Primarily grown for its spectacular foliage, Colocasia esculenta 'Black Magic' (Taro) is a tuberous, evergreen perennial with long-stalked, heart-shaped, smoky purplish-black leaves, up to 2 ft. long (60 cm). Unlike the leaves of Alocasia which point skyward, the leaves of Colocasia droop and point toward the ground. Reminiscent of calla lily flowers, the blossoms consist of a yellowish-green spathe and spadix. They are not particularly showy and are infrequently produced. 'Black Magic' is a hassle-free tropical that makes an unforgettable focal point and creates a compelling backdrop for most plants.
- Grows up to 3-6 ft. tall and wide (90-180 cm)
- Performs best in filtered sun or part shade in organically rich, moist to wet soils. Provide a sheltered location to protect the decorative leaves from strong winds.
- Elephant Ears love water and nutrients. They require regular watering, particularly during dry summer periods. Provide regular fertilization during the growing season. The more you feed them, the larger they will grow. They can be planted in up to 6 in. (15 cm) standing water.
- Perfect as a specimen or in groups for beds and borders, near streams and ponds or in large containers.
- Tubers may be left in the ground year-round in USDA Zones 8-10. In colder climates, dig up the tubers in fall after first frost and overwinter them in a dry, cool location that stays above freezing.
- Generally disease free. Watch for glasshouse red spider mite, aphids and glasshouse whitefly.
- Propagate by division in winter.
- Native to tropical eastern Asia.