The Amorphophallus konjac is back for another year, and for the first time has produced multiple leaves, which is exciting. The main leaf is at least double the size of last year's.
In addition, 2014 is seeing the premiere of Amorphophallus bulbifer, which I got from a reader. Its leaf came up first, before there was enough light for it, and as a result the petiole was stretched and floppy. It also had a mysteriously bad spider mite infestation flare up just before I put it outside for the summer. But these things do happen, and it didn't seem likely to affect the plant in the long term, so I was willing to roll with it.
Last year, there had been a problem with the A. konjac blowing over in the wind, so this year, I prepared for that by setting both plants in tall, heavy cachepots. And that lasted for maybe four days.
And then there was some wind one evening, not even very strong wind, really, and I awoke the next morning to this:
I guess the leaves are going to die then. I suppose that means the tubers are gone too. Oh well, I thought, suddenly nonchalant at the prospect of losing plants I'd been very happy about a few days prior.
Except that the leaves haven't died. The petioles are still bent, but a few days after bending, they still appear to be functional, even after a second evening of wind blew them back the opposite direction. Which leads to the questions:
1) If the leaves did die, does that automatically mean that the tubers will die too? Will they try to make replacement leaves? If so, should I be cutting them off now so that the tubers can send up a (hopefully sturdier) replacement before the summer's over?
2) Should I be trying to, I dunno, put a splint on the petioles or something? I figure sticking in an actual stake is probably no good (since any stake shoved into the soil next to the petiole will hit and maybe damage the tuber), but I could surely find something to attach to the petiole to keep it straight, if that's something I should be doing.
EDIT: The species name is actually A. bulbifer, not A. bulbiferum. PATSP regrets the error.