As Promised…. Colocasia Tubers

Colocasia Esculenta, purchased as a tuber from Easy To Grow Bulbs this March.

Colocasia Esculenta, purchased as a tuber from Easy To Grow Bulbs this March.

When Kathleen, at Easy To  Grow Bulbs,  and I chatted on Friday morning about our two Colocasia tubers which never grew, she promised to put replacement tubers in the mail that day.

June 30 2014 Colocasia 001

And, as promised, they arrived in today’s mail.

If you’ve never seen a Colocasia esculenta  tuber, here is your chance.  These fleshy rhizomes will sprout roots, then leaves, once planted.

June 30 2014 Colocasia 003

Kathleen explained that our previous rhizomes most likely rotted due to too much moisture in the soil after I moved them out to the garden.  I planted them out with the third, which was in active growth, even though they had not yet sprouted any leaves.

Big mistake.  I should have given them more time to break dormancy in individual pots.

This is the surviving Colocasia when I planted it outside on June 7.

This is the surviving Colocasia when I planted it outside on June 7.

Kathleen gave me careful instructions for planting these replacement plants. 

I’ll plant them in good potting mix in 6″ nursery pots, water lightly, and then keep them out of doors away from direct sun until leaves appear.

The soil should remain only slightly moist until the plant is actively growing again.  Too much moisture, in combination with summer heat, will cause rot.  Heat is necessary to break dormancy and initiate root growth, so I need to make sure the soil stays on the dry side initially.

Once growth is underway, Colocoasia enjoys moist soil.  They appreciate full sun to light shade, and need plenty of room to expand.

C. "Black Magic" from the Michigan Bulb Co., finally received earlier this month.

C. “Black Magic” from the Michigan Bulb Co., finally received earlier this month.

Exculenta” is Latin for “edible.”   Colocasia esculenta, native to southern Asia, is one of the earliest cultivated crops; with evidence of its cultivation as a major dietary staple more than 5000 years ago in India.

All parts of the plant are poisonous when raw; but the tuber, once soaked and cooked, is mashed into a  delicate and delicious paste.  In Hawaii, the dish is known as “poi.”

We won’t be eating these lovely rhizomes.  We will grow them to enjoy their beautiful foliage.  And best of all, our herd of deer won’t try to eat them either!

Thank you, Kathleen, for all of your assistance with our Colocasia plants.  Thank you for replacing the two which rotted before they had a chance to grow, and thank you for explaining the process from the bulb’s point of view.

Your gentle instructions should have us on the way to Colocasia success!

The Colocasia on June 20.  See how fast it is growing?  These are heavy feeders.  If you plant them, amend the soil, keep them moist, and feed every few weeks for the most impressive growth.

The Colocasia on June 20. See how fast it is growing? These are heavy feeders. If you plant them, amend the soil, keep them moist, and feed every few weeks for the most impressive growth.

 

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

Advertisements

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

2 responses to “As Promised…. Colocasia Tubers

  1. I love growing these things, the ones I have grown in the past are usually the black leaves and they are huge! One year they stood over 6 foot tall. I had to move them and when I did the next year they did not come up! 😦

We always appreciate your comments. Thank you for adding your insight to the conversation.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 527 other followers

Follow Forest Garden on WordPress.com
Order Classic Caladiums

This Month’s Posts

Topics of Interest

%d bloggers like this: