4.5 out of 5 (43 experiences)
About Dark Star
Alocasia macrorrhizos (otherwise known as the giant taro plant) is a staple crop of the Pacific Islands. The leaves of this plant can reach gigantic proportions, growing up to six feet in length! Not to be confused with the taro root, the giant taro is used primarily for medicinal purposes. 🤒
Across the Pacific, giant taro is used to treat a variety of conditions ranging from influenza to ringworm and even snake bites. Don’t be tempted to snack on yours though, since giant taro contains calcium oxalate crystals (called raphides) that can cause itching to the skin and mouth. 🤭
Also known as
Giant Taro, Giant Taro, Upright Elephant Ears and Alocasia macrorrhiza
How to care for Dark Star
How often to water your Dark Star
Dark Star needs 0.5 cups of water every 9 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.
Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.
Water 0.5 cups every
Check the growing potential in your area
A plant's growing potential is determined from its location, the time of year, and current local weather.
Select a city to check sunlight intensity
Finding light for Giant Taro in your home
Dark Star may have difficulty thriving, and will drop leaves 🍃, without ample sunlight.
Place it less than 3 feet from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.
Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Dark Star in your home 🏡.
How to fertilize Dark Star
Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.
By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.
To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Dark Star after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.
Dark Star is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!
Dark Star prefers for the soil to dry out between waterings and should be watered regularly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.
Dark Star may have difficulty thriving and will drop leaves 🍃 without ample sunlight. Place it less than 3 feet from a window to maximize the potential for growth. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.
Dark Star is not safe to consume. If you, a family member, or a pet has ingested any amount of plant material contact Poison Control, US (800) 222-1222, or your veterinarian. If you have children, cats, or dogs in the home, we suggest keeping this plant out of reach.
Dark Star doesn’t require additional humidity. Plants absorb most water through their root system rather than their leaves, so the best way to provide humidity for your plants is through watering the soil.
Dark Star does best in well-draining soil. A good soil will contain lots of organic matter such as coco coir as well as perlite or vermiculite to help with drainage. Adding a handful of perlite to regular store-bought potting soil should do the trick!
Dark Star should be repotted after it doubles in size or once a year, whichever comes first. Fresh potting soil has all the nutrients your plant needs, so as long as it’s refreshed yearly, you shouldn’t need to use fertilizer. Remember, plants get their energy from sunlight, not fertilizer!
It’s common for Dark Star to go dormant in the wintertime and you may notice their growth slow down. Waterings should be spaced out more during this time.
Dark Star is native to tropical and subtropical Asia and Eastern Australia.
Yes, you may see your Dark Star bloom with the right amount of sunlight and water.
Dark Star is a clumping plant, meaning new growth will emerge from the soil around the parent plant.
USDA Hardiness Zone
Dark Star can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10a-12a. Find your local hardiness zone here.
Dark Star can be propagated by division into new individual plants.
- Check to see if there is more than one plant. In some cases they may still be beneath the soil surface. If you feel confident, you may remove the soil to check for baby plantlets below!
- If there are multiple plants growing, unpot the plant and gently tug the plants apart, being careful not to disturb too many of the roots. They may be connected by large root segments which you may need to break to free the plantlet.
- Pot up the new plant in well-draining soil
- Repot the parent plant back into its original pot
Yellow leaves aren’t always a reason to panic, and can be a normal part of a plant’s life cycle. Unless brand new leaves are turning yellow or all the leaves change color at once, it’s likely just your plant shedding old leaves.
Overwatering and root rot are the most likely cause of problems in Dark Star, since they are sensitive to wet soil. The leaves may also appear to be curling or drooping. Less often, yellow leaves are caused by underwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or pests.
Replace soggy soil with fresh, dry soil and download Greg to make sure your plant never gets overwatered again!
Care Summary for Dark Star
0.5 cups every 9 days
< 3ft from a window
Repot after 2x growth
Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.
What other plant parents say
Huge , luscious green leaves that are so aesthetic , this paticular plant grows quite quick so I recommend providing it with a big space so it can have room too grow , partial to a dark space as too much sun can scorch the leaves resulting in the leaves turning brown . Doesn’t like too much water so make sure you don’t overwater it !!!
I pulled the bulbs in this pot out of a rotten stem on the ground and it took a long time for them to start growing, but now that they have taken off the plants are growing extremely quickly. It sits in my yard in Florida under full sun for more than 6 hours. The soil is a mix of organic ground soil and bark. It likes to stay very moist to the point of being nearly boggy. In a 15 inch plastic pot. I water it once a week.
The Giant Taro seems partial to medium-‘low’ light. The edges tend to brown easily in direct sun light and with low humidity. They don’t like the cold. Mine Tends to grow a lot of smaller leaves around the base and a few larger leaves above. The plant seems to be drought resistant in my east facing windows and only needs to be water every 10-15 days. Mine tends to be happiest when I wipe the leave down weekly! Overall easy beginner plant for someone looking for something that is ‘big’ or ‘impressive’. (Make sure you have the space as they can grow supposing quickly! )