My Colocasia Black Beauty & Blue Gecko had been growing just fine since April. Yesterday, in the bed on the south side, one of the newest, big leaves and some of the tiniest, emerging leaves on the Black Beauty flopped. However, the other Black Beauty two feet away was fine. In the backyard, east side, some of my Colocasia Blue Gecko did the same thing, yet the Mojito & Black Coral right next to it are fine. Both Colocasia were fine and upright all day. I left the house around 2pm and got home around 7pm and found these leaves flopping. Once it got dark and they didn't perk back up, I watered them, but they are still laying down/flopping this morning. Any idea what might be going on?
Colocasias love water. Gardens often have them as marginals in ponds. I had to water mine daily last year when it was hot and dry while this year we've had so much rain that I rarely have to water them.
Make sure you give them plenty of water and they should do great for you.
I give them a lot of water lol Everyday I take the hose and water the perimeter around them really well. The Black Beauty only get about 2 hours of full sun daily, although, it is between 11:30am and 1:30pm. The Blue Gecko get about 3-4 hours of full sun...not all at once...mostly morning and then late afternoon. The rest of the time both are in filtered shade. We've had hotter days than yesterday and they have never fallen over like this and the watering routine has been the same.
If the leaves don't perk up, should I just cut them off, or wait until they start turning yellow before I cut them off?
If it was just in one area I would think it is possible to be something eating the roots, but these two Colocasia are on complete opposite sides of the yard. So, I think it would be odd for something to eat them being so far away, especially when there are other plants much closer. If the leaves don't perk up, and if any more start falling over, I will dig them up and check for root rot.
I would first of all scrape away the mulch to expose the soil, then examine the soil, stick your fingers into the soil to check it is in fact getting enough water to the roots, sometimes we are watering and believing the roots have got plenty water but the reality is, a crust has developed on the top soil and most of the water is running off the soil and not penetrating down.
If the soil is damp deeper down then your water regime is working OK.
next after that test is scrap some soil away from the plant around the crown, go gentle as you dont want to damage any soft tissue around the crown just under the soil, what your looking for is any bugs gnawing the stems at the leaf axle, this as you may know is where a lot of bugs, insects like to eat as this area is quite tender on these plants.
If that search is clear, then go way down to the root area and find what's wrong down there, that may include lifting the plant out the ground, if you ignore this stage after the first 2 areas you look at, your plants will get lost/ die on you, just cutting the leaves of is not sorting out the problem IF there is one at the roots, IF in-fact there is no root area problems, then you need to look at the soil around the plants, the drips from rainfall as suggested by purpleinmop, this could be causing wet to remain around the collar / crown and the plants are starting to rot, it's difficult to know from pictures and to be honest, different types of plants all from the same species, have different need, some plants have smooth shinney leaves while others have like a velvet covering and cant take water on the leaf even though they are from the same family, so maybe the different types of these plants you have are in need of slightly different treatment.
I hope you find out the problem soon, I love those plants and find it hard to keep them healthy even growing them indoors here in UK.
Good luck and Best Regards.
PurpleinOpp, the Blue Gecko is far away from the house and under an Oak tree canopy. The Black Beauty is beside the house, but the root is looks like an upside down "V", so the rain water just runs down those sides and not onto anything planted below.
Now, this morning when I went to water the Black Beauty, I set the hose down about 10 inches away from the main stem while I had to go do something real quick. When I came back, I noticed the water had run straight down into a mole hole. So, it is possible that the mole disrupted the roots. However, there is no sign of mole activity in the bed near the Blue Gecko.
I just pulled the mulch away from the Blue Gecko and it is moist at least down as far as my index finger will go. I included a pic of the soil around it. It's a tad blurry so sorry about that. No crusty build up at all and the soil is a mixture of composted cow and chicken manure, soil conditioner, Miracle Gro organic garden soil or Osmocote Garden Soil (Can't remember which one I used LOL), and native soil which is a lot of sand! I also included a picture of the surrounding plants so you can get an idea of the area it is in.
One thing I did notice while poking around in the soil is that all the leaves that are leaning down are close to putting out a new leaf. Coincidence? Maybe once the leaves emerge, they will perk back up. I will give it a few days to put out the new leaves and see what happens before I go and dig the whole plant up.
Savvy, you are doing the right thing by waiting a little while to see IF there are any improvements, there is no instant noticable things we ever see when we have tried to cure some problem no matter what plants were treating.
When I read the list of additives you have mentioned, then it could be some of those that has caused the problem IF you can remember when they were added as some of these can cause damage (burn roots or tender stems if the plants come into contact with them, sometime we don't realise that as we water, this shifts the mulches, the manures or additives against the plants / stems/ leaf axles and it can cause this material to make soft tissue where disease or rot can set in.
As you have rightly said, leave well alone now for I would say a week, keep an eye on them BUT don't add anything else other than watering, as the whole problem can become confusing for you and the plants as they wont know if they are coming or going. Hope all goes well soon as it's hard being a gardener at times when were babysitting our beloved plants eh !!!!.
Kindest Regards. WeeNel.
bellieg, you have a fabulous collection there! I have a few questions for you. I see that you have the pots in saucers. Do you just keep the saucers full of water or do you water the actual pot, let the water collect in the saucer, and then water when the saucers are empty? Also, once the Colocasia start growing and filling in the area, how in the world do you reach all of them to water them? Doesn't it get kind of crowded? I'd love to see a picture of what they look like in a month or so. Also, what type of sun do they receive during the summer?
What types of Colocasia do you have growing there? I grow Black Beauty, Illustris, Black Coral, Blue Gecko, Mojito, Diamond Head, Fontanesii, Pink China, regular Colocasia Esculenta, Gigantea Thailand Strain, Tea Cups, and Taro Bun-Long-Woo. Then I have Alocasia Mayan Mask and Xanthosoma albo-marginata "Mickey Mouse".
I have a few of them growing in pots such as Tea Cups, Taro Bun-Long-Woo, Gigantea Thailand Strain, 2 Blue Gecko, 1 regular Colocasia Esculenta, and several pots of Black Beauty.
What do you do with all of yours during winter? Do you leave them in pots or dig out the bulb and store them? I love all of your plant markers, too!
Ok, so last evening, I started to become paranoid about root or bulb rot when the leaves on the Black Beauty & Blue Gecko hadn't perked up yet. My area is expecting some good rain over the next few days due to the remnants of Tropical Storm Chantal. So I decided to dig up the Blue Gecko and check the soil moisture around the roots & to check for any rot. Well, the area around the plant was moist, not wet. However, when I pull the plant all the way out of the ground, I realized the soil that was in contact with the root ball, and the ground below where it was planted, wasn't very moist at all. It wasn't bone dry, but it wasn't very moist either. Lightly damp is what I would say it was. I figured with the very hot and humid last few days we've had, especially on the day they started drooping, and not receiving enough water at the root zone was the cause of the droopiness. I didn't plant the Blue Gecko back in the ground because I feel as if I should amend the soil a little more with some compost and maybe add some peat to retain moisture. There was too much sand, I believe, and not enough of the good stuff. So, I potted up the Blue Gecko, and watered it really good. As of this morning, the stems are no longer hanging so low that the leaves touch the ground, but the tops of the stems are still a little droopy. Hopefully, they will begin to straighten out soon. Oh, there was also no bulb or root rot either :) Once the rain stops, I will go amend the soil more and then replant it.
As for the Black Beauty...I went to check the soil around it and it seemed like everywhere I poked a finger, was a mole hole! So, I filled the holes with garden soil, for now, and watered it really well. I'm sure the mole will be back at some point so I will have to think about what I need to do. I haven't been back outside this morning to see if the leaves perked up yet...
You see how in your picture, one of the stems on the right is curved/bowed instead of straight? I have some on my Black Beauty and Blue Gecko that are doing that. Do you know what causes it to curve/bow instead of being straight?
Also, I noticed you have the same rusty brown spots/marks on a few stems that appear on my Colocasia Esculenta. I researched the possible cause and from what I found, it could be caused by leaf-hoppers. I do see a few leaf-hoppers on mine at least once or twice a day. Sometimes they are the bright green ones and other times there are the brown ones. Ever see any on yours? Or do you have another possible cause for the marks?
I have two Esculenta. The one in the ground receives more sun than the one in a pot and has much bigger, but fewer, leaves.
hcmcdole, I don't have Elena. Do you have a picture of yours?
My garden is in bigginner landscaping" BELLES HAVEN" GARDEN 2013. Check it out, i have more pictures to post.
my collection are all potted because it is easier to bring them in the fall.All are unpotted and placed in big rubber maid tubs.They occupy my part of the garage.It takes 2 days to bring in all the tropical.It takes more time to pot them again during spring.
I use a long sprinkler to water them and when I see the soil slightly dry they get watered. They love water and to my experience they are so easy to care. It is hard to kill them.
Yes they get very crowded and if you read the thread about my garden you will understand why.
As far as the varieties I have all you have except bun long wu,mickey mouse and thailand strain. I also have thai giant , adora portera, adora upright, macrorrhizza, and every variety that Florida Hill caries
.I have them near the place DH and I relaxes to enjoy the backyard.
My latest is adora robusta that i bought from Florida
I love my mayon mask!!!
I also have stingray, black sword , etc.
It sounds like a lot of work but I have 8 faucets outside and a sprinkler system which does not reach every plant I have.
Saavy, I attribute the leaning to only having light on one side, and the way the wind blows down into that corner. That bulb is probably way too close to the wall, I think it's hard for the plant to arrange its' leaves the way it would like.
The spots on the petioles are from bumping into/rubbing against the tomato cage supports. Sometimes I see aphids but the ants seem too busy lately trying to stay dry to have time to farm aphids.
I think purpleinmop has made the best info to date by mentioning the closeness the plants are to the wall, in the type of sun /heat you have is in fact not helping any plants that are more or less against a structure such as a wall, walls act like radiators when they are baked by sunlight and this in turn reflects and radieates back onto your plants.
Because your plants are large leafed and tallish, they will be fighting heat in all directions, at the back and front when the sun is strongest, also the soil can dry out very quickly against a wall from the same reasons and also it has to cope with the heat held in either the pathways or the soil from a lawn ect.
It is most important when making beds against walls or other hard landscaped structures is to add loads of humus into the soil when prep is taking place, this would help hold onto some moisture long enough to let the roots of the plants take enough to maintain good growing conditions for their survival.
Hope this helps give you some food for thought and you soon manage to get these lovely plants growing away like they should.
Best of luck, WeeNel.
With EE, I'd say it depends on your perspective. If you're turning it around so you can see the leaves, cool. If turning it causes you to look at it backward most of the time in the name of being more rounded/even/not leaning, I might put a rock on the one side to keep it from tipping, or a compensating companion plant, like sweet potato vine to drape over and counterbalance, and call it done.
I'm torn on rotating potted plants. I usually have in the past, but decided to let those that make flowers have more stability this year. It's got to take a lot of energy to turn leaves, I think? If the sun ever comes out, may draw some tentative conclusions on preference...
Mine are against east and north walls, so I don't think baking is an issue for mine, but the combination of having to have all of the leaves in 1/2 of of the space, combined with the way wind can go straight down and flatten plants against any wall causes too much leaning for me. When you add radiating heat, as WeeNel said, that's a triple whammy for trying to be upright.
Belle, that sounds amazing, very cool! I used to keep tropical bulbs/rhizomes in the basement in OH. You can also do that with Cannas, Gladiolus, Dahlia. Enable, enable! I've used mostly house plants as annuals this year. So bored with the same old ones at stores.
