Growing Colocasia "Thai Giant" from seed

ctnchprAugust 26, 2012

My Thai Giant had beautiful blooms last Aug...

...which made seedpods in Sep...

The seedpods ruptured in late Oct, revealing the seed-laden berries. Each berry contained dozens of seeds, about the size of a poppy seed, but shaped like a sesame seed...

I sowed the first of four batches of seeds the day after harvesting. Most seedlings emerged in the 2-3 week range. These seedlings are 3 weeks old, with their heart shaped first "true" leaf...

This was taken in early Feb '12, with the 6th true leaf...

I put my most vigorous plant in a compost pile in late Apr (with a 24" level for scale)...

This was taken today, with a 48" level for scale. The distance between the leaf tips, left to right, is 15 feet. The leaf on the right is about 6 1/2 feet, shoulder to tip. The plant now has 2 blooms, so I guess the cycle will be repeated...

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steiconi(12a-Big Island, HI)

really nice sequence of photographs!
I love BIG LEAVES, just planted starts of some kind of giant colocasia, plus a giant kalo/taro/alocasia(?)

I have a feeling I'm going to spread them all over...

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 9:49PM
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ctnchpr

Thanks, steiconi!!

Zone 12b....sigh...., I'm 6b.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 10:08AM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

Very nice!
Did you hand pollinate, if so how?

My thai giant rivals that and was put out in mid july. its unbelievable.
It had 5 leaves and was in a 4 inch pot impressive for such a short time but not half as cool as growing from seed, who knows, maybe the genes have are the best out there now.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 1:48AM
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tropicbreezent

It certainly lives up to its name "Thai Giant". I really should get one so that I can look at it instead of photos, LOL. Interesting that its leaves look more like Xanthosoma than other Colocasias.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 1:08AM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

I havent been growing these guys long, and im no taxonomist, but this guys no colocasia, if ive ever seen one... its close and does cross with other colo.s but i just dont think it really is.
Its just to unique from other colocasias

A great plant regardless what it is.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 11:52AM
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miketropic

mines in the basement for winter..should be a supreme monster at the first hints of spring.the leaves were 3ft across when it went in if I can get them somthing like 5ft in early spring I can make this plant massive

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 11:34PM
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ctnchpr

@grab - No hand pollination, I never did see any insects on the blooms, so the pollinators were either nocturnal or too small to see.

@mike - Please share how you're overwintering your tuber, I tried to overwinter mine as a houseplant last year, but the tuber rotted.

I put the largest leaf on a 4' X 8' sheet of foam insulation for scale - it was 5' wide and 6' 6" long...

Of the 9 blooms this year, only the first 2 were pollinated, they should burst anytime now. We have frost predicted for the next 5 nights, so the plant is covered in plastic with a 250W heat bulb underneath the seedpods.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 11:58PM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

What a beast! you must have treated it well.
Lucky you, I wonder what pollenated them around here! what area do you live, its frigid here today... : (

My understanding of how to over winter them is to dig them, clean the roots of most or all soil, remove all but the newest 1-3 leaves and place in a few inches of water.
These guys are notorious for NOT producing a tuber, thats why over wintering them is such a challenge. Mine did produce a tuber this year, as well as several bulbils, so it can happen, i havent chopped away all of the plant yet to determine exactly how large the tuber is, I plant on either leaving in the bucket of water, which scares me a bit, or planting in in a small pot and hoping it squeaks by.
My goal is also to have a decent sized plant come april, maybe a few if these bulbils make, i planted them straight away. With the end goal being gettin the plant as big as possible, hopefully 7'+ leaves.
my giant also felt the wrath of all this recent wind it got its 2 largest leaves shredded about a month ago... It was sad...this early cold cut the season short about 3 weeks too...it was throwing a new leaf every 3-5 days before that, that would be atleast 5 more leaves i would have gotten this year too... oh well

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 1:19PM
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miketropic

IDK if this will work for everyone but it works for me. I dig mine and knock all the regular earth off it. wash the tuber very careful so I don't break roots so its nice and clean. cut off all leaves except the newst one and the one is came out of. plant it in a potting mix of about 60% perlite and 40% light compost. I water it maybe once a month and the water it gets runs right through it. just enough to give the roots a quick sip. once the temps go up I'll put a pan of water under it and let it drink. come april its back outside with usually 4 or 5 leaves and right back in the ground

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 6:02PM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

basically my plan too : )

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 6:58AM
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ctnchpr

grab and mike, thanks for the overwintering info.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 11:28PM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

swo a quick follow up, I wont be doing the water bucket again, I suspect it was just too cold and maybe i didnt change the water enough.

I pulled it out for its regular water change, wash off and inspection, the bulbil left attached was mush : (

Its now wrapped in grocery bag get regular root ball mistings and seems just fine now, i do hope the previously detacted bulbils emerge soon, i hate to dig em up o always boo boo stuff that way, but they havent poked thru, maybe ill bring them in for more warmth

Ill report back!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 3:31AM
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