Friday, October 7, 2011

Plants and Elephants

There is a square "courtyard" type area in our yard where we annually put a swimming pool up for our three children.  Last year, I got the bright idea to make this area into a tropical square.  It's perfect for this because it's in a sunny place on the south side of our house and quite sheltered from north winds.  It has become my place to experiment with various tropicals.  No tropical area is complete without some elephant ears (colocasias and alocasias.)  I picked up two beautiful colocasias this year as my first victims.

I love the dark-colored, purplish colocasias.  Purple Ruffles fits that bill and it quickly found a spot in the tropical square.  It is a medium-sized colocasia that should thrive in Louisiana.

This is what is looks like now.  The leaves are burnt around the edges because of the drought conditions we had this year.  Tropicals typically don't fare well in drought!  Still, it's growing and I anticipate great things next year.

One of the colocasias that I really love is Thailand Giant.  It makes such a loud statement in the yard!  This is one that requires plenty of water and fertilizer to look best.  This year was not ideal, but my plant still looks fine with all the supplemental water I've given it.  If it survives the winter well, I really want to baby it next year and get those giant leaves this plant is known to get.

My plant has leaves only about 3' long which is quite below the possible 6' size of this plant.  These plants grow well in zones 8 and higher.  It's best to put them in large pots if you live further north.  They will die back to the ground every winter only to come back strong in mid-spring.  They prefer part shade and moist, rich soil.

No comments: