Challenges of overwintering Colocasia as houseplants

I understand that some of the newer Colocasia do not develop a tuber big enough to dig and store, so I have brought these indoors - zone 7a NJ - and am attempting to keep them as houseplants. Already, I am faced with some challenges. 1. Fungus knats. 2. Spider mites. 3. Water balance.

For the knats, I sprinkled Mosquito Bits on soil surface and placed Safer Houseplant Sticky Stakes. For the spider mites, I used an insecticidle soap spray and am praying as I read a spider mite infestation can kill. I believe I caught the mites early as the bit of powdery white and fine web were most notably on the one - very small - new ‘Black Runner’ which is pictured below.

As to the watering, I am confused. If I am attempting at keeping them alive through winter, do I continue to water them? Decrease water to once a week? Less? Don’t water at all?

The newest acquisitions - 3 in a pot - are the struggling ‘Black Runner,’ ‘Imperial Giant,’ and ‘Blue Hawaii.’. These were new purchases from Plant Delights about a month ago, so did not have time to grow much.

The ‘Coffee Cups’ seem to be doing well, though There is some literature stating they could possible survive outdoors over winter with a heavy mulch covering.

’Geico’ is leaning heavily, but leaves look healthy - new ones are continuing to die back. I have them propped up, but wonder if I need to add soil.

For those in colder climates, how are your elephant ears doing and what are your methods and challenges?

Comments (54)

  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis

    Jay..I have some work to and repotting..the pots I planted with "raised bed" mix (looks like shredded mulch) aren't soggy like the typical potting soil..I also like the way it goal is to replace the soil that came with all of my plants..just a few to do..I removed (as much as possible) potting mix from my annuals..they did well in the bark based mix..

    PineBarrenGardener..thanks..need to buy that soap soon..

  • jay

    The spray I use is Garden Safe but another Neem Oil I used before seemed to be more effective. Be mindful that replacing 100% of the soil can cause a shock that can kill a plant. But I'm chancing it like I did for a couple plants last winter. My banana pups don't seem to mind at all. If I don't completely replace the soil when planted outdoor plants are brought in, the first few months they are indoors - I find earthworms and/or sow bugs dried out on the floor some mornings. My mix is:

    * 1 part peat moss

    * 1 part indoor potting soil

    * 1 part perlite

    * 1 part aquarium or pea gravel

    * 1 part sand

    * sprinkles of mosquito donut dunks (the brand is torn off my package)

    * 1 part fine pine bark mulch (when I have it)

    This formula is only because I don't have time for other mix formulas shown on this forum. I haven't tested it through an entire winter indoors yet. Ideally the leca-gravel is what I want to try - see the leca-gravel recipe at/near the bottom of this thread. You can also see how healthy the poster's EE looks using the leca-gravel formula:

    Below are the bulbs (corms and rhizomes) from my 3 largest Aroids. I over-watered the Thai Giant and it stopped growing and turned a little yellow in early Sept. It's taking weeks to partially dry, and you can see some white mold near the top of the pic. I don't plan to completely dry it. I doubt it will make it until Spring:

  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis

    Jay..I saw Garden Safe online at Lowe's..sounds good..I've also had bugs (and the dirt they bring) on the floor..some people soak their plants to remove all the soil but I just tap the original soil off as much as possible then seems to work ok..some of my caladium bulbs were similar to the Thai Giant..shriveled and brown..but I saved them and they came up..

  • keys6505

    Just my $.02- Just let them go dormant. It's a losing battle trying to keep these as houseplants. They won't look nearly as good as they do in the summer and you'll be battling gnats, mites, and rot all winter. Let them go to sleep in a cool dark place. Give them a sip of water once a month and in the spring they'll wake back up good as new.

  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis

    keys..sounds good..I love long as they show up next year :-)

  • PineBarrenGardener

    I think there are some types that don’t develop the strong tuber and won’t make it unless you try to keep them growing - abet barely - over winter.

