Planting your rhizome
When to plant -- Plant it as soon as you receive it.
Getting started -- Use a pot at least 5 inches wide and tall (13 cm), with drainage holes.
Use a well-draining soil. I use a mix of 1 part coir fiber to 1 part perlite (use fine- or medium-grade perlite, not large chunks). An alternate mix is 2 parts potting soil to 1 part perlite or coarse horticultural sand.
Before you plant it, smell it! It has a wonderful scent of violets.
Bury it so the top is about 1/2 to 1 inch (2 cm) deep. Add just enough water so the soil is slightly moist, and keep it this moist until it sprouts. Until it sprouts, don't fully saturate the soil, but also don't let it dry out completely.
Until it sprouts, i recommend keeping it between about 65 and 85 degrees F (18-29°C) during the day (slightly cooler at night is ok).
The bulb may take anywhere from 1 to 4 months to sprout, depending on when it went dormant. Once it sprouts, increase the watering, and give it bright light, but shade it from strong afternoon sun.
Growing onward --
It prefers warm temperatures, with days above 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) and nights above 60 F (16 C). It comes from woodlands, so it likes filtered sun or morning sun. It might need some protection from strong afternoon sun. Over about 40% humidity is best. If it seems to suffer in low humidity indoors, consider using an ultrasonic humidifier, sold at home improvement stores and some thrift shops.
It uses a lot of water while growing. Keep the soil evenly moist (but not constantly soggy).
It likes good fertilizing the first 2-3 months of growth. Feed when it sprouts and again 2 months later, using an all-purpose fertilizer that contains micronutrients.
Dormancy -- The bulb goes dormant for around 4 months, so when the leaves die back, reduce the watering and keep it slightly moist until it sprouts.
Pests to watch for -- Mealybugs might attack the bulbs indoors. Look for cottony growth where the leaves emerge from the ground. To control mealybugs, try using an insecticidal soap soil drench. Watch for other pests that may affect your plants.
Have fun growing it!
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