This spring has been one of the busiest and, not to mention, wettest I have seen in years. It helps to use it as my main excuse for being so behind on planting my gardens and display beds. The rain has been great for the plants that are out in the ground, but also for the weeds that seem to spring up faster each day. The best idea I have is to break each bed up into small sections and just get one done at a time. We will see how that works out for the rest of the month.

Each year, I have customers who let me know which plants they had return after winter. I and some others have been testing the hardiness of my newer hybrids. All of the new hybrids have very cold-hardy bloodlines. In the past, it always seemed that the nicer and more amazing the plant, the less hardy it tended to be. This may not be the case with many of these new Colocasia plants.

I personally like to test a plant for 2-4 years before I start saying its somewhat hardy. It also needs to not just survive but fully recover and grow back to normal size. A plant that can handle 8 years tends to be pretty tough and may still need mulch in rough winters but will survive most of our Zone 6 cold winters.

So far, I have around 20 reports from customers and friends who said Colocasia Pharaoh’s mask has survived the last winter and a few from winters past 2 to 4 years. One customer has had his out for 6 years. He was one of the first to get one and did not mulch or protect it at all. So it is looking very promising as a hardy plant here. I have left out multiple plants with all good reports. Last winter, I left out a large clump and mulched it up, and the entire clump is returning.

Colocasia Redemption has also been returning for me and many customers. I left out 8 plants; all 8 survived last winter with no protection. With protection, it seems to be very tough but so far only 2 real years of testing as the plant was too expensive to test when it was released.

The newest Colocasia to be tested, and I think it may be one of the hardiest ones, is Colocasia Pharaoh’s dream. Colocasia Pharaoh’s dream was bred to be very hardy, and I have been testing it out for the last 3 years in several locations. So far, it is as tough as ones like Colocasia Pink China or Colocasia Coal Miner. The first year we planted this hybrid, I unknowingly left a few tubers in the ground, and the following year 5 small plants emerged from the old hole. So it may need more testing, but this one may be one for us northern zone pushers