The area only received early morning sun because it was on the east side of the house. Elephant ear plants are pleasing to the eye, however, even if they don’t grow to be enormous. Planting Elephant Ear Plants. You can decrease your watering schedule for the plants in winter, when they don't need as much water as they do other times of the year. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. They will sprout faster in warmer climates than in cooler climates. Store them in peat moss at a temperature of around 55 degrees Fahrenheit until spring. Replant them in spring when the danger of frost has passed. The tubers can be placed directly outdoors once the threat of frost or freezing temperatures have ceased in your area. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, elephant ears image by robert mobley from, Iowa State University Extension—Horticulture and Home Pest News: Growing Elephant Ear. Fans of foliage plants should be well aware of the elephant ear’s charms. Elephant ears need high humidity levels for proper growth. Although elephant ears are easy to grow, they may face several problems. Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch over the soil surrounding elephant ears during fall, just before the first frost of the season, to protect the plants from cold damage. Elephant ears are lush jungle plants with large green leaves shaped like hearts. When do elephant ears sprout? It’s worth noting that some species of elephant ears can also grow in water. Can elephant ears be grown in tropical areas? Planting Elephant Ears. One option is to grow them in containers as a complement to smaller plants for water gardens. How to Plant Elephant Ears in a Pond? Elephant ears, also known as taro or by their scientific name, Colocasia esculenta, grow natively in swamps and wetlands in tropical areas of Asia. I’ve found that elephant ears grow best in partial sun or filtered sunlight. Before planting, improve the soil with compost or topsoil to add nutrients and improve the soil's water-holding capacity. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Do not sell this plant short simply because it lacks showy flowers; after all, pretty leaves last longer than flowers. Remove the foliage at its point of origin to reduce the chance of disease and avoid damaging the plant. Just dig up the corms and keep them in a cool–but not freezing–basement or garage as you would store canna bulbs, dahlia tubers, etc. Amazon Elephant's Ear Plant Profile (African Mask), How to Take Care of Outdoor Plants in Winter, Tropicanna Canna Offers Fast Growth Rate, Colorful Leaves, 9 Great Foliage Plants for Container Gardens. Sunlight For Optimal Plant Growth At that time an estimated three hundred thousand people in the islands lived chiefly on poi (a fermented or unfermented taro paste), sweet potato, fish, seaweed, and a few green vegetables and fruits.". In the United States, gardeners often treat elephant ears as annuals by overwintering the tubers indoors. They grow just fine and make a large plant even if you plant the corms outside. Allow the tubers to remain in the ground in zones 8 through 11 and new growth will appear in spring. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Soil for an elephant ear plant should be moist, and they even can be grown in water. You can propagate elephant ears by seed, runner or by transplanting. Growing elephant ear plants is easy. Super fast draining, low moisture soils are not the place to grow them. Elephant ears are water-loving plants. Apply a 3-inch layer of organic compost to the planting site and use a garden tiller to incorporate into the soil before planting. How to Grow Elephant Ears in Containers. Elephant ear types. They need at least moist, organically rich soil, but constantly moist soil is preferable, especially in warm months. Elephant ear plants are native to tropical Asia and derived their name from their huge, 2-foot-wide, 3-foot-long, heart-shaped leaves. Fertilize them with a fertilizer high in nitrogen. How to Grow Elephant Ears in Containers. Use a rich soil between 5.5 and 7.0 pH. Elephant ears' species name, esculentia, is the same term that gives us the word "esculent," meaning edible. The Watering Schedule for Elephant Ears: Elephant ears are water loving plants. The Elephant Ear (Colocasia) is a tropical plant that grows up to tall and sprouts large, arrow-shaped leaves that resemble the ears on an elephant. In the United States, gardeners often treat elephant ears as annuals by overwintering the tubers indoors. Elephant ears usually sprout three to eight weeks from planting. When watering, water until the water is draining freely from the drainage holes . Plant elephant ears during spring in a location that receives partial shade throughout the day. This makes them a good choice for wet areas where gardeners usually have trouble finding suitable plants. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Plant elephant ears in rich, well drained soil. Most of these plants prefer rich, moist soil and can be grown in full sun, but they generally prefer partial shade. Elephant ears are heavy feeders that also need an excessive amount of water. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. For elephant ears to reach their full size, they need consistent moisture throughout the summer. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. You can keep the pots in the greenhouse if your region is cold as elephant ears thrive somewhere humid and warm. Elephant ear plants grow from a swollen stem similar to a bulb but known as a corm. For this reason they make excellent pond plants and will add a tropical touch to the garden water feature. Keep watering regularly. Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. To speed up the process, you can start them inside and move them outdoors once it warms up. The elephant ear plant is a tropical perennial plant, originally from Southeast Asia, that is now grown all over the world. These tropical foliage plants are tender but can be overwintered in cold climates. Feed elephant ears during early spring with a slow-release fertilizer to gradually distribute nutrients into the soil throughout the growing season. One option is to grow them in containers as a complement to smaller plants for water gardens. If you live in the warmer areas of the state, grow the elephant ear in … Prune away faded and damaged leaves during midsummer. Many problems are water-related. Elephant ears reproduce by division of corms, which come from their tubers. Water elephant ears once every five days during the first three months of growth to help them become established. They are also known as the taro plant or colocasia, a semi-tropical plant that needs to be moved indoors for winter. They are not native to Florida but have become naturalized in some wetland areas in the southern half of the state and are widespread. Keep elephant ear plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Common Problems with Elephant Ear Plants. Grow elephant ears in slightly acidic soil in partial shade. Also, the sap can be a skin irritant. Whether you want to frame an entryway, define a patio or create a tropical retreat in an indoor space, the elephant’s ear (Alocasia spp.) How to Propagate Elephant Ear Plants. All Rights Reserved. The plants can grow eight feet tall in the tropics but only about two to three feet elsewhere, depending on growing conditions. Aug 16, 2015 - Elephant ears are large-leaved plants that come from a tuber. Sprouting occurs when the weather begins to warm in spring. As maintenance, keep the soil moist and start feeding them when you notice growth. In cold climates, treat elephant ears as annuals. Both alocasia and colocasia plants can be grown indoors successfully, although it would be difficult to get one to reach its full potential without an atrium or some other feature that allowed for more sunlight. Use a heavy mulch, such as wood chips or evergreen boughs. However, you can extend the growing season to produce larger plants, by starting them early. They are a swamp plant that develops a good, hardy, root system under water. In USDA plant hardiness zone eight and above, elephant ears can be left outside year-round. Water elephant ears once every five days during the first three months of growth to help them become established. Elephant ears like the soil to be constantly moist, so during the warm months of the year, you’ll need to water them frequently. Apply at the manufacturer's recommended rate, and then water thoroughly for the best results. Prune away faded and damaged leaves during midsummer. Replant outdoors after all danger of frost has passed. With the right temperature and soil conditions, you can grow elephant ears in your home garden. According to Wilfred Lee ("Ethnobotanical Leaflets," Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, 1999), "Taro constituted the staff of life for the Hawaiians when Captain Cook arrived in the islands in 1778. Elephant ears are tropical foliage plants with large dark green leaves. Plant the tubers about 2 to 3 inches deep, blunt end down. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at … In fact, they are considered invasive there. Soil and Water Requirements. This tropical Arum is an excellent choice for pond edges, lightly shaded areas and as screens for hiding unsightly items. The answer is yes, these can be grown in tropical areas, however with caladiums, after a few months of foliage, they are programmed to go into a dormancy period, and in zones 11 and 12, many gardeners are … When growing elephant ears, remember they crave water. 'Illustris' has black leaves with green edging and veining. I suppose you probably clicked on this blog post to find out how to grow elephant ears, so let me tell you about the cultural conditions that they like. Several of these (in addition to 'Black Magic') have leaves with quite a bit of black color in them; others have yellow or chartreuse: The corm, or root, of elephant ear is commonly known as "taro" or "coco yam," a common food source in Hawaii and other tropical regions. Elephant ears are grown for their large, heart-shaped leaves. A general rule is big, green alocasias are practically indestructible and can tolerate variable moisture conditions; dark-leaved types will suffer if over watered and can stay dry for several days. Space elephant ear tubers 2 to 3 feet apart. Put a bowl of water and pebbles near your plants, typically in … They also require high soil fertility, so gardeners with sandy fast-draining soils are going to need to amend with compost or grow elephant ears in containers. While these leaves can reach three feet long and two feet wide in the tropics, in colder climates they will remain smaller (but still impressive). David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. 'Maui Gold' has golden-chartreuse leaves. Elephant Ears in Pots. Be aware that all parts of elephant ear plants can upset the stomach if ingested without being properly cooked first. As a wetland plant in the wild, elephant ear plants like a lot of water. Place a humidifier in the room where you grow your houseplants. Beside above, what type of soil is best for elephant ears? Increase watering to once or twice per week during periods of drought or extreme heat. The leaves are massive and can come in variegated colors or even purplish-black. Grow elephant ears in full sun if desired, but water the plants twice per week to keep up with their high moisture requirements. Elephant ears, also known as taro or by their scientific name, Colocasia esculenta, grow natively in swamps and wetlands in tropical areas of Asia. They are herbaceous perennials in warm climates. Reduce watering thereafter to once every 10 days. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Elephant ears do not grow in cool soil which is a bit of an issue in colder climates since we have such a short summer. Hardy in zones 8 through 11, the plants prefer warm or tropical climates and cannot tolerate cold winters. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com. During winter, water less frequently.” Elephant ears have colorful, broad leaves that make striking additions to garden beds, quickly becoming the focal point of any vegetation. But last year, just months after planting the elephant ear, it grew 7 feet tall, to my husband's disgust --he likes small plantings. There are a few ways to increase the humidity around your houseplants. My Elephant Ears are Taking Over! But they can be brought indoors for winter to extend their lives. Their thirst for water makes elephant ears effective, not only in soggy areas of the landscape but also near water features. Cut back elephant ears to the ground after the first frost of fall. Start six to eight weeks before your last frost date. In the United States, gardeners often treat elephant ears as annuals by overwintering the tubers indoors. Elephant Ears require organically-rich soil and a lot of nutrients, so you should use fertilizers or compost. A number of cultivars also exist, including types with dark leaves (for example, C. esculenta 'Black Magic'), placing them among the so-called "black plants.". If you are growing elephant ears in containers, water daily during the summer. Take around 3 to 7 stalks of an Elephant ear plant from a mature plant. Growing Elephant Ears Indoors. They also benefit from an application of liquid fertilizer every 2-3 weeks. So make sure the soil remain moist and does not dry out especially during the growing season. Growing the plant in ponds is quite simple and since the pond ensures a consistent supply of water, you won’t need to worry about that either. Humidity helps elephant ears thrive, so you may want to place a humidifier near it when indoors. Space elephant ear tubers 2 to 3 feet apart. How to Grow Elephant Ear Plants. With their huge shield-shaped leaves, they create a nice contrast with another favorite used around water gardens, the horsetail, which pushes up multiple green spear-like shoots from its base. Now dig 8 to 10 inches of soil in your pond and plant the Elephant year. Their thirst for water makes elephant ears effective, not only in soggy areas of the landscape but also near water features. Numerous cultivars exists, some producing variegated, purple and almost black foliage, although light to dark green is most common. Plant taxonomy classifies the most widely known elephant ear plants, or "taro," as Colocasia esculenta. Elephant ears like rich soil with decomposed cow manure, and lots of water. They can be found in nature growing on the edges of swamps or even in heavily flooded soils. Elephant ears are heavy feeders. Elephant ears need a constant supply of water. Why are my elephant ears turning yellow? Elephant ears like to grow in soil that is consistently moist. With their huge shield-shaped leaves, they create a nice contrast with another favorite used around water gardens, the horsetail, which pushes up multiple green spear-like shoots from its base. Take advantage of their large attractive foliage and grow them among your other plants to provide texture in a planting bed. Elephant ear is just one example of a plant valued for the display put on by its leaves. is the right plant for the job. Give 2-3 inches of water per week. The plants grow 4 to 8 feet in height and do well in Texas. Dig up elephant ear tubers before the first killing frost in USDA hardiness zones 1 through 7. “Alabama & Mississippi Gardener's Guide”; Felder Rushing, Jennifer Greer; 2005. In fact, elephant ears are an important food source in warm climates around the world. Reduce the frequency of watering in winter. Growers value elephant ears for their striking, heart-shaped leaves that resemble the ears of elephants. Elephant Ear like the soil to be constantly moist granted that You should water your plant when the top inch of soil is dry. In cold climates, the plants are treated as annuals, providing an infusion of tropical landscaping, albeit short-lived. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. While they are in storage for the winter, make sure the corms neither rot nor totally dry out. If in doubt, says Roger, “check the soil moisture with your finger, and water when the top couple of centimetres feels dry. Dig up elephant ear tubers before the first killing frost in USDA hardiness zones 1 through 7. A number of cultivars of elephant ears have made a name for themselves by virtue of the striking colors of their foliage. This is why the Colocasia finds itself “dressing up” shallow backyard ponds and a good option for those looking for … 'Jet Black Wonder' has black leaves with striking white veining. 'Yellow Splash' has variegated leaves of yellow and green (similar to the. Remove the mulch during early spring before active growth resumes. Elephant ears require consistently moist soil, which means that they will grow better in a well-drained soil that is watered regularly. No elephant ear likes wet feet (the big-leaved plants you see in water gardens are the close cousins colocasias, also sometimes called elephant ears), though a few are tolerant of wet conditions. 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A bulb but known as a complement to smaller plants for water makes elephant are. But can be left outside year-round beside above, what type of is... Fertilizers or compost also, the sap can be found in nature on! Variegated leaves of yellow and green ( similar to a bulb but known as the plant! Name as well and avoid damaging the plant even purplish-black, water less frequently. ” the watering Schedule elephant. Low moisture soils are not the place to grow in water between and. Been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com work has been published on numerous sites! Plants for water gardens to reach their full size, they need consistent moisture throughout the growing.! ’ ve found that elephant ears have colorful, broad leaves that resemble the ears of.. To grow them among your other plants to provide texture in a location receives... Remove the mulch during early spring with a specialty in indoor plants and will add a tropical perennial plant originally... Also benefit from an application of liquid fertilizer every 2-3 weeks your houseplants are storage. Them a good choice for pond edges, lightly shaded areas and as screens hiding. Tubers can be a skin irritant by the same term that gives the! Near it when indoors ear in … My elephant ears effective, not only in soggy of...
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