Does anyone collect Colocasia's/Alocasias?

pagrdnrAugust 5, 2010

Does anyone here collect Colocasias or Alocasias? Right now I only have a few, but I am really liking them and want to get more? Which ones are your favorite?

I have a list that I am thinking about ordering soon to get a head start on next year. The ones I want to get are:

Blue Hawaiian


Diamond Head

Nancy's Revenge


Yellow Splash


Chicago Harlequin

Jack's Giant

Pink China

Does anyone have any of those that can tell me any pros/cons about them?



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Shawn I think Dave (in VA) grows a number of them. You might want to send him an email.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 10:06PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

I don't know about 'collecting' them. LOL! But they do really well here, and really add to the tropical look, although most will not come back from roots unless heavily mulched and in a good microclimate (zone 7A). So most have to be dug and wintered over, which takes up a lot of space and energy so that limits my 'collection'.

I have grown:

A. 'Borneo Giant' (first year for this one)
A. macrorrhiza * (very easy to winter over)
A. 'Portore' * (great leaf shape)

C. 'Nancy's Revenge'
C. 'Mojito' * (fantastic leaf color)
C. 'Elena'
C. 'Fontanesii' (Black Stem) * (gets big!)
C. 'Black Magic' * (love this one)
C. esculenta 'Big Dipper'
C. 'Black Ruffles' (stays too small for me)
C. esculenta 'Rhubarb'
C. esculenta var. antiquorum 'Illustris'
C. 'Jurassic Dark'
C. esculenta 'Surf City'
C. gigantea 'Thailand Giant' * (Wow!)
C. 'Jack's Giant' * (gets big!)
Xanthosoma 'Lime Zinger' * (can't be without this)

and others whose names I can't remember.

Of these, I prefer the ones that get HUGE, because we have a large backyard and only the ones on a large scale show up from the house.

I've put an asterisk next to the ones that I consider 'keepers' because of either their size, great color, or ease of wintering over.

Most of the Colocasias winter over in buckets of water (no soil) in my cool garage. The Alocasias winter over in small pots kept on the dry side with some light.

This shows 'Jack's Giant' (far left near impatiens), 'Thai Giant' (biggest one), X. 'Lime Zinger' just behind coleus.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 8:48AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Here's Black Magic and X. Lime Zinger. Nice combo. Give part shade unless you want to water EVERY DAY! Nice with impatiens planted underneath.

Photo by Boca Joe

'Fontanesii' can get huge with lots of water. Large leaves get frilly after plants attains some size.
Photo by Boca Joe

'Portore' has really cool leaves:
Photo by Boca Joe

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 8:57AM
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Thanks for the pics! It's cool how 2 of the brug forum regulars responded....I was gonna do this as an OT post over there if I didn't get an answer

WOW WOW WOW....I can never get enough pics of your yard Dave. Some of those will be going on my list. That one with the black stems is really eye catching. The X.Lime Zinger is cool. I read somewhere that it was similar to C. Elena, but my Elena is relatively small, I don't thik the leaves will ever get that big.

How long did it take Jack's Giant and Thailand Giant to get that big?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 10:48AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA


If you're ever in DC, you have to come by and see the yard! Best in August/Sept/early Oct. The Black Stem is pretty cool and gets huge with lots of water/fert/good soil. Does OK in full sun with water, but taller in part sun and constantly moist soil. It will wilt and burn when too dry.

X. Lime Zinger can get quite large too, but needs some shade the hottest part of the day. Likes to be kept somewhat moist (don't they all?).

I am trying 'Elena' for the first time this year, so don't know how large it can get. It's about same color as Lime Zinger, but Lime Zinger can get big fast with good soil and moisture.

I started my 'Thai Giant' from a 3-gallon. So this is first year in the ground!

'Jack's Giant' needs some shade and lots of water to get big. It responds by growing really fast. Last year I had it in a dryer, sunnier part of the yard and it didn't do much. Part shade, fert and moisture for this bad boy.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 11:16AM
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newgen(9 Central California)

I only have a couple of Alocasia calidora, here's a photo of one of 'em. They both stay indoor. I'm too afraid of the wind blowing the leaves apart. Once my row of cypress get bigger and can serve as windbreak I'll plant them outdoor. Love your photos!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 1:47AM
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greenpassion(z4-z5 VT)

Last fall I had been told that I could store my Elaina elephant ear as bulbs like dahalias, in my basement. I was suprised to find nothing but a mass of roots. I took the second one in still in her pot and overwintered her as a house plant. This year it's huge, much to big to bring in as a house plant. Why is there's no bulb to dig? I don't want to risk this one like the one last fall. I have the giant elephant ear which I bought as large bulbs and potted them up. They are giants now on my deck as is the Elaina, but hey won't be a problem, as I know they have bulbs. What is this Elaina? Oh yeah-I unpotted my black magic ears last fall too, believing there would be a bulb to store. No bulb either. ??

