Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Upright Elephant Ear, Giant Taro, Wild Taro
Alocasia macrorrhizos 'Borneo Giant'

Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Alocasia (a-loh-KAY-see-uh) (Info)
Species: macrorrhizos (mak-roh-RY-zos) (Info)
Cultivar: Borneo Giant

14 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year
Blooms repeatedly

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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4 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive kellen45 On Jan 2, 2012, kellen45 from Berwyn Heights, MD wrote:

bought one off of bonanza at about a ft tall. Planted in spring and by mid september it was 7 ft tall with HUGE leaves. it was watered almost evey day and i had it planted in full sun. One thing that may have helped its grotwh was the 3 ft of interlocking pound in edging i used around it and filled it with mulch. also used garden soil from home depot. Whatever I did i did it right because the thing grew like a weed. I am trying to overwinter it by cutting it to the ground and burying with mulch but im not very optimistic about it. Was wondering if there was a way to dig it up and save the bulbs? I was told i could do this but when i dug it up i didnt see any bulbs, just a huge mass of roots. Anyone have any luck wityh this cause i would love to not have to purchase these every year.

Positive mswestover On Oct 3, 2009, mswestover from Yulee, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I bought two of them on ebay for $9 each on June 14, 09. I placed them in pots to start with for about a two weeks. While they were in the pots each one of them sprouted a pup. I separated the pup and placed all four in the amended bed. So now they are in the ground for 3-1/2 months and are about four feet tall. They put out a new leaf each week. Even the pups are growing substantially. We will see what happens after the winter comes; it can get pretty cold in NE Florida, especially when we have our north east winds. They are in drifting shade and I water them about every other day.

Positive BobGoblin On Aug 7, 2009, BobGoblin from Vinton, LA wrote:

I originally attempted to grow this plant last year by ordering a small one by mail order. My plant was approx 15 inches tall and grew well initially but then started having problems. I suspect I kept its roots too wet in too large a container. Later, I had a problem w/ spider mites that sealed my plant's fate--it died leaving no remaining bulb or tuber to try to resprout.

This year I ordered a larger plant from an eBay seller. I received a plant with 2 larger leaves that was already a little over 2 feet tall. I started by putting it into a clay pot, and using more perlite and vermiculite in my potting mix. I mixed peat moss and Miracle Grow potting mix at a 1:1 ratio, then mixed this with a 1:1 ratio of vermiculite and perlite at a 2:1 ratio. I let the soil dry out slightly before watering, and keep the plant in dappled shade.

So far, so good. My plant has already doubled the size of its leaves and is approximately 5 feet tall. The leaves are HUGE. I have 2 large alocasia macrorrhiza plants, the larger of which is about 6 feet tall, and my little borneo giant already has leaves that make the macrorrhiza leaves look tiny in comparison. I know that the larger alocasias like water, but I would still let their soil dry slightly before watering until they are well established. I think the well draining soil mix is the key (along with a larger starter plant, but I think I could grow a small one just as well using the same techniques). My macrorrhiza plants take full sun in the summer no problem here in zone 8b, and I suspect that although Borneo Giant prefers the dappled shade, it would tolerate full sun as well (especially a larger plant that is well established).

I will keep everyone posted, as this is easily my favorite plant (yup, more than my AE AE!). I also plan to overwinter in my greenhouse with the pot on top of a heat mat (worked wonders for my amorphophallus titanum). Now if I can just get my hands on alocasia robusta!

Negative cheerpeople On Jul 22, 2009, cheerpeople from northwest, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Unlike other alocasia like esculenta and odora, I was unable to successfully overwinter this indoors. Also prior to its death-It did not grow faster than my other alocasias.

Positive TropiSocal_dave On Sep 19, 2008, TropiSocal_dave from Garden Grove, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Intially it was not fast to take off, but it had to acclimate to the full sun and develop it's root system. It is not giant yet, however, with more fertilizer it would be even larger and faster growing. I watered it deeply almost daily during the summer. I expect it's second year in the ground to be much more impressive.
It did not fare well over my relatively mild winter. It survived, but is a much better choice for southern Florida, a greenhouse or in the tropics.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Mobile, Alabama
Prattville, Alabama
Garden Grove, California
Boca Raton, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Marathon, Florida
Miami, Florida
Navarre, Florida
Panama City Beach, Florida
Winter Haven, Florida
Yulee, Florida
New Orleans, Louisiana
Vinton, Louisiana
College Park, Maryland
Houston, Texas

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