Amorphophallus bulbifer leaf bulbils – available in quantites of 1 – 25 bulbils. Leaf bulbils are effectively small tubers that are produced at the leaf axis on adult plants. They can simply be potted up and grown on in the same way as normal tubers. We have found them a great way of raising new plants. Nice and easy!
Amorphophallus bulbifer is imported into the UK in vast numbers each year by large bulb merchants. The tubers are often of a decent size and attractively priced. Unfortunately, they are nearly always a total waste of money and doomed to failure. Imported tubers are packed in boxes without effective packaging and bumped around on their journey from India, where they are grown, before their arrival in the UK. The tubers suffer bruising and desiccation. Often the damage is obvious when inspecting the tuber, but much of the time it is impossible to see. Bruising will cause the tuber to rot internally, and it is impossible to salvage an Amorphophallus tuber from such damage. Don’t buy cheap impored Amorphophallus tubers!
Far better is to raise plants from these leaf bulbils, or from seed when available. It does not take long to grow impressive plants from bulbils.
We recently received feedback from a customer that these leaf bulbils are easily sprouted when placed in a container of moist sphagnum moss. The moss gives enough moisture for growth whilst providing good air circulation. This method also allows for an easy visual check on how the bulbils are doing.
Amorphophallus bulbifer must rate among the easiest of the Amorphophallus to grow in the UK, being more tolerant of our cooler temperatures than most. The remarkable fleshy pink inflorescence is produced before the leaf. After this fades, a single, much divided leaf is produced on top of a mottled stem. The flower gives off a strong scent of rotting meat – thankfully this only lasts for around 24 hours! Leaf bulbils are formed at the leaf axis.
Amorphophallus bulbifer can sometimes survive mild winters if well mulched. However, drainage must be excellent to prevent the corm rotting during our wet winters. A better method of overwintering is to dig up the corm, dry it out and store it in a cool frost free location for the winter ready for replanting the following year.
Store the tubers dry when dormant at room temperature. It is safe to store Amorphophallus bulbifer out of the soil when dormant, but as these are young tubers, it would be safer to store them in dry compost or vermiculite for their first dormancy.
Whilst this species is often available through larger bulb merchants as imported tubers, the quality is often poor and survival is low. We only sell UK grown tubers (these are first rate quality and will give far better results) or alternatively, we offer leaf bulbils (which we do import and are of good quality). These are very easy to grow and are a reliable method of producing good quality plants.