  • keys6505

    There are a lot of colocasia that don't develop a strong tuber, but there are also literally millions of perennial plants throughout the world that overwinter with standard root systems. I have yet to come across a colocasia variety that hasn't made it through the winter this way. Just to clarify, I overwinter them potted not bare root. I use the same method for most of my alocasia and xanthosoma as well.

    PineBarrenGardener thanked keys6505
  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis

    keys..I was planning to leave them in the about several people on GW who overwinter in pots..thanks

  • jay

    keys6505 - I'm leaning mostly your way to avoid the hassle & issues I had last winter. I'm potting & growing indoors only 2 large EEs and some tiny ones. The rest I will let go dormant. I potted my 50" A. Macrorrhizos 'Borneo Giant' yesterday and it had no tuber, just roots and not many. It only needed a 1 1/2 gal pot. That seems small compared the the plant size. I left it with 1 leaf and 1 spike.

    I have a 6ft tall A. Macrorrhizos 'Black Stem' that has an 8" wide, 25 1/2" circumference trunk base. That one I'll let go dormant. I haven't done this before with an EE. It is quite large and contains a lot of liquid. When I cut the older leaves off lots of sap runs down into the ground. I plan to put it in a pot for the winter and chop off the leaves. Should this not dry out completely?

    Here it is in the ground and it has experienced 1 frost a few days ago:

    Base circumference shown:

  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis

    so strange that such a large plant has minimal roots..that base is bigger than lots of trees! Jack's Giant ees are still standing..will let you know what I find when I dig them..

  • PineBarrenGardener

    Key - thanks for the clarification. I did misunderstand. What you wrote about millions of plants overwintering with standard root systems makes perfect sense. This being my first year with these Colocasia, I will try to keep them somewhat growing in my living room window. If they suffer and look totally miserable, next year I will go your route and put them in their pots in dark basement with a sip of water monthly.

    Jay - WOW - that ‘Black Stem’ is huge! So, again forgive my the only difference between colocasia and macrorrhzos, the direction the leaves unfurl? That is such a beauty.

  • jay

    Thanks. I had no idea when I got it in the spring it would grow with such vigor. The A. Macrorrhizos I brought indoors had no obvious bulb/rhizome/corm that I could see and I washed all the dirt off. Just leaf stems that connected to roots. Less rhizome than the sickly Thai Giant corm in the pic above from a few days ago. I should have taken pics. But my C. Esculenta which is about 30" tall now had a 2 1/4" bulb when planted in March:

    Below is a 5" bulb that grew to an even larger plant shown below it:

    The smaller 30" one is still growing after a weak frost.

    In addition to the leaf-pointing direction differences, the scientific description of Alocasias mentions arboreal attributes. Which to me means at least trunk-forming. If you look at pics of older Alocasias (incl. Alocasia macrorrhizos) you will see some above ground trunks. There is an on-line pic of a man in the Philippines climbing an Alocasia 'Borneo Giant' tree. I have not seen that with Colocasias. My Colocasia leaf lobes are connected much like Caladium leaves. My Alocasia leaf lobes are not. I'm not sure if that goes for all varieties. My Alocasias seem to have a more rigid, flat vinyl-like leaf composition. My Colocasia leaves are with curved edges and a water-proof quality and have a slightly satin-like sheen. My Alocasias have pups but no runners. My Colocasias have pups and lots of runners.

    PineBarrenGardener thanked jay
  • rockdale

    Just want to comment on your "black stem". What a beautiful specimen. It is on my list for next spring now:)

  • PineBarrenGardener

    Jay , thank you for the explanation. I have much to learn.

  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis

    the way alocasias grow reminds me of bird of paradise..I want an alocasia..sigh..plant junkies are never satisfied haha..

    PineBarrenGardener thanked nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis
  • LaLennoxa

    I'm glad people have the same drama overwintering these plants as I do, LOL.

    When I started collecting elephant ears a couple of years ago, I was determined not to keep them in pots, so I chopped them all down and threw them in paper bags with newspaper around them. That worked well - only a few were runner style, and those runners snapped off and didn't keep well - the tuber ones were just fine.

