The Q&A Archives: Colocasia

Question: Would you tell me all there is to know about growing colocasia's? I purchased a plant that has 2 tubers in a 6" pot. I would like to plant these in a pot and keep them outside on my deck for the summer then bring them in as a houseplant for the winter. What size pot should I put them in? What kind of soil mix should I use? Is there anything I have to do to bring them indoors (like cut back, etc.)? Any info would be appreciated!!

Answer: Colocasia esculenta, also known as Elephant's Ear, is native to tropical Asia and Polynesia, where it grows to six feet in height. The roots are harvested and eaten by people in Hawaii and those of Pacific Island descent. Colocasia is a perennial plant but the leaves die down in the winter and the tuber must be stored until spring, when it can be planted again. You can put yours into large (3-5 gallon) containers in regular potting soil, and set them in a shady spot protected from strong winds. Colocasia's need abundant water and fertilizer; feed a diluted liquid fertilizer every 4 weeks during the growing season. When the leaves yellow and die down, cut them at soil level, dig the tuber and store it over the winter months at 60F degrees, in peat moss. Replant in the spring.

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