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Author Topic: Liana growth rates (esp. ancylobotrys / landolphia / willughbeia / saba)  (Read 531 times)

KarenRei

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Hi all! I was in a meeting with our project manager the other day discussing various plant possibilities. She likes the idea of having lianas (we have a huge amount of room to fill and want to do so as quickly as possible, with no practical limits on how much weight the (steel, concrete) structure can bear) but she wasn't sure about how quickly we could get them established.  I was able to answer her questions about a lot of other vining species, but I really have no clue with the big liana species like you find in Apocynaceae.  Based on other tropical vines I'd WAG it around 3m a year once established, but what do you growers find?  And how quickly do the vines thicken up?  I know this is a really broad category, but any datapoints you can add would be great  :)  We'll have a mix of full sun, partial shade, and full shade; summer sun is 24/7 here, while winter would receive an artificial "sun" of nearly half a megawatt of lighting  ;)  And we have both dry and wet domes to fill, with various microclimate zones in each. No winter, and dry seasons only where needed..

Note that while the potential of fruit is important, even if it ultimately fails to fruit, that's fine; we just need to get some things large and impressive established in the early years. Actual yields in the earlier years would be from smaller, precocious plants, while plants that need time to grow large get their chance to do so.  Any initial fast-growers that ultimately "fail to perform" would be on the chopping block  down the road to make way for other species that want their sunlight  ;)  Of course, if they yield fruit that goes over well, then they can earn their keep  ;)
« Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 01:26:32 PM by KarenRei »
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sahai1

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I imagine pretty slow.. have no idea though.  About to build a huge 20mx3m steel trellis, likely 3-4m high and grow some lianas on it.  I don't want them cluttering the farm, so give them a dedicated area which will also serve as a shade nursery later.

KarenRei

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I expect the opposite, because generally

1) Vines tend to grow significantly faster than plants that have to support themselves,
2) Plants that can get huge tend to grow faster than plants that will stay small.

Although there is of course much variation in each of these, so one can't just assume  :)   What type of lianas are you looking at?  And what sort of sunlight?  My understanding is that as a general (but not universal) rule, Landolphias  like sun at any age (and grow significantly faster in the sun, with the downside of tending to adopt a more shrubby habit), while Willughbeias need shade for the first several years.

Good idea to go with steel (galvanized, I assume?).  When you have to hold up what's basically the weight of a whole tree, that's not a time to skimp  ;)  I once had a grape vine crush a wooden trellis, and that was tiny in comparison to how big tropical lianas get. Make sure your anchors are good!  :)
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nullzero

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I have Saba comenrensis vines growing.  They are in mostly shade in sugar sand type soil with lower fertility. They don't grow particularly fast. This is in zone 10a FL humid monsoon half the year and dry savanna type climate the other half.

When I had the seedlings in coco coir mix in containers with time release fertilizer and part sun the vines were growing about a foot every few months. In the ground now they are a little slower it seems.

With more sun and higher fertility soil the growth rate could double about a foot every month. The plants however are very strong to neglected conditions; drought, low fertility soil,  and light frost.
Grow mainly fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

KarenRei

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I have Saba comenrensis vines growing.  They are in mostly shade in sugar sand type soil with lower fertility. They don't grow particularly fast. This is in zone 10a FL humid monsoon half the year and dry savanna type climate the other half.

When I had the seedlings in coco coir mix in containers with time release fertilizer and part sun the vines were growing about a foot every few months. In the ground now they are a little slower it seems.

With more sun and higher fertility soil the growth rate could double about a foot every month. The plants however are very strong to neglected conditions; drought, low fertility soil,  and light frost.

A foot per month is nearly 4 meters per year if growing conditions were maintained all year.  That's no slacker.  That wasn't even full sun, just partial sun?  Impressive.  Well, that's one datapoint for one species  :)  Out of curiosity, how much has its diameter increased over the years?
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nullzero

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Largest stems around 8mm to 11mm diameter in 3 years, this is in mostly shade and lower fertility conditions 2 years out of 3 years. First year it was in container with part sun and time release fertilizer.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 09:09:14 AM by nullzero »
Grow mainly fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

sahai1

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I expect the opposite, because generally

1) Vines tend to grow significantly faster than plants that have to support themselves,
2) Plants that can get huge tend to grow faster than plants that will stay small.

Although there is of course much variation in each of these, so one can't just assume  :)   What type of lianas are you looking at?  And what sort of sunlight?  My understanding is that as a general (but not universal) rule, Landolphias  like sun at any age (and grow significantly faster in the sun, with the downside of tending to adopt a more shrubby habit), while Willughbeias need shade for the first several years.

Good idea to go with steel (galvanized, I assume?).  When you have to hold up what's basically the weight of a whole tree, that's not a time to skimp  ;)  I once had a grape vine crush a wooden trellis, and that was tiny in comparison to how big tropical lianas get. Make sure your anchors are good!  :)

guess find out!  I have a whole bunch of Uvaria Grandiflora seedlings, I'm not particulary crazy about these, but I think I could handle at least one of these on the trellis.  Trying to order some Willughbeia sp. from Maryoto in Borneo.

Some things that grow huge also are very careful and wary as seedlings, like Banyan tree.  Often I find Banyan tree saplings growing wild, and they can be just 6" tall and stay that way for a year.  Many times I have dug them up and put them in pots to prune as Bonsai, and the growth is just stagnant.  Compare that with an Acacia tree which can get 10' tall within a year, but in time the Banyan tree will strangle and eat that Acacia tree.

Daintree

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My Nigerian walnut vines (Plukenetia conophora) are very eager growers, and can put on several feet in a week or so during the growing season.  If it weren't for the height of my greenhouse, they would probably just keep on going.
They are evergreen, and make a sort of pattypan-shaped fruit, inside of which is a nut that looks like an English walnut, hence the common name. 
The boiled nuts are a very nutritious and tasty snack food. You don't have to rip the vines down to harvest - just wait until the fruit drops.

Fun local history - in parts of Nigeria, it is known as "babies call babies", and folklore says that if a mother washes her child with the leaves, it will help the mother conceive again.  Thought that was a cute story.

Carolyn

 

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