One of the easiest Amorphophallus to grow, Amorphophallus bulbifer is also one of the hardiest and therefore is ideal for growing in the UK and Europe. Native to North East India and the Himalayan region including Nepal and Northern Myanmar, its natural habitat in wooded foothills and monsoon forest is often at much higher altitudes than many of its more tropical relatives and its cold tolerance is therefore higher.
Its pink spathe is very attractive and extremly exotic looking with a soft greenish exterior, mottled and marbled with pale pink and the spadix is large, swollen and a flesh-coloured whitish-pink. The much-branched umbrella-like compound foliage is held aloft on a single, very long speckled petiole to form a lush jungly-looking mini-canopy.
It thrives in a moist atmosphere and a humus-rich soil that is predominantly organic matter mixed with a little loam and has had its structure and drainage improved by the addition of perlite, bark and a generous quantity of sand. Plant it deep in a sheltered position, ideally beneath large evergreen shrubs and trees, where it will benefit both from the shady filtered light and the extra frost protection of the overhead branches. After the foliage dies down in the autumn it should be heavily mulched with several layers of leaves to protect it from the frost and wet or lifted and kept dry until March and replanted. If you are nervous about experimenting with it outdoors, you can also grow it for a few years in a large pot, keeping it dry over the dormant winter months and lifting the tuber to divide any offsets before repotting. If grown in a pot, more bark should be added to the substrate to ensure good drainage rather than grit which should be used if planted outdoors.
Water and fertilise well during the spring and summer growing months.
|Geographical Origin||North East India and the Himalayan region including Nepal and Northern Myanmar|
|Cultivation||Warm, sheltered position, ideally with high humidity. A humus-rich well-drained soil|
|Eventual Height||60-80 cm|
|Eventual Spread||40-60 cm|
|Hardiness||Cold tolerant. Can survive winter with a thick mulch and plenty of grit in the substrate. Tubers are best dug up and stored over winter|
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