Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’
Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ has been on my wish list for MANY years. I could have ordered one online because they are no problem to find from several very good and reliable sources but I have been getting most of my plants from the local greenhouses. They are usually less expensive, I can bring them home right then, and it helps support the local businesses. I grew my first Colocasia ‘Tea Cup’ in 2009 and again in 2012. I was living in Mississippi at the time and lost the first one over the winter due to ignorance and being a Colocasia newbie. The second one I left behind when I moved back to Missouri in February 2013.
On May 5 (2019), I went to the four local greenhouses and found several 4 1/2″ pots of Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ at Muddy Creek Greenhouse. I looked them over and selected one that looked good that stood roughly 10 1/2″ tall. I transplanted it in the bed on the north side of the house on the right side of the porch steps.
Although the tag, from Proven Winners (a division of Walters Gardens), says Colocasia esculenta ‘Coffee Cups’, I think it impossible for it to be a cultivar of Colocasia esculenta. Well, anyone who knows anything about Colocasia would definitely say the same thing.
The Plant Delight’s website says “Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ was discovered in the wild by Indonesian botanist Gregory Hambali and brought to the US by aroid specialist Alan Galloway. Tony further says it “makes a stunning 6’ tall clump of Colocasia ‘Fontanesii’-like leaves (glossy olive green) with a dark purple-black stem.”
I planted my new friend on the right side of the porch steps on the north side of the house. I wanted it for this spot even though there are a couple of Achillea millefolium there. I just planted the Colocasia ‘Coffe Cups’ behind them. and moved them aside to take the above photo. It is going to look good with the Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ (Creeping Jenny).
Origin: Discovered in Indonesia
Zones: USDA Zones 8a-11b (10-40° F)
Light: Full sun to part shade
Soil: Well-draining, loose, organically enriched is best.
Water: Requires ample water for it to grow and do well. Prefers consistently moist soil.
Well, I must admit, I expected A LOT more from this plant by the time the above photo was taken on May 25. I am just anxious, I suppose. I know when it started getting warmer it will take off. While it is still cooler in the evening I have to make sure the soil isn’t too wet around this plant. The soil in the north bed stays wet longer…
By June 5 this plant still doesn’t seem to have much ZIP…
On June 13 I went to Muddy Creek Greenhouse to take them a few plants and pick up an Achillea ‘Sassy Summer Silver’ and a Veronica ‘Very Van Gogh’. There wasn’t anyone at the greenhouse so I browsed a bit. I noticed the pots of Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ had been moved to a room and were all dead. Since no one was there, I went to have a look. Ummm… There were webs on the plants and it appeared they may have had a bout with Spider Mites. Hmmm… You just never know…
The Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ is growing and has a new leaf now.
I take a lot of photos to show how plants progress and sometimes I run out of words.
By August 11, the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ was doing much better. Here in west-central Missouri, the heat of the summer may not be consistent until sometime in July. Colocasia like heat, humidity, and consistent moisture. They are also heavy feeders when they are growing. If they don’t have the right combinations it may take them a while to take off.
You see a lot of photos online of really nice looking plants and think when you bring them home they will just automatically start growing and become like those in photos. Well, some plants may do that but for others it takes time.
I have grown Colocasia esculenta for many years and they always do very well and grow multiple leaves and get pretty big. So, it is easy to assume all Colocasia will do the same…
By August 20 when the above photo was taken the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ was looking great.
Typical cup-shaped leaf.
By August 30, the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ had grown to 39″ tall.
A leaf of the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ holding water…
A new leaf has unfurled…
My farm is in west-central Missouri so it takes a while for temps to start heating up in the spring. Plants that like heat and humidity like the Colocasia may take a while to start growing well.
The sad thing is, once October arrives I know cooler temps will be coming and the season is soon to come to an end…
By October at the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ had grown to 52″ tall and I was impressed…
I had to move the potted plants inside for the winter on October 11 in 2019 because an “F” was in the forecast. The first few “F’s” don’t always give the Colocasia a good ZAP but the big one is soon to come. According to information online, you are supposed to wait until they get a ZAP and the leaves die before digging them up to store them for the winter. I always do that and the Colocasia esculenta rhizomes always do well in the basement over the winter. The rhizomes of the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ did fine until close to the time for them to go outside then it rotted… I bought another one in 2020 but I was very busy over the summer so I didn’t get to take many plant photos… I brought home another Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ in 2021, this time from Lowe’s, so I better get some photos…
There are many websites, including Dave’s Garden, that says Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ is a cultivar of Colocasia esculenta. If you have ever grown this cultivar, or Colocasia ‘Tea Cups’ next to a Colocasia esculenta, you can clearly tell this plant is not a cultivar of Colocasia esculenta. Well, of course, there are “black leaved” cultivars of Colocasia esculenta such as ‘Black Magic’ and many others, but they look similar besides the color.
Various websites publish different zones where this plant is cold tolerant in as well as various mature heights. That depends on a lot of factors and various growing conditions. If you fertilize them with a super-dooper fertilizer they may get bigger. I just put mine in good soil and amended it with composted cow manure, straight from the farm. A friend of mine suggested adding a little bone meal but I haven’t done that yet. So, we shall see what happens.
I am very glad to have Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ as a companion and am looking forward to see how well it does. Especially to see how tall it gets by the end of the summer. I will continue adding more photos and information as time goes by.
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. If you notice I made an error, please let me know. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.