunlight is best.
* Daily water, automated if possible, is important. Let it run through the pot for 10 minutes or so. The exception is about one month during dormancy. When the petiole and leaf wilts and rots away, you can stop watering to simulate the dry season. Start daily watering after the one-month rest to encourage the corm to send up its new petiole. Make sure the water drains well or the corm will drown and rot
* Each year, or every other year, increase the size of the pot to accommodate the ever-growing corm. The pot should be 2 to 3 times the diameter of the corm. The pot depth should be at least the same as the pot width. Our corm was 18 inches in diameter and 52 lbs. when it bloomed. The final pot was 40" in diameter and 50" deep. Do not be tempted to just start with a huge pot. Like with any potted plant, this can cause too much moisture to be retained in the potting mix. There is potential for root rot.
* Fertilize a few times per year with a timed-release tropical/ornamental fertilizer. A palm fertilizer works well.
* When repotting the corm (always repot during dormancy, when there's no petiole and leaf), the corm may get nicked or scratched. If this happens, apply a topical antibiotic (Neosporin) to the wound before burying the corm in its new potting soil.
The corm should be planted in the upper 1/3 of the container, at least 6" below the surface. Make sure it's not upside down.

***Important - When ordering, you may need to select USPS Priority Mail or a faster service. We will not ship these plants UPS ground unless you are in Florida (UPS Ground is next-day in Florida).
We have two sizes available:
In 6" pots, they average 15-20" tall ($45).
In 3" pots, they average 7-9" tall ($25).
Our supply of both sizes is, of course, limited.
Please CALL or EMAIL to order


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Product Type and Price List
1 gal 3 gal 7 gal 15 gal 25 gal 45 gal 65 gal Field Grown
45.00 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
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