How To Care For Amorphophallus Paeoniifolius, Tuber for Sale

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Amorphophallus Paeoniifolius Care and Tuber for Sale
Photo: Amorphophallus Paeoniifolius via Wikipedia

Amorphophallus Paeoniifolius, the elephant foot yam or whitespot giant arum, is a tropical plant native to Island Southeast Asia. It is cultivated for its edible tubers in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Madagascar, New Guinea, and the Pacific islands. Because of its production potential and popularity as a vegetable in various cuisines, it can be raised as a cash crop. 

Amorphophallus Paeoniifolius is a deciduous herbaceous aroid shrub, up to 2.5m tall, with no apparent stem above ground. The stem-like leaf stalk is fleshy, green and speckled with attractive paler green spots or blotches. This stalk arises from underground tuber to reach 1.5 - 2.0m above ground surface and holds up a single leaf like an umbrella, thus making the plant resemble a miniature tree. The leaf blade is divided into hundreds of small leaflets, with the whole cluster reaching 1.5 -3.0m across. Leaflets 3-lobed, each lobe divided into pinnatisect segments. Several leaves may be produced from accessory tubers. Leaves die down after blooming, and regrow from tuber during next season.

Amorphophallus Paeoniifolius Origin

Its origin and center of domestication was formerly considered to be India, where it is most widely utilized as a food resource. But a genetic study in 2017 has shown that Indian populations of elephant foot yams have lower genetic diversity than those in Island Southeast Asia, therefore it is now believed that elephant foot yams originated from Southeast Asian Islands and spread westwards into Thailand and India, resulting in three independent domestication events. From Southeast Asian Islands, they were also spread even further west into Madagascar, and eastwards to coastal New Guinea and Oceania by the Austronesian migrations, though they may have spread south into Australia without human intervention.

Amorphophallus Paeoniifolius Flower

The plant blooms annually around the beginning of the rainy season. While the flowers are in bloom they also produce heat. The flower bud emerges from the corm as a purple shoot, and later blooms as a purple inflorescence. 

Held on a single spadix crowned with a large bulbous knob, and encircled by a taller, funnel-shaped, velvet-like spathe. Spathe dark brown to maroon on the inside, pale green with white spots on exterior, with glossy wrinkled margins. Whole inflorescence reaches 40-50cm tall by 30-40 cm across. 


The pistillate (female) and staminate (male) flowers are on the same plant and are crowded in cylindrical masses as an inflorescence. The top part is responsible for secreting mucus that gives off a putrid, pungent smell that is used to attract pollinating insects, the middle part of the inflorescence contains staminate, and the base of the inflorescence contains pistillate. The stigmas of the female flowers will be receptive on the first day of the bloom, when the pungent smell draws pollinating insects inside, and the inflorescence closes, trapping them for a night to allow the pollen deposited on the insect to be transferred to the stigmas.

Later in the second day, the female flower is no longer receptive to pollen, the male flowers start to bloom, and the inflorescence opens again. This allows the pollen to be deposited on the emerging insects to pollinate other flowers, while preventing the pollen from the same inflorescence fertilizing itself, preventing inbreeding.

In 24–36 hours, after the first bloom of the inflorescence, the inflorescence's female flowers start developing into berries with bright red fruiting bodies, and other parts of the inflorescence start wilting away. The berries are red when ripe and are not quite round, being subglobose or ovoid.

Tuber: Underground tuber squatly hemispherical, up to 30 cm in diameter and 25kg in weight, dark brown with a covering of short rough hairs. Offsets may be borne around the main tuber.

Prefers deep, moist but well-drained, fertile soils with lots of organic matter. Avoid planting in waterlogged clayey soils, which hinder tuber formation and promote rotting. Tubers are prone to being attacked by soil nematodes. Propagate by tubers, which should be dusted with fungicide before being buried in ground or large deep pot. After foliage dies down completely, tuber can be harvested by lifting carefully from soil. Avoid injuring tubers which may result in rotting. Also avoid direct skin contact with any damaged plant surface as sap is known to be an irritant.


How to Care for Amorphophallus Paeoniifolius

Water Regularly: Amorphophallus Paeoniifolius love water during its growing period out of dormancy. Water and fertilize regularly for best results.

Soil: Amorphophallus Paeoniifolius, like many other Aroids, love to be in a chunky rich soil . An ideal consistency for these types of plants is approximately a blend of 40% Coco Bark, 40% Perlite and a 20% Coco Coir.

**We offer a refined selection of potting medium curated for this specie. It includes a rich mix of nutrients, including slow release fertilizer as well as rooting inoculants for keep this plant nourished all season long. Shop our specialized blends for this specie HERE!

*Store Dry and above freezing temperatures when dormant.

Sun: These specie prefer light to medium sun and a humid environment. 

Treatment: When a soft spot is detected, carve out the soft infected areas up until you see only fresh flesh of the corm. Then brush over Sulfur Fungicide Powder and leave in a sunny area so the wound(s) can dry and scarify quickly. Be sure to keep away from potential pest infestations. If you choose to use an organza baggie in this process, be sure to inspect regularly to ensure there isn’t any mold developing. Depending on the location, an organza baggie may reduce the amount of airflow needed for the wounded area to dry up and heal quickly. The quicker the wounded area can heal and dry up, it will less likely expand the infection to other surrounding areas of the tuber. If you find that some spots are taking longer to dry and have any concerns whether it may still be compromised, carve back that area a quickly as possible and repeat the treatment process in that area. Once, the wounded areas are completely firm dry, return to the recommended setting for storing dormant tubers. 

**When hosing previously infected wounds, be sure that no water pools, especially in the carved out area. The wounded area shall never stay moist for too long while trying to heal that area. This will help maintain good health of the tuber.

Good Luck and Enjoy!



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