Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A is for Alocasia



We were so excited when we moved into our new house.  It had a pool and we envisioned a lush “tropical garden” surrounding it.  Unfortunately for this particular dream, we don’t live in a tropical climate.  So we’ve created a tropical looking garden that includes some “hardy” and some “not so hardy” plants.  The Alocasias are some of the “not so hardy” members of that garden.

Alocasia 'Variegata'
 Alocasias are commonly known as elephant ears.  There are actually
 three type of plants, Alocasia, Colocasia, and Xanthosoma, that are called by that name.  

Alocasia 'California'
Alocasia 'Mayan Mask
Alocasia 'Polly'
 They can have very attractive leaves and some of the cultivars can have leaves that get HUGE.  This is why we have them.  Their leaves add a lot of tropical flair to our pool side oasis.
Alocasia 'Portora'
Most of the cultivars are not able to make it through a North Texas winter, being hardy to zone 9-11, so they are dug each fall and potted up safely in our greenhouse.  The majority of the foliage is cut back and they are minimally watered.  The goal is to keep them alive, not to create some type of conservatory display in our backyard.

Alocasia 'Stingray'
Our first Alocasia was Alcocasia 'Stingray'.  We found a gigantic specimen at a local nursery and sort of bought on an impulse.  It lived on our deck at the old house sending up lots of off shoots.  We've potted them up and given away countless baby 'Stingrays' to friends and coworkers.
 
Alocasia 'Sarian'
Alocasia 'Regal Shields'
Alocasia 'Hilo Beauty'
Alocasia 'Malaysian Monster'
Even though we have amassed a small collection, we are always on the search for new and interesting Alocasias (as well as other interesting plants) to add around the pool. How do you add a tropical flair to your garden?











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