Well, now that I think about it...4 of my Colocasia (varying varieties) that are in ground & at least 5 feet away from any structures have good looking leaves and stems. None of the stems are leaning, bowing or twisting. 1 of these 4 (Mojito) receives about 3-4 hours of direct morning sun & about 1 hour in late evening with filtered shade in-between. Another 2 (Fontanesii & Diamond Head) receive about 2 hours of direct morning sun and filtered shade the rest of the day. The 4th one (Esculenta) receives direct sun from 9:30am to 2pm and 5pm to 6pm and filtered shade in-between.
However, another 5 Colocasia that are in ground and within 3 feet of a wooden fence or house wall also have nice leaves and stems with no leaning, bowing or twisting. 2 of these (Black Coral & Black Beauty) are within 2 feet of a eastern wooden privacy fence receiving about 2 hours of morning sun, then filtered shade, and about an hour of late evening sun. Another 2 (Pink China and Black Beauty) are within 2 feet of the house and receive about 2 hours of morning sun, filtered shade, then an hour of sun around 2:30pm, then bright shade the rest of the day. The last 1, another Black Beauty is within 1 1/2 feet of the house on the South side. It receives bright shade until 12pm and then receives full sun for about 2 1/2 hours, then and bright shade the rest of the day.
Pic #1: Colocasia Mojito (front) & Colocasia Black Coral (back)
Pic #2: Colocasia Esculenta (Excuse the junk pile behind it LOL)
Pic #3: Colocasia Fontanesii (center) Colocasia Diamond Head (back left of Fontanesii) Fontanesii is sending out runners and you can see 2 of them heading towards the Diamond Head.
Pic #4: Colocasia Black Beauty (Growing withing 2 feet of wooden privacy fence.) I actually dug up the mother plant to bring inside for winter and thought I dug up all the pups. Apparently, I didn't get them all because they sure are growing! This Colocasia sure does multiply & spread like crazy!
Pic #5: Colocasia Black Beauty (center) & Colocasia Pink China (Bottom left - still a baby) both growing close to the foundation of the house. Pink China just started pupping this week with 2 pups about 3-4 inches away from the main plant. This Black Beauty is the mother plant to all of my other Black Beauty. This is the one I dug up in pic #4 in late fall.
Here are a few more pictures of the Colocasia Fontanesii runners. When I planted it back in April, I had the bricks in a circle around it. To the left of it, is the Colocasia Diamond Head. (Pic #1 taken May 20, 2013).
Pic #2 of the Fontanesii & Diamond Head taken on June 2, 2013 about 2 weeks after Pic #1.
Pic #3 taken July 6, 2013, 4 weeks after Pic #2 - Fontanesii started sending out runners that were hitting the brick circle around it, so I had to expand the area to give the runners some room. And boy did they take advantage of the extra space!
Pic #4 taken July 21, 2013 taken 15 days after pic #4 and 8 weeks after Pic #1 is a close up of Fontanesii and its runners extending on the right and left. Some are 3-4 feet long. Thus, I had to do some rearranging of potted plants in this area to accommodate them.
Pic #5 also taken July 21, 2013 shows a close up of the whole area and the runners. Once again, the runners are nearing the bricks. (2 on the right & 2 on the left) However, I refuse to extend their area any further! There are 3 more runners that are not visible in the picture.
So, what do I do when/if the runners hit the bricks again? Can I aim them in another direction by curving it back towards the mother plant? How long do these runners get? LOL I don't recall them getting this long at the garden center who gave me this Fontanesii as a pup for free last summer.
I've found that Colocasia often survives our winters in the ground and there is no way to dig up all the runners. I now have many new 'Illustris' plants that have popped up from last year. I wish my A. 'Sarian' had done this.
