Cultivations of Amorphophallus

Growing Amorphophallus species in equatorial Indonesia is not as difficult as in countries with four seasons. The Indonesian climate is almost entirely tropical with only two major seasons, wet and dry seasons. 

Most Indonesian Amorphophallus can adapt to many types of Indonesian soils. It is to be noted that well drained and aerated soil is more recommended. Hetterscheid & Ittenbach (1996) developed a method by which roughly 80% of all Amorphophallus species can be grown successfully. This includes the provision of a rich soil; the use of supplementary fertilizers; some shading to avoid direct sunlight; a minimum temperature of 22°C during the daytime and 19°C during the night; a well-defined resting period; and a severe regime against pests, preferably aimed at complete prevention. 

Several planting media are potential components of a soil mix in which to grow Amorphophallus including compost, cocopeat, charcoal, rice husk and sand. Compost planting media are made from the remnants of plant parts such as dry leaves, dry twigs or kitchen vegetable scraps and other organic waste materials (with an overall carbon: nitrogen ratio not more than 30), and kept moist but well-aerated so as to decompose to a rich humus-like material. The best compost is black-brownish in colour, odorless and of lower water content. The usage of cocopeat as a planting medium is suggested in low humidity environments. Charcoaled rice husks create a well-aerated and well-drained medium. Unfortunately, this medium is easily weathered. Sand as a medium is easy to find and not difficult to use. It is usually used for seed germination. Being aware of the different properties of the many types of potential planting media is important to ensuring the optimum soil conditions for the growth of Amorphophallus. 

Hetterscheid & Ittenbach (1996) informally divided Amorphophallus species into two groups based on habitat preference. Group 1 are species that can be grown in heavier soils. This includes all species with elongate tubers. They are species mainly to be found in Africa, China, Japan, India, Thailand, Indochina, the Philippines, Java (but not all species), eastern Indonesia, New Guinea and Australia. It also includes all three Asian species with large geographical distribution (Amorphophallus muelleri, Amorphophallus paeoniifolius, Amorphophallus prainii). Group 2 species require well-drained soils because their roots need aerated conditions for survival and growth. This group mostly occurs in the Malesian region (from Sumatera, Borneo (including Kalimantan, Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei) and all species from West Malaysia



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