Whether you call it taro, elephant's ear or dasheen, taro (Colocasia spp.) is sure to turn heads in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11. Its larger-than-life leaves -- which can sometimes grow 5 feet long -- make this plant a showy specimen in the garden. It grows from underground root structures called corms, which respond well to transplanting. Ideally, transplant taro in the spring.
1 Amend the soil with 3 or 4 inches of rich, organic matter such as garden compost. Work it into the soil 8 to 10 inches deep. A site with direct morning sunlight with afternoon shade is ideal.
2 Dig around each taro plant, starting about 8 inches from the outer edge of the crown. Cut under the plant 8 to 10 inches deep to get as much of the root system as possible. Lift the plant and roots from the soil.
3 Use your hands to separate roots along with the top growth into several sections, if desired, to propagate taro at this time. Each taro section should have its own trunks or foliage attached to its own roots.
4 Dig a hole and replant taro so it is at the same depth as it was before transplanting. The corms should be about 2 to 4 inches beneath the soil surface. Pack the soil lightly to remove large pockets of air. Space plants 2 to 6 feet apart.
5 Irrigate the transplanted taro thoroughly with 1 to 2 inches of water. Water every two or three days, as necessary, to keep the soil moist at all times. Apply 2 or 3 inches of mulch, such as wood chips, around each plant to help keep the soil moist; however, keep the mulch about 2 inches from the stems to avoid crown rot. Do not fertilize newly transplanted taro.
Items you will need
- Organic matter
- Garden hose
- Taro leaves might wilt after transplanting. Keep the soil moist and cut back any dead or yellow leaves. It will likely spring back to full health in a few weeks.
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