Alocasia, Upright Elephant Ear, Giant Taro, Wild Taro 'Borneo Giant'

Alocasia macrorrhizos

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


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms all year

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

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

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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

Orlando, Florida

Panama City Beach, Florida

Winter Haven, Florida

Yulee, Florida

New Orleans, Louisiana

Vinton, Louisiana

College Park, Maryland

Houston, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.
... read more


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.


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... read more


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.


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.