More Information About Alocasia
The genus Alocasia (Upright Elephant Ears) contains mostly exotic tropical plants in the aroid family, usually not widely planted north of zone 9. A few of these upright elephant ears, however, are proving to be marginally hardy in our Zone 7b garden. Even with their hardiness, alocasia tubers may die out during a cold winter and the plants will re-sprout from small side tubers. Winter death can often be prevented by a 1' or deeper pile of leaf mulch over the main crown in winter.
Alocasia differ technically from the more widely grown colocasia in ovary and leaf characteristics. In most cases, alocasia species have shiny leaves while most colocasias have matte finish leaves. Also, while alocasia leaves can be divided or undivided, colocasia leaves are always undivided.
The genus Alocasia is similar to Colocasia in growing requirements...moist, rich, but well-drained soils. In cold winter climates, it is essential to keep upright elephant ear plants dry to prevent rot. They also grow well in containers, as specimen plants, or as accent plants. Although generally green, we offer a few selections with some color...check out Alocasia wentii or Alocasia cucullata 'Yellow Tail'.