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'Black Magic' colocasia

Posted by linnea56 z5 IL (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 17, 11 at 14:29

What the secret to growing these? I bought one last year, but all I got from it before frost was a 2" spike emerging above the ground. I really wanted this, and it wasn't cheap. It was so disappointing, I didn't even bother to dig it up last fall.

It was planted in nice soft dirt, in a very large pot; and I picked a big one (for that variety) that showed obvious life, and was planted in May.

Should I have started it indoors?

Some tender bulbs I have no luck with (like cannas: same result: all I get is a leaf spike before frost). Some are so easy (like dahlias). Start Indoors, start outdoors, I get flowers.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: 'Black Magic' colocasia

You have trouble with cannas ?! just kidding, it's only that your posts cover such a wide range of bulbs, I thought there wasn't anything out there you didn't grow well! lol

All I can suggest for the colocasia is that it wasn't wet enough? I haven't grow that particular variety, but the others I've grown want plenty of fertilizer and hot weather with as much water as you can give them. I think of them more as a bog plant that will tolerate normal garden conditions.

I can't help you with the cannas... but they do like the same boggy, warm, fertile conditions that the colocasias like, just with more sun!


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RE: 'Black Magic' colocasia

Boggy?! Well, that is exactly what it (or the cannas) didn't get. Heat, yes, fertilizer, sun, yes. But both were planted into dryish conditions. The Black Magic I put in a very large outdoor pot. But it does dry out faster than the ground does. I just bought another one: I will try planting it right in the ground this time. How do they feel about clay soil (amended clay soil)?

I grow a lot of bulbs, it's true. Someday I will have tried everything. When something does not succeed, I tend to move on. But I owe it to myself (and to the poor bulbs) to try twice.

Should I start it indoors, too?


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RE: 'Black Magic' colocasia

Both cannas and colocasias are tropical plants that want all the sun and heat they can get. Both also do well in boggy conditions except over winter.


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RE: 'Black Magic' colocasia

I started with a few small corms of Black Magic last year. I ended up with more than I could count. They spread everywhere! We've got the heat and humidity covered here in VA. I just had to water... a lot. A minimum of 4-5 times per week, if not daily. That's just the price of keeping tropicals.

To start I dumped a handful of milorganite in each hole I dug. For the larger colocasia corms I dumped in a full shovel full. My first year tropical garden was quite the overgrown sight.


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RE: 'Black Magic' colocasia

I'll have to try more milorganite this summer, I think I've been putting it on a little too timidly. "Overgrown tropical" would be perfect around the porch. Any pictures from last year?


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RE: 'Black Magic' colocasia

Here are a few pics. Don't mind the dirty house... I had to wait until this spring to power wash. It looks much better now.

Here's my lovely wife. I think this pic was taken in August. This was a small colocasia gigantea at the beginning of the summer. I think I purchased it in a 4" pot in early may.
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Here's a brugmansia in front of some ruellia. The brug I brought into the basement to overwinter. I just left the ruellia out. I doubt it will come back.

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Here's our dog Angus wondering what he's doing in the tropics.

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This was my first year trying tropicals. I underestimated how much they grow and how fast. Everything was planted too close together. I'll be sure to space better this spring. The 3 bananas all grew to be at least 10' tall, started from 14" pups. Three of the brugs were between 6-8' tall, all started from small cuttings.

I'm lucky to have good rich soil on our small city lot. I then ammended with about a 3" dressing of aged horse manure, plus 1 bag of milorganite per 100 sqft. Then, in each hole I added a fair amount of milorganite per plant. This was all per Boca Joe's recommendation. I also fertilized heavily once per month starting in June. Miracle grow mixed with fish emulsion and seaweed extract.


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RE: 'Black Magic' colocasia

very cool..... definately working a little harder on soil prep this spring with the tropicals. wow.

-sorry to go off topic, but where did you get the plants from, any particular source?... as if I need more plants to lug in and out every winter.


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