New Alocasias for 2012

alo_borneoAlthough we’ve grown Colocasias in prior years, we will be bringing a number of new Alocasias into full production for 2012. Both plants offer tropical flair to containers, landscapes and gardens, so the industry tends to use them interchangeably in designs and production.

Although these two types of tropicals are similar, there are differences as well. The general rule is: Alocasias can handle dry areas; Colocasias prefer wet conditions. Alocasias tend to feature larger leaves and plants, but both tropicals have dwarf varieties that are suitable for smaller spaces. 

For water features and wet areas, use Colocasias. Traditionally pond plants, they also make great additions to slow streams in the landscape. In containers, be sure to keep them well watered.

Alocasias offer better support for an exotic look in more traditional garden soil conditions. We like to drop two or three of them in the center of a garden bed or container to create a dramatic effect. Even an ordinary bed of Begonias or Vincas can suddenly appear exotic, with very little effort or planning.


If you have a big space and need to fill it UP, here are some plants to consider:

  • Alocasia ‘Borneo Giant’: 7–10 feet tall, the tallest variety on our radar.
  • Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’: 6–8 feet tall, with white veining on huge green leaves; the undersides are dark maroon.
  • Colocasia ‘Thailand Giant’: 6–10 feet tall, featuring light powder-green leaves; the plant fills its space like a monster.

Miniature and dwarf varieties are perfect for deck pots and small garden plots:

  • Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’: 1–2 feet tall, a very small plant with velvety leaves.
  • Colocasia illustrus: 2–3 feet tall, a dwarf with green leaves and dark mottling.
  • Colocasia ‘Heart of the Jungle’: 3–4 feet tall with deep black leaves and burgundy stems.
  • Colocasia ‘Mojito’: 3–4 feet tall with mottled leaves.

Tropical flair usually refers to sun plantings; however, we grow several tropical varieties that work well in the shade or strong indoor lighting, such as that found in lobbies or courtyards. From smallest to tallest, they are:

  • Alocasia ‘Black Velvet’: 1–2 feet tall.
  • Colocasia illustrus: 2–3 feet tall.
  • Colocasia ‘Heart of the Jungle’: 3–4 feet tall.
  • Alocasia plumbae ‘Nigra’: 4–5 feet tall.
  • Alocasia infernalis ‘Kapit’: 5–6 feet tall. 

If you need to plant on a schedule, and you need tropical flair that doesn’t require reliably warm weather, consider these cultivars:

  • Alocasia portora: 5–6 feet tall, classic color and shape.
  • Alocasia ‘Odora’: 4–5 feet tall, the landscaper’s favorite—it’s very adaptable.
  • Alocasia ‘Borneo Giant’: 7–10 feet tall.
With all that they bring to the table, our new Alocasias build our tropical line into a well-rounded, full-featured program for both landscapers and garden centers.