Taros, which are known botanically as Colocasia esculenta, are a type of vegetable that can easily be grown at home. Continue reading to learn the basics of growing taros as well as common mistakes to avoid along the way.
Quick Reference Guide for Growing Taros
|After the last spring frost
|Plant Hardiness Zones
|Check USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
|Well-drained, loamy, pH 5.5-6.5
|12-18″ apart in rows 3′ apart
|Keep soil damp to touch
|Days to Harvest
|When the plant is at least 1 year old
Best Time to Plant Taros
This will depend largely on your local climate, but as a rule of thumb, begin to plant the taro seeds after the last spring frost. This is the best time to ensure that the seedlings survive the weather.
To check when taros are most likely to thrive in your area, see the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you live outside the US, do a quick search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.
How to Plant Taros the Right Way
There are a number of things to consider that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes of growing taros in your home garden.
Soil: Often overlooked, your soil can have a huge impact on how well your taros grow. Generally, your soil should be well-drained, loamy. Soil PH levels should be around 5.5 to 6.5.
Planting: Sow seeds 12-18″ apart in rows 3′ apart, at a depth of about 15-30″. For each plant, be sure to sow at least a few seeds to ensure that at least one of them will germinate. Begin thinning your taro seedlings 36″ apart when plants are 6-8″ tall.
How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Taros
The amount of sunlight is another key to a successful harvest. Too much sunlight will dry out your taros. Not enough sunlight will stunt your its growth or even kill it.
Ideally, your taros should be getting partial sun.
How Much to Water Taros
As you’ve figured by now, a lot can have an impact on how well your taros do, and the amount of water is no different.
Ideally, the soil should be damp to touch; not soggy or bone dry. If the leaves on your taros begin to change colors or start to look droopy, you need to adjust how much water you’re giving it. Unfortunately, if you give it too much or too little water, you can kill it, so it’s best to just keep an eye on it and water as needed.
How Long Does it Take Taros to Germinate and Grow?
Now the fun part begins and you get to watch your taros grow.
It takes approximately 3-5 years to germinate, and a total of 200 days from seed to harvest.
When to Harvest Taros
The best time to harvest your taros is when the plant is at least 1 year old.
Taros can grow up to about 2-3′ tall with a 3-6″ diameter tuber.
What Can Taros Be Used For?
Food Use: Taros can be boiled, roasted, or used in soups and stews.
Flavor Profile: Taros have a mildly sweet, starchy, and nutty flavor.
Can Taros Grow in Pots and Containers?
No, it is generally not advised to grow taros in pots or containers.
Are Taros Safe for Bees?
Yes, taros are safe for bees.
According to GreenPeace.org, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition. Given their importance in our ecosystem and food supply, it is important to note that growing taros is bee-friendly.