Taro (Colocasia Esculenta ‘Pink China’)

Plant: Table of Contents

Taro (Colocasia esculenta ‘Pink China’): A Comprehensive Guide

In this extensive guide, we will delve into the world of taro plants, specifically focusing on the captivating variety, Colocasia esculenta ‘Pink China’. From its cultural significance to its care requirements and propagation techniques, we will explore every aspect of this tropical leafy plant.

What is Taro (Colocasia esculenta ‘Pink China’)?

Taro, scientifically known as Colocasia esculenta, is a perennial plant that belongs to the Araceae family. Colocasia esculenta ‘Pink China’ is a variety valued for its striking pink stems and veins on its leaves, which make it an ornamental addition to gardens and landscapes. Originating from Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, taro has been cultivated for thousands of years and holds significant cultural and culinary importance in many regions.

Key Takeaways – Taro (Colocasia esculenta ‘Pink China’)

Before diving into the specifics of the Colocasia esculenta ‘Pink China’, here are the key takeaways:

  • Taro is a tropical leafy plant with cultural and culinary significance.
  • Colocasia esculenta ‘Pink China’ is valued for its ornamental pink stems and veins.
  • It can be grown both for its aesthetic appeal and edible roots and leaves.
  • Taro plants thrive in moist, well-draining soil in partial shade.
  • They can be propagated through bulbs and are relatively low-maintenance, with a few common pests and diseases to be mindful of.

Now, let’s explore the various aspects of growing and caring for taro, especially the ‘Pink China’ variety.


The cultural significance of taro, particularly in regions like Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, cannot be overstated. Taro holds a revered position in traditional cuisines and plays a critical role in rituals and festivals. It has deep roots in the folklore and traditional practices of these regions, with its symbolism extending to themes of fertility, prosperity, and interconnectedness with nature.


  1. Culinary Uses: Taro is a staple food in many tropical regions, where it is used in a myriad of dishes. The corms, or underground stems, are cooked and used in soups, curries, and stews. They are known for their starchy texture and nutty flavor. Taro leaves are also utilized in cooking, often in dishes such as laing, a Filipino delicacy.

  2. Cultural and Symbolic Uses: Beyond its culinary applications, taro is often symbolically linked to various cultural beliefs and practices. In some cultures, it is associated with ancestral worship and is a prominent feature in traditional ceremonies and celebrations.

Growing Conditions

To successfully cultivate Colocasia esculenta ‘Pink China’ or any other taro variety, it is essential to provide the optimal growing conditions.


Taro plants thrive in consistently moist soil. Adequate watering is crucial, especially during the growing season, to ensure that the soil remains evenly moist. However, it is important to avoid waterlogging, as this can lead to root rot and other issues.


Taro plants prefer partial shade or filtered sunlight. Direct sunlight, especially during the hottest part of the day, can scorch the leaves. Therefore, providing dappled shade or locating the plants in an area with gentle morning sunlight is ideal for their growth.


The ideal soil for taro is rich, fertile, and well-draining. A slightly acidic to neutral pH is recommended. Adding organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, can enhance the soil structure and fertility, providing an ideal growing medium for taro plants.


In terms of fertilizer, a balanced, slow-release fertilizer can be applied during the growing season to support the vigorous growth of taro plants. It is advisable to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding application rates and frequency, ensuring that the fertilizer is evenly distributed around the plants.


Taro plants typically do not require extensive pruning. However, removing any damaged or yellowing leaves can enhance the overall appearance of the plant. Additionally, pruning away spent flowers can redirect the plant’s energy towards foliar and root growth.


Taro plants can be propagated through bulbs, which are the swollen underground stems of the plant. When dividing the bulbs for propagation, it is crucial to ensure that each division has a portion of the main stem and some healthy roots attached. These divisions can then be planted in suitable soil, where they will develop into new plants.

Container Popularity

Given its striking appearance and relatively manageable size, Colocasia esculenta ‘Pink China’ is a popular choice for container gardening. Its ornamental value makes it an eye-catching addition to patios, balconies, and indoor spaces, where it can be appreciated up close.

Container Common Diseases

While taro plants grown in containers are generally less susceptible to certain soil-borne diseases, it is important to be mindful of potential issues such as root rot and fungal infections, especially in overly wet conditions.

Disease Diagnosis

Signs of disease in taro plants can include wilting, yellowing leaves, and the presence of unusual spots or lesions. Proper diagnosis of any disease is essential for implementing appropriate treatment measures, which may involve adjusting watering practices or applying targeted fungicides.

Common Pests

Taro plants can be affected by pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and slugs. Regular inspection of the plants can help identify potential pest infestations early, allowing for prompt intervention through methods such as spraying with insecticidal soap or introducing natural predators.

Botanist’s Tips

Here are a few expert tips to help you grow and maintain Colocasia esculenta ‘Pink China’ successfully:

  • Mulching: Applying a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant can help retain soil moisture, regulate temperature, and suppress weed growth.
  • Winter Care: In regions with cold winters, it is crucial to provide adequate insulation or bring container-grown plants indoors to protect them from freezing temperatures.

Fun Facts

  1. The leaves of Colocasia esculenta ‘Pink China’ can exhibit stunning color variations, ranging from light pink to deep burgundy, adding an exquisite touch to gardens and landscapes.
  2. Taro is often referred to as “the potato of the tropics” due to its starchy corms being a staple food source in many tropical regions.
  3. Colocasia esculenta is among the oldest cultivated plants, with evidence of its cultivation dating back thousands of years in various parts of the world.

Links to External Resources

To further deepen your knowledge and appreciation of taro and Colocasia esculenta ‘Pink China’, consider exploring the following external resources:

  1. Taro Plant: A Culturally Significant Crop
  2. Growing Taro: Tips and Techniques
  3. Ornamental Taro Plants for Landscaping

In conclusion, Colocasia esculenta ‘Pink China’ is a captivating tropical plant that offers both ornamental and culinary value. By understanding its cultural significance, optimal growing conditions, and care requirements, plant enthusiasts can cultivate and enjoy this remarkable variety to its fullest potential. Whether gracing a garden with its vibrant foliage or gracing a dinner table with its nutritious corms and leaves, the ‘Pink China’ taro is truly a plant of distinction.

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Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.