    This year I thought I would dig up some of them and try to keep them in pots, see how they do. Well, many went into a kind of shock - leaves drying up and falling off....but still sending up new growth. But finding the new leaves to be very pale, almost like the plant knows this is not the ideal environment. Another of my varieties was a big clump - but made up of what seems like several tiny clumps - so much so that when I dig it up, they all were wanting to fall apart into separate plants. From my experience, trying to overwinter those tiny ones are very problematic - not enough reserves to keep them over the winter in a dry state? Hmmm...

  • PineBarrenGardener

    Well, it is now late November and my potted colocasias continue to struggle along. I feel the knats have ceased to reproduce or they have me lulled in to a false sense of security and will reappear. The ‘Mojito’ that was leaning was repotted deeper. i have 2 ‘Mojito’ and each plant is holding on to a max of 4 leaves with some evidence of new side reproduction.

    The ‘Coffee Cups’ are doing well. They lean when they are in need of watering. They continue to put out new growth and are showing signs of side reproduction.
    My newest - ‘Blue Hawaii,’ ‘Imperial Giant,’ and ‘Black Runner’ continue to be puny and stunted. Lesson learned is to not buy at end of their outdoor growing season. Perhaps, if these were more mature goung inside over winter would be less stressing to them. Plants in this window get only about 3 hours of sunlight and, unfortunately, a cold draft after the winter sun shifts and sets.

  • jay

    I was given a plant in a 4" pot recently and 2 days later I got a bunch of fungus gnats. I'll replace its soil soon with my mix that should drain better. If that works then I'll know where they came from.

    Your EE's are doing great compared to mine that get 3 hrs of obstructed afternoon sun. I did have someone keep one of my Alocasia EEs last winter next to a large southwest facing window with no sun obstructions. It looked full and almost normal with 5 leaves on the day it was planted back outdoors in April.

  • PineBarrenGardener

    Jay, hope you get the fungus knats taken care of. In addition to learning about the lighting and water needs, I am speculating these also don’t appreciate the inside cold...even the coldness of the soil. I have saran wrap partially around my pot of newbies, but seriously think if the pot was smaller and contained less soil it would take less time to warm up when the sun is shining. My heat is forced air, but this is an old, drafty window. Continuing to live and learn.

  • jay

    Most of my larger outdoor EEs continue to grow in colder temps that include some light frosts. Nothing beats 90 degrees though. Lack of direct sun light seems to be my biggest problem indoors. Mine are in 72 deg F with 45% ave humidity. Fertilizer has helped I think. If my EEs were as healthy looking as yours I'd consider that perfection for a winter indoors.

    Caladiums & cold are another story. I do have a bay window like yours but a 2-pane size. It gets more sun than my other plant area but my Caladium & Caladium bulb can't be in there at night. Their pots get cold to the touch at night. My only EE with 3 leaves is a sm one in that cold window sill all the time. I'll post a pic when I can.

  • jay

    This is a Yautia Eddoes I bought as an edible bulb at an Int'l market. Pic taken today. It is kept on that cold but slightly more sunny window sill. The only other difference is that it was in a pot for a month before it was brought indoors before getting below 40 degrees. All my other indoor EEs were dug out. It's my only indoor EE with more than 1 leaf:

  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis

    too dark to get a decent pic..5 leaves..2 dark leaves are going down..1 new palm size sickly green and 2 tiny sickly green..oh well it's hanging on..

  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis

    improvement!..the first pic below is the same plant that's in my comment above..4 leaves (1 out of view)..the one in the next pic has a new leaf coming up in the center..removed the dry dead leaves..look how it makes your hands black (does wash off)

  • jay

    If that is from Black Magics, I haven't noticed that when maintaining mine. Others have written that dark liquid drips from the leaves. I haven't noticed that either. I do get some purple bleeding from petioles I cut off. If indoors and cutting them I place napkins on the cut points for about an hr so it doesn't run down the petioles & later rub off on me.

    I've also read these have calcium oxalate in the sap. I have it all over my hands almost weekly in the growing season but wash it off and don't notice any irritation. Only once after doing spruce tree trimming before washing but spruce needles do that to me anyway.

