CARING FOR YOUR KALO
The Kalo plant is as resilient as the Hawaiian people — a true icon of sovereignty, sustainability, and food security. Considered to be the world’s oldest cultivated crop, this native plant to Hawai’i is also sacred and has Hawaiian ancestral ties.
With water and little attention, your Kalo plant will thrive where there is sunlight. We put together a few tips for cultivating your Kalo at home to cover the basics of this amazing crop.
FIND YOUR KALO A HOME
You don’t need much space to grow Kalo; you can grow it in your backyard, on the lanai or in a large pot. Look for a comfortable cool spot that has ventilation and receives sunlight but not in direct sun all day. Your Kalo will continue to expand into her vessel until transplanting or moving into the ground.[/gaze_process_block]
FEED YOUR KALO
Feed your Kalo daily. Kalo thrives in moist soil, but be mindful not to over water. The soil should be damp, not over-saturated.
PRUNE WHEN NEEDED
The lau (leaves) will naturally die off or get damaged. When this happens prune dead or damaged leaves as necessary, cutting them to the ground. Pruning will help with the growth and health of the plant.
EVERY FEW DAYS ROTATE
Plants grow towards the light. It’s important to rotate your potted Kalo plant every few days to distribute the sunlight evenly around the entire plant body.[/gaze_process_block]
BUGS ARE A PART OF THE ECO-SYSTEM
A couple of times a week check your Kalo plant for any bugs such as aphids that might be eating at it. Aphids are a common pest with Kalo plants; they are small, soft-bodied insects that can come in a variety of colors. You can remove them using a damp soft paper towel to gently wipe them off. Another option is to spray neem oil on the infested areas (make sure to follow the instructions on the container).[/gaze_process_block]
Eventually your Kalo will grow out of the vessel you received it in. We recommend transferring it into the ground or into a wider and taller vessel for more room to grow.
Use all-purpose gardening soil or organic material with good drainage found at your local gardening store. Fertilize and give it nutrients every six months to ensure optimum health.
Once the Kalo has matured, you then harvest the corm by gently lifting from the soil. Cut the stems about half way and leave the keiki for huli and later planting.
HAVE FUN + ASK QUESTIONS
If you ever have questions about your Kalo plant PLEASE reach out to us. We want to see you succeed in caring for this sacred plant.[/gaze_process_block]