Colocasia, also known as taro, are a type of elephant ear. Colocasias produce clumps of large, long-stalked, heart-shaped leaves and reproduce via tubers or rhizomes. These can be easily divided and re-potted or planted to expand your enjoyment.
These tropical plants work well in a pot as well as in a water feature or boggy area. They grow best in moist or boggy soil, but can be planted in landscapes as long as they don’t dry out. Adequate water is important for Colocasia.
If planted in a container, they can be brought inside and overwintered. They will most likely need to be repotted into a larger container the following spring. Their tubers keep growing and can get large enough to break containers if not repotted.
They can be planted in both sun and shade. However, the more sun they get the more water they need. So full sun plantings need to be in a boggy environment or where they can get regular irrigation.
Colocasia can also be planted in water features or planted in pots and placed in a water feature. It’s best to repot them with media recommended for water plants. Calcified clay (plain kitty litter with no additives) is a good, inexpensive soil media that works well.
The four most common types of Colocasia are black, black or violet stem, green and mottled. There are more exotic types but these four make up the most of the varieties available. These common types are green, black, dark stemmed and mottled.
Black Colocasia has a deep purplish-black coloration through and through the stems and leaves. If you need dark contrasting foliage color in your landscape, this is a good plant for that.
Black Stem and Violet Stem Colocasia are technically two different plants but the plants are so similar the names get applied to either plant. Violet Stem Colocasia have grayish-green leaves on top of dark violet stems. Black Stem (Fontanesii) has dark purple stems under dark green arrowhead-shaped leaves.
Green Colocasia have large green leaves and green stems. The edges of the leaves can have a wavy, ruffled look.
Illustris Colocasia is the most popular and most common mottled type of Colocasia. It has very dark green to black leaves with bright green veins.
In addition to these common types, we also grow three of the more exotic Colocasias – Mojito, Tropical Storm and Whte Lava.
Mojito has bright green leaves with splashes of black/purple and stems streaked with purple. It has an upright habit. Mojito is a very unique color.
Tropical Storm has dark leaves with contrasting creamy-white centers and a clumping habit.
White Lava has dark green leaves with white centers and veins. It has a clumping habit and is cold tolerant.
Plant in shade to sun 12-36″ apart. Garden height will depend on heat, water and length of growing season. In some areas these can get taller – a lot taller.
We grow Colocasia in the 1G Tropical category. The varieties we grow are:
- Black Magic – grows 24-48″ tall
- Fontanesii Black Stem – grows 24-48″ tall
- Jack’s Giant Green – grows 36-60″ tall
- Illustris – grows 36-48″ tall
- Mojito – grows 36-48″ tall
- Tropical Storm – 24-36″ tall
- White Lava – 36-48″ tall