  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis

    I left the declining leaves until they were completely dried up because I'd read it could nourish the bulb (don't know if this was true but being inside they need every advantage)..anyway the dried leaf was like carbon paper..messy instant black..but it washed right off no harm done..I feel guilty that I didn't repot it..the runners have dried..I removed some..just couldn't keep up..need to decide on permanent pots for them..better one per pot?..what size?..12 inch large enough?..

  • jay

    That's interesting about nourishing the bulb. I want to look into this.

    I've come to some conclusions about EE pots. You can see more in the 'EEs rewarded' thread. I've placed a few Caladiums and Colocasias in pots before but their roots tangled. The Caladiums were the worst...and I had well-fitted plastic dividers in the pot. The width of the EE pot may not matter much. The depth matters because the corms tend to grow downwards and nothing should interrupt that. Those are my thoughts anyway.

  • albert_135   39.17°N 119.76°W 4695ft.

    My wife has a COLOCASIA esculenta 'Mojito' that seem to be doing the only-one-leaf-at-a-time since it was brought in after a lite frost in early October. A new one comes out, the old one dies, every few days.

  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis

    I like the look of a taller and narrower container..and I read that research shows the drainage is better (makes sense)..I don't think it's critical to repot my black ees now..will wait and do this outside in the spring..I'm pleasantly surprised to see new leaves..the more I read I've concluded that it's impossible to stop leaves from dying..

  • jay

    Somewhat off-topic but 2 of my Caladium bulbs showed signs of new growth on Dec 22. I wonder if this is coincidence or if it has something to do with that day being the first longer day out of 6 mos worth of days - leading up to the June 21 solstice.

    This is a Frog-in-a-Blender Caladium bulb chip (that came off when digging up the parent bulb) that I put in a small closed jar with aquarium gravel and 1/8" of water. I put it there next to a slightly sunny window on Sept 26. So it's been in there for almost exactly 3 months with another bulb chip. These were the only bulb chips in 3 jars this fall that didn't get fungus. I did the same thing in the spring with 2 jars and all the chips grew into healthy plants in about 8 weeks.

    This is a Caladium from Thailand I potted as a bulb on Oct 10. So it's been in the pot for 2 mos and almost 2 weeks. It's my understanding these bulbs/plants are finicky, don't like cold, and are more susceptible to rot & disease than U.S. & New World varieties. I was surprised to see this sprout. I must have done something right. I have the pot in a small tray of water for humidity and the water doesn't touch the soil. I'm considering getting a heating pad for it:

    Here it is 2 weeks later:

  • jay

    Just before the new year I found rot on my Alocasia Calidora bulb. Maybe it was because I turned its drying fan off for a couple of weeks. I cut the rot out with a knife & spoon. I removed 2 half-egg sized sections from it. Then I sprayed fungicide on tem. The rot only occurred above root line where the petioles used to be attached:

    The entire 14" 10 lb bulb:

    Fearing this would get worse I potted it because it survived last winter in a pot. I couldn't find a pot that was not too large. It also had to be thin so I wouldn't need so much soil so it wouldn't be too heavy. I found an almost aptly sized trash can, cut it shorter, and added a top frame so it would hold its top shape. It was wide on 2 sides so I put empty sealed water bottles to reduce weight and extra soil that fungus gnats would be attracted to (4 bottles on the bottom):
    (5 bottles on the top)
    It's actually not as heavy as the green pot setup further below but is quite tall for an indoor pot:

    My Alocasia Macrorrhizos Black Stem bulb also had some rot above the root line. It was in a few areas but it was only about 1/16" deep and I didn't cut it out. I sprayed fungicide on it and potted it too. I used about 45% top soil, 45% pine bark, 10% Perlite for both. The red arrows indicate the rot areas:
    Both bulbs weigh about 10 lbs each.

