Grow your own Taro
Taro is a widely used vegetable root crop in tropical areas around the world and is often referred to as the potato of the tropics. Now we have never grown it, however friends in Northern Queensland have, so our notes are just to guide you a little in, hopefully, the right direction
A a favourite staple of the Pacific Islanders and it will grow in Australia, but really only the tropical and sub tropical areas. We do hear stories about growing it as far south as Melbourne, however we are guessing this might be a warm year and in ‘just the right spot’
Although Taro (Colocasia esculenta) is fast growing it does take the tuber up to 12 months to mature, so in a cold climate it really struggles to survive the winter.
Originally from Malaysia through to India this is a plant that requires warmth and moisture, it is grown a lot more widely than this as it has been a popular crop for 1000s of years.
One of the fascinating things is that unless it is cooked Taro is poisonous, is also causes rashes on the skin, so even those gardeners who are growing this as an ornamental need to take care.
One theory is that if you cut off the flowers the tubers will grow bigger and faster, very popular in Hawaii (poi), but also grown in Japan.
- Taro can be grown from suckers as well as from taro tops.
- The tops are simply a little of the top of plant with some leaves attached.
- The told are planted at around 25 cm deep.
- As the plant forms its first leaves the area needs to be kept moist.
- You can mulch around the plant to assist with this.
- The whole process of growing the tuber will take around 40 – 45 weeks.
- You need a moist, humus rich but well drained soil and a warm climate.
- Can you grow it in containers ? Yes but you would need to be enthusiastic.
- And yes, bun long is a so called dry land variety, however we know nothing about it.