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Colocasia Esculenta Black Magic: All you need to know about the Black Magic Elephant Ear Plant

Colocasia Black Magic Esculenta or Black Elephant Ear plant is a popular species of the Araceae family that is grown as a great ornamental plant to keep your living spaces looking beautiful.

Colocasia Esculenta Black Magic
Terra Nova Nurseries

Regardless of the word ‘black’ in its name, the black elephant ear has dark purple foliage that is so dark, that it could be mistaken as black under the wrong lighting. These leaves are large both in width and length and they take the shape of elephant ears and hence the name. 

The dark purple elephant ear or black magic colocasia is a new variety of the popular and well-known Colocasia Esculenta or Asian taro and as such, has its origin tied to the tropical forests of deep Asia. 

If what you are searching for is a plant that gives off a subtle dramatic but still tropical feel to your living space, the black elephant ears plants or rather purple elephant ears plants should be a great choice.

Botanical NameColocasia Esculenta Black Magic
Common NamesBlack Magic Elephant ear, Black Elephant ear, Black taro
Plant TypePerennials, Evergreen bulb
Full Size3ft to 6ft
Sun ExposureBest in shaded sunlight, can handle full sunlight
Soil TypeWell draining, organic soil mix
ToxicityCould be harmful if eaten raw

Esculenta Black Magic Care

Black Magic Elephant Ears plants are somewhat easy to care for, it takes having a key understanding of its various requirements and sticking to it.  

Esculenta Black Magic Care
Florida Aquatic Nurseries

Meeting these requirements would help in promoting proper growth and ensuring the plant thrives. What are these requirements?

Colocasia Esculenta Black Magic Light Requirements

The Black Magic Plant, like other varieties of the Asian Taro, requires access to bright indirect light or shaded light. 

Full or direct sunlight is also advised for proper plant growth, as exposure to full sunlight could bring out its deepest purple color which is the major reason why people plant it. However, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight might be harmful to the plant.

Limit the elephant ear black magic plant’s exposure to direct sunlight to a maximum of 4-6 hours a day, after which it should receive adequate filtered or partially shaded sunlight for the remaining part of the day. 

An ideal spot to keep the Black elephant ear plant would be in a room right next to a window where it can have access to all the sunlight it needs. You might need to make use of light curtains, so as to shade the plant once it has reached its maximum direct sunlight exposure. 

Colocasia Esculenta Black Magic Water Requirements

Watering your Black Magic elephant ears plant should be a regular affair as the beautiful dark plant loves water and thrives in it. 

Colocasia Esculenta Black Magic Water Requirements
Eden Brothers

However, this does not mean that you leave its roots soggy, as you might expose the plant’s roots to root rot. 

Since its water needs range from average to high (depending on the season), It is therefore recommended that you water your elephant ears once or twice a week. This figure should be more on days that are very hot or hot climates in general. 

Try to keep the soil moist at all times as dry soil for the dark purple leaf elephant ear plant could spell doom for the plant. 

The colocasia esculenta Black Magic plant would require less watering in the winter season as the plant would go dormant during this period.

Colocasia Esculenta Black Magic Soil Requirements

An important aspect of the black magic elephant ear plant care is the choice of soil you use for it. Ensuring you use the right soul mix would promote proper, healthy growth for the exotic plant.

The Ideal soil needed by the Black Magic Colocasia Esculenta would be well-draining soil. You can decide to use either sand, loam, or clay, just ensure it is well-draining.

Use soil with a slightly acidic pH value and you could try mixing organic compost, peat, and mulch to boost and encourage proper growth.

The soil type used should also have little water retaining capacity so as to stay moist, and not soggy.  

Colocasia Esculenta Black Magic Humidity and Temperature Requirement

The Black Magic Elephant ear plant does not do well in cold environments. In fact, when exposed to excess cold, the black magic Colocasia could die. 

Colocasia Esculenta Black Magic Humidity and Temperature Requirement
Lefty Gardens

So it is advised that you provide a high humid environment or atmosphere for the Colocasia Esculenta to thrive.    

An Ideal place to plant your Black magic ears plant would be beside an aquarium or pond as this could provide the high level of humidity it requires. 

However, if growing your black magic ears indoors, do ensure you make use of a humidifier or you could group your plants together while still providing adequate spacing and ensure you water them often. 

The ideal temperature for your black magic elephant ears should be between 65 degrees Fahrenheit and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Colocasia Esculenta Fertilizer Requirement

For your colocasia esculenta, it grows larger with the more fertilizer you feed it. So it is encouraged that you fertilize your exotic dark plant on a regular basis. 

A great type of fertilizer to use for the black magic elephant ear would be a water-soluble fertilizer or liquid fertilizer. 

You could dilute the fertilizer to about half its initial strength and do ensure you spray the fertilizer on the roots and not the leaves. 

Fertilizing the elephant plant black magic should be the main focus of its growing season as that is when it would be most needed. 

Propagating the Black Magic Colocasia Esculenta

Propagating the Black Magic Colocasia Esculenta

When it comes to propagating the Esculenta Colocasia Black Magic plant, the best practice would be to propagate it through the division method.  It is advised that you do this during the early spring or winter seasons.

You would be required to wear a protective glove before starting the process as the oxalate crystals being produced by the stem could cause skin irritation. 

Pruning the Black Magic Colocasia Esculenta 

Like most plants, the Esculenta Colocasia Black Magic should be pruned to encourage the growth of new leaves thereby supporting a flourishing look. 

Before pruning, do ensure you sterilize all tools to be used. Cut or snip each dead leaf at the base closest to the stem, and cut at an angle that is similar to the natural leaf’s shape. 

The Colocasia Esculenta Black Magic does have a fast growth rate so you might need to prune often. However, do be careful not to harm or injure the plant as you do. 


There have been reports of people consuming the Esculenta Colocasia Black Magic plant in Asia. However, this practice is bad as it might cause more harm than good. 

Although the Colocasia Esculenta plant is edible when prepared and cooked well, it does contain harmful oxalate crystals that if ingested raw or half-cooked, could lead to irritations. 

Keep the exotic plant away from the reach of kids and pets. And ensure you call a doctor if you notice a pet or child has eaten the plant.

Common Health Problems of the Black Magic Esculenta Colocasia

The  Colocasia Esculenta is prone to a few health problems that could result from underwatering and infestation. A few of these problems are;

  • Bacteria Blight
  • Soft Rot
  • Root Rot
  • Dasheen Mosaic Virus
  • Spider Mites
  • Whiteflies
  • Aphids

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Colocasia Black Magic rare?

The Black Magic Colocasia Esculenta is regarded as a rare plant

How big do black Magic elephant ears get?

When in its mature state, the Black Magic Elephant plant can grow as tall as 3 to 6 feet.

Is Colocasia poisonous to humans?

When eaten raw, the Colocasia Esculenta is poisonous

Do black elephant ears need a lot of sun?

Full sun is required for proper growth, however, prolonged exposure might be harmful, so the best conditions are indirect but bright sunlight. 

How long do elephant ears take to grow to full size?

For the black ear Colocasia Esculenta to reach its full size, it would need an average of 2 years