  • PineBarrenGardener

    The challenges of overwintering the colocasias continue. I can’t say any of them look pretty at this point. Spider mites returned with a vengence and This is what my “Coffee Cups” look like after being sprayed with insecticide soap, clipped, and showered! Might leave them in the bathroom for humidity, but there is no sun exposure. Attempting to keep these growing as houseplants was an experiment for me, but next year all of my colocasias will be put in the dark, cool basement over the winter.

  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis

    not pretty but alive..dark now and in a corner..awkward to get a has only 1 leaf..other has 5..can see 3 in this pic..just hoping to keep it alive until they can go back Jack's Giant bulbs are in boxes wrapped in newspaper..haven't looked at them so no news about them..

  • LaLennoxa

    PineBarrenGardener, you read my mind! I was pretty much going to post the exact same thing when I got around to it...but you summed it up nicely. The majority of the alocasias and colacasias are putting up spindly, sucky leaves - as if to say, "I'll grow, but I'll show that I'm really not happy with this stupidity."

  • jay

    Glad to know I'm not alone. The fungus on my 2 largest bulbs (both Alocasias) I could not stop while dry bulbs. I need to figure out how to stop 100% of this next winter. So last week I potted the 2 bulbs because that was the surest way to stop the fungus. I also sprayed copper fungicide on them. The reasoning for potting them is that none of my potted EE's got obvious fungus indoors last winter. The other issue has been the fungus gnat battle. I can't get rid of them. But I don't have as much as last year. The horticultural insecticide spray has stopped any mites from appearing.

    Below you can see my A. Borneo Giant and the C. E. Black Magic. The Borneo Giant is doing great indoors. So much so that it is casting too much shade on my other plants. The Black Magic looks sickly like it did last winter. I should add that I recently re-potted it (and the Borneo Giant) in better draining soil. I inadvertently broke off 3 Black Magic leaves in the process. However, even after looking so thin last winter indoors, it was my LARGEST and TALLEST EE last summer/fall. So if yours make it to the warm season, they might explode with growth from all the saved up 'energy':

    Try growing an Alocasia next. They do quite well in winter indoors...but they get just a little too large.

    PineBarrenGardener thanked jay
  • PineBarrenGardener

    Jay, I have potted, unnamed colocasia in unheated basement, in the dark. These darn things never really dried. I continue to have yellow sprouts and after the yellow gets spongey - ie not quite mushy, Ipeeling that leaf layer away. Due to this moisure content, these have not been watered at all yet. The bulb remains firm, the leaf stalks are yellow, but there are no fungus gnats, no spider mites and no rot. Completely out of sight - lol, but I am hopeful these will look good again come summer.

    The ones in front bay window, on display for all to see, are the ones struggling. I think these babies would prefer to be kept in a dark corner!

    Thank you for the Alocasia suggestion. I mail ordered a ‘Alocasia Borneo King.’ Supposedly it is the result of a lot of breeding to produce a large upright growing Alocasia that can reach monstrous size in northern climates such as New Jersey. The plant is similar to Alocasia Odora as far as hardiness and vigor but with the size of Alocasia Borneo. Supposedly, ‘Alocasia Borneo King’ grows from small plants to 4 to 8 feet in one season and can reach even larger size the following season. The leaves are large upright foliage usually 3 to 4 feet long and 3 to 4 feet wide. As the leaves mature they tend to have a rippled effect which is often seen in Borneo Giant.

    If sucessful, I would love to swap you a pup of this and/or coffee cups for a pup of your ‘Black Stem.’

    7o more days until spring!

  • jay

    Maybe I should have kept my two 10 lb bulbs potted in a dark basement. I didn't have any critters on them when there as dry bulbs. The gnats are only around my pots in the sun.

    I re-potted all 3 of my potted Alocasias into a better-draining soil. Their root masses nearly doubled in size. When re-potting my Colocasias the roots had only grown by about 1/4 to 1/3.

    My Borneo Giant was the first EE to be affected by the cold and I brought it in first. So you've made a good decision on the Borneo King.

    Sure about swapping Aroids. I could trade the Black Stem pup for a Tea Cup pup. I also have maybe 2-3 dozen Caladium bulbs I don't plan to use and would prefer to give away to someone who will dig out their bulbs over the winters. They are all labeled.

