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Alocasia macrorrhiza 'Variegata' (Giant taro, Upright elephant ear, Elephant ear, Alocasia)

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Top ten native plants. Native plant specialist Angus Stewart's top ten native Australian plants.

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Plant description

Alocasia macrorrhiza 'Variegata', or giant taro, is a tuberous perennial tropical plant with beautifully marbled large glossy leaves. The leaves are up to a metre long, and the variegation is random, so each leaf is different. This is a fast growing Alocasia which can reach 1.5 metres or more in a year if the conditions are right. It is suitable for tropical to warm temperate areas. In colder conditions, the plant can die down, but will reshoot when the weather warms. It likes fertile well drained soil, and regular watering and fertilising.

Alocasias give a tropical feel to a garden, and can be grown as a specimen plant, as a massed planting, or in containers. They can also be good indoor plants, where they will need bright light, humidity and warmth to be at their best. Dry air will make the plant susceptible to red spider mites, regular misting will help to discourage pests.

Propagation is from offsets which can be divided.

Additional plant information

Flowers

Flower colour: not specified
Flowering season: not specified

Plant size

Maximum height: 2 metres
Minimum height: 1 metres

Maximum width: 2 metres
Minimum width: 1 metres

Sunlight, frost & salt tolerance

This plant will tolerate full or partial sunlight.
Light frost tolerance.
Plant is not salt tolerant.

Fauna attracting?

Not specified.

Climate

This plant species will grow in the following climates: temperate, subtropical, tropical.

Soil types & conditions

Loam: moist, well-drained.

Clay: moist, well-drained.

Sand: moist.

Diseases

Root rot in overly wet conditions

Pests

Red spider mite

Miscellaneous information

Planting season: not specified.

Types of fertiliser: Half strength liquid fertiliser applied through the warm months.

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