How to grow a taro root

Written by nichole liandi
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Taro is a tuber, similar in some ways to sweet potatoes. Taro is a tropical and subtropical plant, perhaps best known as the ingredient in poi, a traditional Hawaiian dish. Taro planting and care is fairly simple -- given the proper climate and conditions, you can grow taro successfully in your home garden.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Garden shovel
  • Taro roots

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  1. 1

    Clear a site that receives full morning sun and has rich, moist soil -- even boggy areas are suitable.

  2. 2

    Dig 6-inch-deep furrows and space the taro tubers about 20 to 24 inches apart. Cover each tuber with about 3 inches of soil. If you're going to have more than one row, space the rows about 40 inches or more apart.

  3. 3

    Water the rows consistently, keeping the area moist. Water frequently in dry weather. Fertilisation is best done with high-potassium fertilisers.

  4. 4

    Weed frequently, keeping the garden free of invasive plants.

  5. 5

    Harvest the tubers when the 3 to 5-foot leaves start to turn yellow, about 200 days or so after you've planted your taro. Pull the tubers out of the ground by grasping the stalk below the leaves.

Tips and warnings

  • Taro is best suited for tropical or subtropical conditions ranging from 77 to 95F (25 to 35C), with consistent moisture. Taro does best in U.S. Department of Agriculture planting zones 9 to 11.
  • Save the upper portion of a taro corm to replant. The plant is only propagated vegetatively.
  • Raw tubers can irritate the skin and throat. Taro must be cooked before it can be eaten.

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