I'm usually pretty successful overwintering them in the basement. They lose most of their leaves by spring, but they're still alive and usually leaf out when the temperatures warm in the garden, late June to early July. This last winter I lost several, perhaps I was too caught up in caring for the plants outdoors (it was a tough winter) and didn't give the colocasia enough water to keep them alive. Whatever the reason earlier this summer I bought this dark stemmed beauty, Colocasia fontanesii, to fill the gap. This is the view when I'm sitting on the patio and glance up towards the shade pavilion...
I've been admiring it for weeks and finally decided it deserved the "fav" spotlight. Taking these photos I was surprised to see that bright chartreuse point behind the shortest leaf.
It's going to bloom! A very rare occurrence for me. It won't be a showy flower but it's still a nice development.
The stats on Colocasia fontanesii:
- tropical in the Araceae family
- 4-6 ft tall, and up to 5 ft wide in wet soils, or shallow water (and when planted in the ground where it can over-winter outdoors)
- leaves can be up to 3 ft across
- needs dappled shade to part sun
- stems die back at freezing but should resprout from base if mulched well (down to USDA Zone 8, maybe 7)
All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.