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 1:24PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

greenpassion, you can 'store' and overwinter many of the colocasias which don't appear to have bulbs in buckets of water, much like you would store a lotus. Cut off most of the foliage, wash off the soil and place in about 6" of water. Change water every week for the first month, keep in a cool place with just a little light. Make sure you remove all the dead plant tissue periodically.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 8:37AM
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I really like these three Alocasias: Black velvet(reginula), Giant Caladium (cuprea) and African Mask (amazonica). My African Mask I bought at Lowes over a year ago looked almost dead. I gave it fish fertilizer by Ferti-lome and it multiplied (3 baby plants) and bloomed. I didn't even know they bloomed until this lime green shoot came up with a flower close to a Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily). It looks great and it is a perfect indoor plant because it's not huge so I can keep it up on a table. You should try growing one. (When I went shopping for a bigger pot I found a light green pot that made the veins stand out out on the plant but if you don't want that to happen buy a blue pot it makes the plant look real good!)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 1:57PM
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I grow many species in Costa Rica and even in the dry season, they look good.
Never give any of them additional water...

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 11:41AM
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I overwinter mine in pots soil and all - I use the pot-in-pot method - but then again I am in Minnesota and they don't grow as big here as they do in other places - I already found the TRADE 2 gallom pots are too small and will be transfering them to FULL 3 gallon pots. For pics and more about my yard, visit my site at (I'm still working on the site.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Upright Elephant Ear

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 3:27PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Here's the latest pic of my Colocasia 'Thailand Giant'. Probably won't get much bigger than this for this growing season. Not quite sure how I'm going to overwinter this monster.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 8:56AM
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that is incredible! live in florida and they aren't anything like that.....!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 11:53PM
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yaslan(8 WA state)

Wow! That's decisively impressive Dave!! How on earth did you get your Colocasia 'Thailand Giant' to be monster-size?! Does it get really hot during summertime in VA? What (if any) kind of fertilizer do you use?


    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 11:04PM
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This is my best Alocasia macrorrhiza leaf this year. It measured 33" X 46", with a 45" petiole. The munchkin measures cutie X sweetie.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 9:00PM
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aww.. its so cute...

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 2:05AM
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yaslan(8 WA state)

That looks decidedly ancient and prehistoric and doesn't belong in our time! LOL

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 12:55AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Bo, Thai Giant just wants to get big on its own. Yes, we are quite hot and humid most of the summer. We had a shortage of rain this summer, so I had to water quite a bit. Thai Giant likes a bit of shade during the hottest part of the day unless you let it sit in water. For fert, I dumped half a bag of manure at its base + a sprinkling of Milorganite.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 8:09AM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

I love your Thai Giant. I used milorganite on my plumeria and brugs the last few years and they did really amazing. This last year I didn't use it. I can really see the difference with last few years they got monsterous and bloomed nonstop. This year they are not blooming near as much.
I got a few seedpods on my Mojito this year. I don't know what they are crossed with or if it pollinated itself.

One other colocasia you might like is Maui Magic. It has a purplish black shiny leaf and is very vigorous.
Xanthosoma atrovirens (mickey mouse taro) the varigated form, is really pretty.
I also like alocasia 'Stingray' that looks like little stingrays. I found them very tender (we got down to 17 last year) so protect them well.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 10:47AM
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Xanthosoma sp. - Giant Elephant Ear*
alocasia california*
colocasia black runner*
colocasia sangeria*
colocasia black pearl
colocasia mojito
colocasia helena (lime)
colocasia variegata
canna stutgart

im looking to trade for other non-green colocasia/alocasias varieties in the Spring if you are temperate, the ones with the asterix i have enough for cuttings already

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 11:24AM
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just got this the other day, Alocasia zebrina, reticulata sport

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 12:41AM
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