There are several different types of Taro Plants and although they are considered a tropical plant they are one of the easiest plants to winter over as a houseplant. Large leaves and each growing to heights of 2′ to 4′ high with leaves up to 24″. Taro or sometimes called elephant ears, are native to the tropics of Asia. There are more than 300 varieties that are grown in the U.S., especially in Hawaii. They are also grown for a food crop, since all their plant parts can be eaten. You can cook the stems, leaves and flowers while they are young and eat as a vegetable. The leaves are often used to wrap other food with and them steamed.
But to us ponders we simply love the look and gracefulness of the Taro. It can add a dramatic accent to your pond or container garden. Taros are quite often used as a plant for a container planting. They can tolerate full sun but they prefer to be protected from the afternoon sun. They need to be fertilized regularly and planted in large pots to grow them to their maximum size. You’ll have larger leaves and larger plants. Planting zones are 9-11 and require moist soil or water to 6 inches deep.
To winter over a Taro simply bring indoors and keep in a sunny, warm room in a container of water. You can also cut the plant slightly above the tuber and store the dried tuber in coarse vermiculite in a sealed container and replant in the spring. You can also take the plant and let it dry and store it in the pot in a cool, dark spot where it will become dormant until you bring it out again in the spring.
I will feature the different Taros in upcoming plant posts. Stay tuned to the many varieties of Taros available for your container garden or pond.
The picture here is a Variegated Taro (Alocasia amazonica ‘Hilo Beauty’ . This Taro plant is very stri8king with its lush green leaves that are mottled in ivory. It likes to be just at or slightly above the water surface. Grows in sun to part shade and is Hardy in Zones 9-11. The ideal temperature for year around growth is 65 degrees. In the cooler, but frost free areas it becomes dormant during the winter. You can store the tubers in sand during the winter. Propagation: By division of the tubers if the plants are lifted during the autumn, or just before they come into growth in the spring.
Buy Taro,Variegated,Green,Black,Imperial, here.