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Beginner Gardening Questions: Alocasia Flower - To Deadhead or Not to Deadhead?

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SavvyDaze
Lady's Island, SC
(Zone 8b)

December 4, 2012
12:21 AM

Post #9349276

So my Alocasia Mayan Mask has flowered :-) But now what? I have read many posts and articles about EE blooms and some say to remove the spent bloom to encourage more flowers, while others say not to remove it.

If I do remove it, at what part of the spathe do I cut it off? (That is one thing posts and articles left out! LOL)

Thanks!

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flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

December 5, 2012
8:52 AM

Post #9350399

I've always heard to remove it, cut it back to the base
purpleinopp
Opp, AL
(Zone 8b)

December 5, 2012
1:24 PM

Post #9350643

That's a stunning plant!

Are you sure the info you read about encouraging more flowers was in regard to this type of plant? I've not encountered that advice in connection with any bulb-type plants or Aroids.

As similar as that is to Caladium, I can't see where the flower's removal or not would make any difference. It's just what they do when it's time to do it (assuming they're healthy and in suitable conditions,) and probably won't last long anyway.
SavvyDaze
Lady's Island, SC
(Zone 8b)

December 5, 2012
2:21 PM

Post #9350687

Thanks, purpleinopp! I have read on various websites that you can deadhead the flower, or not, deadhead it. I just didn't know if it was necessary. However, when it dies, it does look pretty ugly LOL I ended up cutting it off only cause I read somewhere that if it isn't cut off, then it tries to go to seed, and the energy is directed to that instead of producing new leaves.

I have another Mayan Mask in the ground, but it doesn't look nearly as good as the one inside. It is suffering from acorn abuse LOL I am gonna move it in the spring to an area that isn't under oak trees or pot it up. I am still trying to decide.

flowAjen, that is what I ended up doing. It looks better than having dead flower in the middle of the leaves.
purpleinopp
Opp, AL
(Zone 8b)

December 6, 2012
12:23 PM

Post #9351416

You're welcome. Glad you're taking a proactive and informed approach to guiding the plants' growth to your tastes. Cool to hear you're into outdoor gardening also! And duh! Now that you say that, I can see the other one outside.

Generally, any kind of flowers inside will not make seeds/berries because insects are usually necessary for pollination, or individual plants can be self-sterile (pollen from another plant is needed for seed production.)

Plants that are outside and will rebloom after the initial flowers are removed are those which are usually recommended for deadheading because it usually encourages the production of more flowers. Flowers left on the plant may have been pollinated so would require further energy and effort from the plant to finish producing the seeds to maturity. Many plants are "programmed" to be finished flowering for the year/season after producing seeds. Some can bloom indefinitely without much intervention.

On an Aroid, the colorful sheath around the thing in the center is not actually the flower, it's called a spathe and is there to attract the attention of pollinators who might otherwise miss the nondescript flower (the thing in the center.)

With a bulb type plant, the flower is usually a product of previous growth and energy, so removing it has little bearing on the continued growth pattern of the leaves. For example, when you buy daffs or Hyacinths or Tulips to put in the yard in the fall, the flowers are already "in there" just waiting for the correct time to emerge. If you removed the flower stalk, the leaves would still do what they would have anyway, prepare itself to make next years' flowers.

That is why people who aren't even really into the flower on a house plant are glad to see one formed. It's a sign the plant is doing well and performing well in captivity. Unless someone had intentions and expectations their flower would produce berries, 99% of people would have cut it off when it turned brown just like you did. Same thing with Anthuriums, when that pretty thing turns brown, time for it to go.

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