Here is the mother plant of 'Illustris' today (with my crazy dog), one of the dropped babies from last year, and all the pups from where I dug the mother plant up last fall.
hcmcdole, I'm not digging any of them up this winter. I know they will overwinter in the ground just fine. I do have some varieties in pots that I will over winter in a sunny room others I will probably plant in the ground in the next month or so as soon as I find a spot and prep the soil as needed. Others I will give to the lady across the street who has a huge semi-shaded backyard and in need of plants LOL I've already given her several Black Beauty pups that are growing great for her.
Your Illustris looks wonderful! It's amazing how many pups they put out in a year's time!
I think colocasia is okay to leave in the ground here but it is dicey trying it on alocasia.
Here is my 'Sarian' from last year next to where the 'Illustris' was planted. Both of these did wonderful but the 'Black Coral' needed water daily. I decided not to put it in the ground this year but should move it to a sunnier location.
Your Sarian looks somewhat like my Alocasia Mayan Mask. It's the only Alocasia I have and I love it. I have 3; I bought 2 of them last year, and 1 just popped up in the middle of some Black Beauty and I still can't figure out why. The other 2 were planted at least 12-30 feet away from where it popped up. Anyway, I dug it up and replanted it in its only little spot. I noticed it putting out a new leaf yesterday :) I dug up and overwintered my 2 Alocasia Mayan Mask last fall; One of them overwintered in the house and the other I let go completely dormant in a pot. I planted them back outside mid-May. Not sure whether to overwinter this year or take a chance on leaving them in the ground. They are "supposed to overwinter here in my area.
Do you have a picture of your Black Coral in a pot? How much sun is it getting? As I mentioned above, mine currently only get about 3 hours of direct sun (morning and late afternoon). After I bought it in April, I had planted it in an area that gets more sun, but the spidermites had a field day and really did a number on it. So I moved it to its current area with less sun hoping the mites would chill out. With a lot of water blasts to the leaves & insecticidal soap for a few weeks, the mites haven't been back. It is recovering nicely.
Pic #1: The Alocasia I overwintered inside. It is much bigger than the one I let go dormant.
Pic #2: The Alocasia I let go dormant & planted the rhizome/bulb in May. It's growing great!
Pic #3: The Mayan Mask that popped up in the Black Beauty now in its new spot.
Yes I dug up Black Coral and have it in a small pot this year. They may get 5 hours or more of sun but I have not really looked at when the sun starts on them and when it ends. Last year they got filtered sun under a high canopy.
Here is a picture of it from last year and this year in a pot (maybe it isn't - I am guessing on the second picture so maybe later today I will see if the tag is still in the pot).
Jack's Giant from last year in the ground got to be a good size but not all that impressive either.
Edited to add: My Bad - the second picture is of Maui Magic. I finally found where I put Black Coral and it is very small this year probably because it is in deeper shade than it should be.
As for Jack's Giant...I kind of feel the same about the Gigantea Thailand Strain I bought in the spring. I put it in a pot instead of in the ground and now I am wishing I had put it in the ground.
Guess what? Today I bought a Colocasia 'Elena'. Woohoo! Any tips on care for it? I planted it in part shade - morning sun and late afternoon sun with filtered sun in-between. I had to choose between Colocasia 'Maui Gold' and 'Elena'. They looked very similar but I liked the leaf texture on 'Elena' better.
I've got my Elena in a big pot along with A. plumbea 'Nigra'. It gets a few hours of sun probably from 11 AM until 2 PM. A little slow release fertilizer and watered every other day or so. Runners are sprouting rapidly lately so the pot will soon be full.
Are the runners above or under ground? How far do they go? Like do they run out of the pot like my Black Beauty? (Pic 1) Or do they stay relatively close to the mother plant like my Diamond Head? (Pic 2)
Ok, so it sounds like 'Elena' runs but generally the runners stay within a foot or so of the mother plant, A few more questions...what size pot are the Elena and Nigra in? Have they always grown in the same pot? And finally, do you keep them growing through winter inside or let them go dormant?