I have a few colocasia tubers planted since 2 months in a cocopeat perlite vermiculite compost 2:1:1:2 potting mix. Its leaves dry up when they reach a medium size after having a crispy bit of edge after opening. Can you see what is going on? A small dry strip on edge of young leaffinally

Edit: Compost is also in the mix. Ratio updated.

3 Answers 3


Colocasia is a swamp plant- it will grow in shallow water. It's usual to start them off in pots just big enough to contain the tuber, as foliage starts to grow, transfer them either to the ground (if its warm enough outdoors) or to much larger pots. The potting mix you've used sounds far too free draining - they prefer a richer mix of soil. They also don't appreciate direct sunlight, though once they're large, they may tolerate some after becoming acclimatized.

I suggest you transfer them into an ordinary potting mix and grow them on a bit in bright light, but no sunlight, and keep them well watered. Further information here https://plantcaretoday.com/elephant-ears-plant.html

  • I don't have a place where I can have less than 1 hour of sunlight. Temperatures reach 40 degrees but the rain is coming. I can keep it under the chair though. Also, I have 1 part compost in it too.
    – Aksh
    Jun 29, 2019 at 6:02
  • Cover your plants with Reemay, Akshay. Also called 'floating row cloth'. A gardener's best friend. Shades, protects from down pours, allows light in for the plant to do photosynthesis,protects from too much light and heat and protects from too much cold at night. Also protects plants from certain insects very well. Next time use JUST potting soil, don't add a thing else to that soil. No rocks or gravel or packing peanuts at the bottom of the pot above the drain hole! None. Sigh, except a simple balanced fertilizer such as Osmocote 14-14-14 all purpose extended release.
    – stormy
    Jul 8, 2019 at 3:07

I think it is too small of a plant for too big of a pot and too large a volume of soil that stays too wet too long.

I would transplant these little guys into 4" pots with sterilized potting soil. Where have they been growing? What type of light are these guys getting?

Stop watering so much for sure.

They need fertilizer, a balanced fertilizer such as Osmocote 14-14-14 extended release and use HALF of what the directions say.

Have these plants been moved out of doors in the sun from the indoors?

I would get 4" diameter clay pots, sterilized potting soil with no fertilizer, no water holding gimmicks such as sponges or gels and transplant these into those smaller pots.

Look at their roots while you are able. Are they all bright white or are some transparent, brown, mushy? Keep these guys in a stable environment. Artificial lighting would be good. 300 watts or more, fan turned on 24/7. 18 hours of light then darkness. Water only when the plant and soil and pot feel obviously lighter than when watered. Don't water on a schedule. Water only when the soil is much dryer.

Small plants in a large volume of soil in a pot are not able to suck up enough water to keep that soil full of air. No rocks at the bottom of the pot, nothing but sterilized potting soil in the pot other than the plant. Leave 1" from firmed surface of soil to rim of pot.

  • Can I sterlise on a normal gas stove with a small vessel? Moreover, I want to fertilise it organically. Won't compost and seaweed emulsion do the job?
    – Aksh
    Jun 29, 2019 at 6:03
  • No, sorry, compost will never ever be fertilizer. Seaweed emulsion has some nitrogen but there are also other beneficial things in seaweed emulsion. It is critical to ADD balanced fertilizer to our artificially grown plants! All chemicals are the same. Organic, synthetic, all the same. 'Organic' means anything with a Carbon in the molecule. Grins, guess what that includes? Petroleum! Is there a problem locating boring basic sterilized potting soil? Making your own soil is truly not worth the trouble.
    – stormy
    Jun 29, 2019 at 6:13

Looks like tipburn from too much salt (fertilisers etc), or possibly dried out.

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