Mickey Mouse Taro (Xanthosoma albomarginata) is a herbaceous perennial, attractive ornamental plant that grows up to 3-5 ft. tall at full maturity. It has fleshy leafstalks long leaves dark green with variegated edges and variegated patterns that start yellow and turn white. One of the most interesting features of the plant is the fact that most leaves will develop a small cup-like pocket at the leaf tip and sometimes a small string-like structure will form. It is often referred to as looking like Mickey Mouse ears due to its distinct patterns. It a wonderful addition to your home, office, or garden.
Scientific Name: Xanthosoma albomarginata
Synonyms: Xanthosoma atrovirens albomarginata, Xanthosoma ‘Albo Variegata’, Xanthosoma sagittifolium ‘Variegatum Monstrosum’.
Common Names: Mickey Mouse Taro, Mouse Cup, Pocket Plant, Arrow Leaf Elephant Ear ‘Albo Marginata’.
How to grow and maintain Mickey Mouse Taro (Xanthosoma albomarginata):
It thrives best in bright indirect sunlight but not direct sunlight that will scorch and damage the leaves.
It prefers to grow in moist but well-drained, fertile, humusy, organically rich, acidic soils.
Water your plant regularly during the growing season and always keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. You can allow the top 1 inch of soil to dry out between each watering. During the winter months, reduce watering.
It prefers an ideal room temperature of 65°F – 75°F / 18°C – 24°C and no lower than 60ºF (15ºC). Be sure to avoid frost and freezing temperatures.
Fertilize the Mickey Mouse Taro plant weekly during the growing season with a diluted liquid fertilizer or use slow-release pellets.
Xanthosoma albomarginata can be easily propagated by division of tubers in spring. When dividing a tuber make sure at least one growing eye is available, so a stem can start to grow. It can also be propagated by seed.
Pests and Diseases:
There is no serious pest or disease problems. Aphids and spider mites can be possible problems.