Alphabetical Plant Listing

Colocasia esculenta (Taro)

Taro, Elephant Ears, Aivi, Bleeding Heart, Cocoyam, Dasheen, Eddo, Egyptian Ginger, Imo, Kalo, Keladi, Talas, Callaloo, Dalo, Colocasia antiquorum


Primarily grown for its dramatic foliage, award-winning Colocasia esculenta (Taro) is a tuberous, evergreen perennial with long-stalked, heart-shaped or arrow-shaped, soft velvety, rich-green leaves. 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. Adding an exotic touch to mixed perennial borders or containers, Colocasia esculenta is a hassle-free tropical that will add impact to your landscape. It is definitely worth a try.

  • Winner of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society
  • 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.
  • Generally disease free. Watch for glasshouse red spider mite, aphids and glasshouse whitefly.
  • Native to tropical eastern Asia, Colocasia esculenta species was first brought to the Americas as a food crop for slaves. It was later promoted as an alternative crop to potatoes. Colocasia esculenta can tolerate a wide range of wet to dry sites and can easily invade wetland edges, swamps, blackwater streams and riverine forests.
  • Find where this species is invasive in the United States.
  • Discover beautiful U.S. native plant alternatives.

Learn How To Plant, Care and Grow Splendid Elephant Ears

Often grown for their dramatic foliage reminiscent of elephant ears, Colocasia and Alocasia are terrific tender perennials that provide a strong ornamental interest and quickly give a touch of the tropics in gardens or containers. Impossibly exotic, their architectural shapes make them perfect for planting as focal plants or massed to create a tropical effect. Easy to grow, they stand proud and bold provided some basic rules are respected.Read More

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 12
Heat Zones 8 – 12
Climate Zones 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Bulbs, Perennials
Plant Family Colocasia - Taro
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Spread 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Spacing 72" (180cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Wet Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 12
Heat Zones 8 – 12
Climate Zones 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Bulbs, Perennials
Plant Family Colocasia - Taro
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Spread 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Spacing 72" (180cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Wet Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Colocasia - Taro

Guides with Colocasia - Taro

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