overwintering alo/colo

mantorvillain(z4bMN Dodge)September 29, 2010

I've accumulated a small group of these plants over the past few years and have generally tried to leave them in their pots in my cool basement with a monthly watering...always losing some.

I frequent the brugmansia forum and someone posted a pic of their huge Thai Giant plant. In followup postings he mentioned that he carries the bulbs (right term?)of his alo/colo over the winter dormant in buckets of water. It just seemed to me I'd end up with a bunch of rotten bulbs.

...so thought I'd come over here to hear from those who carry these over the winter, especially folk in the upper midwest.

Thanks in advance,


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knotz(8/PNW SWWA)

I'd like to know this also :)

I was going to leave mine in their pots, let them dry out mostly first, and store them in my heated greenhouse over the winter.

Guess I'll find out if it works!! :)


    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 11:15PM
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FWIW , I'm in Kansas and I dig up alocasia and colocasia , put in pots with good potting soil, and store them in my basement, with excellent results. They are stored in a room with a furnace, fairly warm, I water very sparingly (maybe once per month).

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 2:02PM
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Hi there

I am in the UK. As the name suggests I grow mainly Alocasias and Colocasias.

Mine are still actively growing here - temperatures are say mid teens at best in the afternoon with just a degree or so of frost at lowest overnight.

To overwinter successfully there is no need to necessarily repot as long as you can dry them out. To that end mine have been under cover for a few weeks now to ensure they are quite dry.

Then as has been suggested only water spaingly and importantly from below e.g. standing in a shallow dish of water for a couple of minutes. Only the roots should then be able to come into contact with the water, the tuber at the top of the compost being totally dry.

That way they can be safely overwintered in temperatures down to say 3 degrees celsius growing slowly. If they go dormant then cease watering altogether and leave to sit dry in a frost free ventilated place over winter. Spring growth easily initiated with the help of some bottom heat.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 2:08PM
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Hey guys: More of a palm guy here but expanding my garden.. Anyway I've kept alos and colos over many winters without losing any. After the freeze that kills the leaves-not always the first freeze- I dig up the root balls and store them in pots or plastic bins in regular potting soil or sand. I trim most of them up and usually leave one or two new leaves per plant. I also keep 6 or 7 full size plants in pots every year. Garage/40 to 60 degrees/grow lights/light biweekly water. I don't know anything about storing in water...

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 7:16PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

I have to say the person mentioned in the first post IMO is full of themself. Storing tubers with no foliage in water would surely rot them. They need to be actively growing to survive in water. Winter storage can be done many ways as long as they are kept cool and fairly dry. I keep most of larger ones on a shelf in an open box cleaned of all media with roots/foliage cut/pulled off. My smaller plants are kept growing under artificial lights over winter because IME the smaller the tuber the less likely it is to survive a dry dormancy but they will survive dormancy in fairly dry soil. I would keep them all growing or in pots if I had the room inside.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 2:22AM
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greenpassion(z4-z5 VT)

Does anyone know what EE's don't have bulbs to store? My EE's are just too big and I have too many to store as plants inside this year. I have them in huge tubs on my deck all summer, and they're all huge. My Illustris and Black stem are flowering. I have an Eleana and a Nancy's Revenge, and I have doubts if any of these have a bulb I can dry out and store. It seems it isn't true that EE's can be stored like dahalias.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 12:22PM
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eclayne(Z6a, MA)

greenpassion, I hope someone with direct personal experience can help here as I always like to hear new methods or reinforcement of ones I've read or experienced myself.

Some of the Colocasia, Xanthosoma and Zantedeschia I've grown produce tubers large enough to overwinter within one growing season. Those that haven't I received as small nursery plants. These include C.e. Thai Giant, C.e. Mojito, Z. aethiopica White Giant (this may be just one nurseries name for it) and a few others. I'm told by good sources here and elsewhere that they will all eventually form tubers large enough to overwinter without potting up, like you would store Dahlias, Callas,... I've also read that the clump forming Colocasia are more apt to form larger tubers sooner than the running types. I've read differing views on Alocasia which "as described" mostly don't go into true dormancy and can be stored but for a shorter period of time. That said there are several folk who's opinions I trust, and have large Alocasia by our standards anyway, who say they un-pot them and store them on a shelf or the floor, leaves and all. This in z6.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 11:21PM
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eclayne(Z6a, MA)

Here's the thread re: over-wintering Colocasia in water. It's more than just dropping them in a bucket of water. He clearly keeps them growing over-winter and pays constant attention as well. Trimming roots, changing water, ...
Maybe this is effective for those Colocasia which either don't form tubers or take a while to do so.

Here is a link that might be useful: Show us your Colocasia Thai Giant

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 12:30PM
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