'King Tut' Papyrus and Elephant Ear Progress

A couple of weeks ago I was at a local garden center to see if they had any large pots in the recycling bin that I could grab, and I decided to take a quick look at the new plant stock.


I'm really glad I did, because they had one of my must-have plants: 'King Tut' Papyrus! The price was right so I grabbed one and happily drove home!

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Although Papyrus normally gets pretty huge, 'King Tut' is a smaller variety that still makes a bold statement if you want it to. Grown in a large pot (as I do) or in the ground, it will get 5' tall or more. It does need quite a bit of water though, as it is a plant that grows at the water's edge. It does fine in regular soil though with enough moisture, and will stay somewhat smaller in a smaller pot.


I didn't find this last year so couldn't grow it, and I didn't have any success overwintering it the previous year, so I'm really happy I found it early this year!


That's a photo from two summers ago, when I first potted it. It got twice as tall after I put it in a bigger pot.

I'll probably take a division or two when the plant gets a little larger, as it's really easy to do, and I want to have this in more than one place in my yard. I'm not sure if the deer eat it, but I don't think so.

Speaking of large plants, another large one that needs to be checked in on again is the Elephant Ears (colocasia esculenta). Here's one of the main pots:


As you can see it's going crazy! My concern with this is it will outgrow its pot in a month or so. It will be a huge project to get this out of the pot to divide!

In May I planted this bulb, which was starting to sprout on a shelf in the garage:


I bought it this year in case my other elephant ears didn't overwinter. Now I know I'll never need to buy these again, as they're a snap to overwinter. Here it is now, 3 weeks later:


That's a satisfyingly fast wake-up -- and look at all of the side shoots! I've put colocasia bulbs into a pot earlier in the season and they seem to take such a long time to wake up and leaf out. A late planting seems to have had no ill effects.

Here's the plant that was left in a bag in the garage all winter and I planted on May 23.




That second photo was taken 9 days after the top one -- it woke up pretty fast too!

I love large plants that are hard to kill, vigorous, and multiply! I wish they didn't need as much water as they do, but you can't have everything, right?

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Aleksandra  – (June 4, 2016 at 12:38 PM)  

I have a black magic plant in a pot, and while it's doing well and prouting new leaves constantly, some of the larger leaves drip a brownish liquid sometimes. Do you know what that is? Am I doing something wrong? I thought they loved water, so why would the plant be getting rid of it?

Alan  – (June 6, 2016 at 9:41 AM)  

Aleksandra: I've seen that brownish liquid sometimes, but I've never really paid attention to it -- I've certainly not worried about it. I'll keep a closer eye on the plants this summer and see if I notice any cause for it. Thanks for commenting!

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