Elephant Ear Plants.
Colocasia are grown for the foliage, and both indoors and outdoors they are one of the most sought after plants for decorative foliage.
Dark and textured, and sometimes colourful, you will find all of these characteristics in these plants.
Although they are tropical and sub tropical exotics, they are actually easy to grow.
They known by a few common names, one of these being taro, and this is an edible form.
It is the varieties with dramatic foliage that appeal to gardeners, landscapers and those who love indoor plants. These plants do differ from the close relatives Alocasia
Plant Profile and Growing Hints
Given its dramatic near black foliage which also happens to be large and gives a tropical jungle feel to the garden it is a natural that Colocasia esculenta ‘black magic’ is perhaps the best known of these great foliage plants, however a little bit of extra information and a few different species and cultivars is always useful.
Tropical plants that are happy in a humus rich moist soil. Elephant Ear Plants or Colocasia are aroids that are grown mainly for their foliage. Species and cultivars include are varied in colour and size and many make fantastic foliage plants.
Colocasia Species and varieties
- C. Gigantea or ‘Elephant Ear Plant’
- C. Illustris or ‘Paisley Elephant Ear Plant’ or ‘Mottled Taro’
- C. esculenta ‘Black Magic’ (pictured top right)
- C. Elena ‘Chartreuse Elephant Ear’
- C. antiquorum ‘Illustris”or ‘Imperial Taro’
Growing Colocasia in pots
The pots need to heavy or weighted so that when the plants puts on growth, and it will grow to large size, the pot does not topple over. Remember to keep nice and moist.
Growing in the ground
Simple given a warm frost free position and a humus rich moist soil, try in a water garden near the margins or in a boggy area. Most species may also be grown next to ponds or streams.
- Leaves Drooping – In most cases drooping leaves on the Elephant Ear Plant are caused by either overwatering or under-watering.
- Pale Leaf Colour – If the leaves are pale and lacking colour the cause is usually a lack of fertiliser or micronutrients.
- Soft stems or roots. Soft stems, particularly at the base of the stem can indicate overwatering.
- Wilting leaves usually means under-watering.
- Yellowing Leaves – This can indicate under-watering or irregular watering.
- Burnt Leaves – Brown or burnt looking leaves can indicate to much hot direct sun.
Other areas of interest