More on the aroid front, and a class

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cold damage creeps on little cat feet, it appears. More yellow-then-brown leaves seem to reveal

This bird's nest Anthurium was
not covered for the cold.

themselves daily. Back in 1980, the International Aroid Society’s journal, Aroideana, published a small field study by Mark Moffler of the degrees of cold damage on aroids he was growing in Tampa. “The self-heading or arborescent  philodendrons (Philodendron selloum and P. x evansii) and the birds-nest anthuriums (Anthurium hookeri and A. schlectendalii) appear to be the hardiest,’’ he wrote, while dieffenbachias and aglaonemas suffer in cold and need protection.

This aquatic aroid sat in warm water but was killed anyway.

Although colocasias, caladiums, alocasias and xanthosomas may be damaged and “go down in winter,’’ he continued, “they come back in the spring and can provide an excellent landscape accent.”

A lot depends on exposure and overhead canopy, wind protection and other factors. I’ve seen some totally brown monsteras and others that are unscathed. A tiny Anthurium clarinervium, one of those lovely velvet-leafed species, was killed in my shadehouse, while a mature A. magnificum is fine.

Chris Migliaccio, who will teach a Tuesday, Feb. 16 class called “Aroids from A to Z” from 7 to 9 p.m. at the garden, said “Generally heavy leaves are more hardy.” He plans to water less now, about once a week, and fertilize in March.

Deadline for online registration for Chris’ class is Feb. 12, and he will have a much better idea of survival rates then.