    When you get a chance, see the 'Philodendron erubescens' thread in Aroids. I just got my first colorful Philodendron and it should do well as a house plant all year long. Pics of it are there.

    PineBarrenGardener thanked jay
  • PineBarrenGardener

    Thanks, Jay. For the gnats, which I had early on, I used these 2 products.

    My Calidiums are safely in basement. I separated them by leaf type, but they were an unlabeled mix. This summer, I will try to identify them. They, along with the Colocasias transformed my ugly slab patio into a gorgeous oasis. Ah, can’t wait to reawaken these sleeping beauties.

    Will check you Philadendron when I get home as I am off to work. Hope the icy roads are manageable.

  • jay

    I'll be getting those 2 anti-gnat products this week. Here's an updated pic of my slightly variegated Thai Caladium. So far I haven't over-watered it. The color in the photo is accurate - deep pinks and on the base some purple tones: 2 weeks and 5 days old here:

    Update: 3 weeks and 1 day old:
    Update: 3 weeks and 4 days old (the photo shows more brown tones and less pink tones than it actually has):
    On the top right of the leaf above there is a small green speckle. I've seen this often on the similar-looking Burning Heart Caladiums I had growing in the summer. I'll try to dig up a pic. Maybe this Thai Caladium shares some ancestry with the Burning Hearts. On the top right of the Burning Heart Caladium leaf below (summer pic) there is also a small green speckle:

  • PineBarrenGardener

    Wow - that is beautiful. Imagine what it will look like in summer. Did you decide to get a heating pad or tray? Surprised to see such healthy growth indoors in winter. The color is stunning.

  • jay

    I was eyeing a heating pad but potting my two 10 lb bulbs and getting the Philo got me off that path. Plus it's doing fine at room temp. It should ultimately look like this:

  • PineBarrenGardener

    It is off to a great start!

  • jay

    PineBarrenGardener - the weather's been warm recently (upper 50's, low 60's) and yesterday I saw about 10 gnats indoors. So I found that a local nursery had the Sticky Stakes and Mosquito Bits and I bought them. All my plants were treated with the bits but I need more Sticky Stakes. Already a bunch of gnats are stuck to them. I hope to be rid of these bugs soon. Still no mites - I'm using All Seasons Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil. My two 10 lb EE bulbs have been in soil all month and are turning green along the growth scales or rings. Those green scales are also starting to swell. One bulb has begun a 1/4" sprout.

  • keys6505

    Hi all, the nice weather is giving me the itch to start playing in the dirt. Figured I'd share my experiences (failures) so far this winter. I know for certain I've lost my Elepaio, Malaysian Monster, and Hilo Beauty this year. Three of my favorites. The Hilo and Monster were potted and we're outside for one November rain too many. I knew they were too wet but for some reason convinced myself they would dry in time. I was wrong. Nothing but mush. I tried the Elepaio bare tuber for the first time this year. Had a solid 10 golfball sized tubers. They dried so fast I couldn't believe it. The first check I did in early winter and they had already dried out too far. I tried soaking them but to no avail, they're goners. They will ultimately go into my "Never Give Up" hole where I plant everything that I think is dead and hope for the best. Once every few years some zombie plant will surprise me. I kept my Lauterbachiana awake and it seems to like life as a houseplant better than the garden life. The Frydek that was in too bad of shape to go dormant has recovered inside but definitely not impressive. Wife dragged me to Ikea last week and they had some Regal Shields so I'll chalk that up to a win. Other than that the rest of the crew is sleeping and patiently waiting for some sun.

  • jay

    My large Alocasia bulbs took months to dry and I used a fan on them half of the time. My only large Colocasia bulb dried in 2-3 days with no fan.

    Even with mosquito bits and the sticky stakes I got an infestation of Fungus Gnats. I replaced the top 3" of soil in each large pot and added diatomaceous earth to the top of their soil. That knocked down the infestation by about 90%. The remaining gnats come in and out of the drain holes in each pot. I'm not sure what to do about that yet. My next step might be applying nematodes.

