About two weeks ago, I decided to check on my stored corms and tubers of my Alocasia plants. They are stored in my basement in cardboard boxes over the winter months from about October until April.
I stored them differently this fall because last year, the corms/tubers had some rot spots on them when I took them out in springtime to replant them. The new storing process I used in the fall of 2022 was documented in my prior post below on this blog site.
In late February, of this year, 2023, I decided to check in on the stored tubers and corms. And I’m happy to report that they are doing well. No rot spots. The change I made was to not use peat, use newspaper, and use mesh bags to insert the corms/tubers into individually and put in a cardboard box (instead of a plastic bin). I also cut air holes into the sides of the cardboard boxes.
The cardboard box used.
As you can see from the photos above, the tuber of my largest Alocasia now has a papery covering. There are no rot spots and there is a bit of green, showing signs of life – it is doing well. This one, due to its size, would not fit into a mesh bag, so I just laid it on top of the newspaper. You will also notice when comparing the photo from October and the photo from February, the whole tuber shrunk a bit as it dried out, which is fine and normal.
The photo above is of smaller tubers and corms which I had dug up in the fall. These are still green, and I laid them out for about a week to dry out more in the fall, removed all the soil debris, and inserted those which would fit into mesh air hole like bags, and then placed them in a smaller box, with newspaper padding around, and loosely closing the box to allow air circulation, in addition to making some air slits in the side of the boxes.
I’m happy all looks fine so far. The place where I stored them is in my unheated basement that does not go below freezing but is cold during the winters. This year, we have had a mild winter thus far. Thus, the basement may be a little warmer than usual. I’ll look forward to when I can take these out in April or maybe May to get started in small pots to induce growth and then transition them yet again to my containers in late May to enjoy all summer.
How it Grows
This photo shows a few years back. The plants are starting to grow and gives you an idea of the Alocasia’s form. This one grows upright and is a jumbo variety.
In the first couple years, the size of the plants did not grow as large as later as the tuber/corm grew larger and larger. As you can see in the next photo, the height of the leaves are taller.
Every summer season, I use different fillers plants. This particular jumbo Alocasia is so worth saving and regrowing. It seems to become more dramatic every year.
The stalks of the leaves are usually about 3 feet long along with the leaves growing 3 feet too.
The plant usually looks like this in the fall season, when I’m getting ready to cut it down and dig it out. I’ve documented the process many times.
Shown above are various posts as I overwintered the tubers and corms of my Alocasia plant (and plants as a result of more tubers over time). The process I used before, with peat and bins, had worked perfectly for other plants such as Canna Lily rhizomes and Red Banana Plant bases, but for this type of Alocasia plant, it seems better to store them more in a dry state, the way I showed above in the paper and in cardboard boxes, etc.
I hope this helps anyone out there who stores their tubers and corms over the winter. I’m in CT planting zone 6b. Our winters are becoming warmer due to global warming here in CT, and this year has been particularly mild. We got a snow fall this week but we haven’t plowed our driveway once yet – its been warm enough some days to work outside and other days, a bit chilly. We have not snow showed yet and it is March!
Upright Jumbo Alocasia
I purchased my first tubers of this type of plant in 2018 or 2019. These types of elephant ear plants love sun and do fine in partial shade as well. They are dug out in fall and replanted in my container gardens every spring (after spring frost), as soon as it is warm enough outdoors – usually around Memorial Day. I start them in small nursery pots inside to get started and it easy to keep them growing well each season. Because this plant is tropical, it can’t be left outdoors through our winters or freezing temperatures. In the fall, you can let frost hit the tops or cut them down before fall frost. It turns out storing them in paper has worked better to keep them dry and safe. This plant grows up to 72 to 92 inches tall. I plant the tubers about 4-5″ deep and enjoy their dark green glossy upright leaves all summer. They are a real showstopper if someone hasn’t seen them before. I think the mistake I made was I treated these the same as my Canna Lily rhizomes and red banana plant bases, but it is handled somewhat differently. Live and learn – that’s the life of plant enthusiasts!
Thank you for visiting.
Broad Brook, CT