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Alocasia macrorrhiza (Big Taro)

Big leaves seem to be an adaptation to low light levels and are often seen in plants that inhabit forest floors. Definitely the case here. Any direct sun bleaches the leaves yellow. It may survive in a little protected garden in central London or in a built up area close to the seaside but the main reason for us to grow this is a house plant. When asked, we always rather pompously point out that there’s no such thing as a house plant but if there WAS – this is it. As long as you have space, just bung it in a saucer, make sure there’s always water in the saucer and the only other thing you’ll need to do is dust the good leaves and remove the old and tatty ones. If you suspect insect infestation, rather than use Biological Control or insecticide, just try wiping the leaves with a soapy sponge. Very effective. If anyone has this growing outside in the ground, please let us know.

Hardiness traffic light green

Hardiness level Red

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Hardy in Atlantic Seaboard gardens, The Channel Islands, gardens in Central London (and other large cities) and conservatories.

This is only meant as a guide; there are some plants with red labels that would only survive in extremely favoured spots such as The Isles of Scilly or coastal south-west Ireland.

We're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.