  • jay

    My young Caladium Rubicundum has 2 sprouts after I let it dry and kept it dry for over 8 weeks.

    It turns out that I may be in S. Orlando for one of the Caladium festival days this summer. I'm going to try and attend for at least a half day. I'll take a ton of pics & post here if that works out.

    My Thai Caladium now has 2 full leaves and a spike. But the varigation is not showing up because I think I've been giving it too much sun. The 2nd sprout was mostly white until I gave it too much sun. The first leaf has a dime-sized sun burned dead spot on it. So I'm backing off on any direct sun. This pic shows the burn area in the center. The pic seems to accurately show its pinkish & purplish tones:

    My potted 10 lb Alocasia black stem corm had rot all over it when I attempted to re pot it last week. After getting rid of that pot, away went most of the fungus gnats. I sliced off the top 10% of the corm and put it in water but it seems to be getting rot when underwater too.

    This is my Alocasia Calidora at almost 3 1/2 mos - it was potted on Jan 31. It has 2 deviled-egg sized chunks cut out from near the top of its corm from rot when the corm was bring dried/stored. Earlier in this post you can see that I modified a black kitchen trash can to use as a pot for it since the corm was about 14" long. To reduce the soil that may be desirable to fungus gnats I put it in a smaller pot. It has 2 leaves now:

  • jay

    Update: The Alocasia Calidora is now sporting an inflorescence bud after almost 3 mos of being planted as a bulb (that's it between the 2 leaf stems / petioles):

    Close-up of bloom on 3/30 after it opened and 3 full mos after potting the bulb:
    If you look further upstream in this thread, you'll see the bulb, which has become more of a trunk, has taken a beating from fungus: Yet it has become a plant that is prosperous enough to bloom. There was a pup from this parent that I literally left for dead. I threw it in a compost pile for 3 weeks one Nov 2016. Then I decided I wanted the plant. This is a pic of it on the day I took it out of the pile:

    So I potted it and it did well.

  • jay

    I planted the 14" 'cormed' A. Calidora outdoors on Apr 22. It's shown above with a bloom on 3/30. So far no nights under freezing but I expect some before it starts growing.

  • HU-914872684

    Hi all. So I ended up on this website to see about digging up my coffee cups elephant ear, washing outdoor soil, using insecticidal soap spray, etc, etc, and repotting as indoor plants for the winter (zone 6b/7 Central Jersey). Instead, I’ve decided to do what I’ve done the last 4 or 5 years with all my elephant ear plants (alocasia and colocasia). I’ve dug them up (easily due to shallow roots), placed them in large plastic trash bags left open in large, lightweight planters, and stored them in my mostly unfinished basement, which gets minimal outdoor light. No watering. No attention. Sometimes, a few start growing tall and look almost white (prob no photosynthesis?). I plant them outside once warm enough for my zone, and they grow even more huge than the previous summer!! I’ve even divided them due to their size & spread! Easy and well worth it IMO! I might try to pot up and grow a small offshoot of the coffee cup one, but wont know how it’ll do yet. Good luck to all with these super-cool plants.

  • jay

    Test post...I tried posting 2x a couple of nights ago and the text and photos disappeared after clicking Submit. So first I posted this as a line of text, then 1-by-1 added text and photos as individual edits.

    On the left is a C. Black Magic. On the right is a C. Esculenta. I didn't get to dig them up in the fall of 2018 and they came back up in the spring. The C. Esculenta is 5 1/2 ft tall and about 8+ ft wide. They are near DC:

    This is a Red Banana Tree. I got it as a potted plant in the Spring and put it outdoors in the ground. It looked good next to my C. Black Magic as they shared the same purple hue. I dug it up, potted it in it's original soil, and brought it indoors for the winter:

    This shows the brilliant colors of the leaves. Top: Upper side of leaf. Bottom: Under side of leaf:

  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis

    are you in zone 7?..I saw a post where someone in NC (zone 7) said they leave their green colocasias inground and they came up in the spring..

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268