Colocasia esculenta is a perennial marginal or bog
plant with its root crown at water or soil level. It is ideal for
the pool edge, or in moist ground or even in a large pot. It benefits
from a semi-shaded spot and should be planted in a rich, light,
free - draining soil or compost, allowing 60cm between plants. Water
plentifully in warm weather and less so during cooler months. It
should be fed with a liquid fertiliser weekly during the summer.
Grown indoors in winter, and kept moist, it does very well as a
Propagation can be by cutting off the top part of
the tuber (as Taro roots from the area between the stem and the
top of the tuber) or by the cormels. They can also be propagated
from seed - if you can find any!
I got my three tubers from Sainsbury's under the
name of 'Eddoes' at the end of April last year. They were just beginning
to sprout. When buying from a supermarket or ethnic grocers look
for fresh-looking tubers. With or without sprouts, they should not
look old. I planted them in March in 15cm pots, applying gentle
bottom heat of 1 5c. When leaves appeared I increased the watering.
The pot size needs to be increased to keep pace with the amazing
speed of the root growth until they are in the largest pots you
have or are planted out at the end of May or beginning of June.
Of the three, one produced a single spike 75cm high with leaves
45cm long. The others produced multiple growths and after dividing
the main tubers I now have nine potted specimens. They range from
45cm to 60cm high and the leaves are between 25cm and 30cm, and
one of them has produced two offsets. The largest plant has produced
six offsets from the base.