Colocasia Black Coral vs. Black Magic – What’s the Difference?

Colocasia Black Coral (left) and Black Magic (right)

If you’re curious about exploring the difference between the Colocasia Black Coral and Colocasia Black Magic, you’ve come to the right place.

The Colocasia Black Coral and Black Magic are tropical plants from the elephant ear family. As such, they both have dark-colored and heart-shaped foliage. The most distinctive difference between the two Colocasia is that the Black Coral has a more glossy and reflective shine than the Black Magic.

Perhaps you’re trying to decide between the two plants to add to your garden.

In this short blog post, I’ll discuss the similarities and differences between the Colocasia Black Coral and Black Magic.

You’ll find that both require similar growing conditions, and your purchasing decision will come down to personal visual preference.


The Colocasia Black Coral and Black Magic have long, tuberous stalks that hold large heart-shaped leaves. In their juvenile state, they grow green leaves before changing their color to a mix of dark red, purple, and black shades.

Unlike the Alocasias, which tend to show their foliage facing the sky and the front view, the Colocasias tend to droop and point toward the ground. This growing habit is pulled by the weight of their big leaves.

The Black Coral serves as an attractive focal point amongst brighter plants.

Planting a row of Black corals against a wall creates a backdrop for more colorful flowers at the front. The stark contrast adds a dramatic visual effect to any garden.

Black Carols have huge heart-shaped leaves in shares of dark maroon to black variegations. At arm’s length, the foliage looks like they’re made from shiny black plastic.

Their gloss leaves have an interesting effect at night; they show a reflective shine when there’s light shining towards it.

To see the Colocasia Black Coral in motion, I recommend this YouTube video by Tropical Plant Party:

The Colocasia Black Magic is quite similar to the Black Coral in terms of its visual appearance. Both have substantial foliage with an unusual black color.

The Black Magic produces more of a dusty purple-black color with green undertones in shady conditions.

A difference between the two Colocasia is that the Black magic has more of a matte feel and a ruffled appearance, whereas the Black Coral has a smoother heart shape.

To see the Colocasia Black Magic in motion, I recommend this YouTube video by Cloud Gardener UK:

Growing Conditions

The Colocasia Black Carol and Black Magic are both tropical plants, so they are suitable for humid, moist, and sunny conditions. They enjoy a lot of water and fertilizer to sprout big beautiful leaves in the home environment.

Here’s a comparison between the two Colocasias:

Colocasia Black CarolColocasia Black Magic
Scientific NameColocasia Esculenta ‘Black Coral’Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’
Plant TypeAquatic Plants, Bulbs, PerennialsAquatic Plants, Bulbs, Perennials
Plant FamilyColocasia – TaroColocasia – Taro
Sun ExposureFull Sun, Partial SunPartial Sun
Height3’ – 4’ (90cm – 120cm)3’ – 6’ (90cm – 180cm)
Spread2’ – 3’ (60cm – 90cm)3’ – 6’ (90cm – 180cm)
Spacing36” (90cm)72” (180cm)
Water needsAverage, HighAverage, High
Soil TypeClay, Loam, SandClay, Loam, Sand
Soil pHAcidic, NeutralAcidic, Neutral
Soil DrainageMoist but well-drainedMoist but well-drained

Their potential sizes are notable differences between the Black Coral and Black Magic. The Black Magic can grow slightly bigger, requiring wider spacing between each planting.

In terms of sun exposure requirements, the Colocasia Black Carol can withstand longer periods of sunlight, whereas the Black Magic enjoys the cooler temperatures of partial shade.

The colors in both of these Colocasias intensify the more it’s exposed to sunlight. These plants can be placed in an east-facing location to soak up the morning sun till the early afternoon. In zones 10 or above, the Black magic will need to be placed somewhere in partial shade.

Both of these species cannot withstand frost, so they’re better grown in pots to be brought inside during the cold seasons.

The Black Coral and Black Magic are magnets of spider mites and aphids. When taking any of these plants from the nursery, be sure to give them a spray with neem oil to repel these pests.

Another potential issue with these Colocasias is that they’re susceptible to discoloration.

If their leaves are losing their dark colors and they’re reverting to their greens, it means that they’re not getting enough direct sunlight. If growing these plants indoors, you may need to invest in some grow lights.


The Colocasia Black Carol and Black Magic can be used as standalone specimens or as a backdrop for other colorful flowers.

These tropical plants enjoy waterlogged soils, so they’re a great addition to a backyard pond. Their unique black foliages add to a striking centerpiece for your backyard.  

As a herbaceous annual with elegant arching foliage, gardeners are open to several landscape applications, such as:

  • Accent landscaping
  • General gardening use
  • Container planting
  • Thematic landscaping (e.g., marsh garden)
  • Ornamental foliage

The unique appearance of these black plants can be used as an attention-seeking specimen. 

For example, both Colocasias can be used as the thriller component in a container thriller-spiller-filler flowering arrangement due to their height.

Colocasia Black Coral being used as the focal feature

Plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges.

Thriller plants capture attention, and the black magic is perfect for serving as the focal point of the planter. The black magic’s stemmy leaves give a vertical element to the arrangement.


Gardenia – Colocasia Black Carol
Gardenia – Colocasia Black Magic

Image Credits (Thank You!)

Abdul Razak (FB)
Nancy Stamoulis (FB)
Kent Russell (FB)

Plantician Guy (Mike)

Hi I'm Mike, a self-proclaimed plantician (an invented profession to describe a plant enthusiast). Based in Sydney Australia, I enjoy the great outdoors and the greenery things around the garden, in particular, indoor climbing plants.

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