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Giant Taro

​​Giant Taro 

Alocasia macrorrhizos

  • Common name: Giant Taro, Giant alocasia
  • Scientific name: Alocasia macrorrhizos
  • Family name: Araceae
  • Origin: Southeast Asia
  • Height: 12-15 ft
  • Width: 6-8 ft
  • Growth: Slow
  • Zone: 9-12
  • Light needs: Partial Sun
  • Salt tolerance: Moderate
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Prefers moist, well-drained soil – clay, loam, or sand, with high organic matter content. Prefers acidic to neutral pH (pH 6.8-7.5)
  • Moisture: Very humidity tolerant. Should be watered regularly – soil needs to be constantly moist.
  • Drought tolerance: Low
  • Pests/Diseases: Spider mites, scale, mealybugs, aphids
  • Growing conditions: Best grown in a partly shady area with moist/wet soil. Too much sunlight may scorch leaves. This plant grows slowly, but it gets very large, so it needs plenty of room to grow. This plant can also do well in a container as a houseplant as long as all of its needs are met. It is sensitive to cold, so make sure to plant it when there is no risk of frost.
  • Characteristics: Leaves are arrow shaped and very large, up to 6 feet in length and 4 feet in width. Leaves are ruffled with prominent veins and grow singularly on stalks that grow out from the central trunk. Flowers resemble calla lily flowers; with a yellow spathe and spadix. The roots are edible when properly prepared and are a staple starch product in many areas.
  • Propagation: By root division
  • Wildlife: Flowers attract pollinators such as bees
  • Facts: An easy way to tell Alocasia plants apart from Colocasia plants is by looking at the leaves – Alocasia leaves point upwards, and Colocasia leaves point downwards. Giant Taro is a very slow grower, and its root may take up to two years to fully mature. Giant Taro’s species name, macrorrhiza, means “large root”.
  • Designer considerations: Great for shade gardens or near ponds. It can be a focus plant, mass planting, or a way to add a tropical look to any garden.