Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Step #1. An adult Elephant Ear plant will need at least 3 feet of space for proper … Home » Plant and Grow Elephant Ear Bulbs 101. A little more about me. If you have a big, spacious garden, it is best to first pick a spot for this plant. Elephant ears require a lot of moisture, so using a non-porous pot helps reduce water evaporation through the sides of the pot and helps keep your plants nice and hydrated. Container plants can either be moved indoors or overwintered in a basement or protected porch. How to Plant Elephant Ear Tubers: Plant elephant ear bulbs outside after all danger of frost has passed and daytime temperatures remain above 70 degrees.Elephant Ears are tropical plants and cannot tolerate any frost.They only emerge when the soil is warm. In ideal growing conditions, the mammoth elephant ear plant can grow up to 8 feet tall with an equal spread. Large plants are exquisite on their own and smaller plants provide an exceptional complement to other plants with color, like Caladiums.. • Place in a sunny spot indoors and follow the care instructions above. • The top of the bulb should be at least 1” below the soil. When planting, it’s a good idea to go at least 5-6″ inches deep since your plant will need a lot of space to grow. Soak the soil with 2 to 3 inches of water. Some of these may be affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission if items are purchased. Mammoth elephant ear plants grow best in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 through 11, where the average annual minimum temperature is at least 20 degrees F. Outside of these zones, the mammoth elephant ear plant can be grown as an annual. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch surrounding the elephant ear plant when it reaches 1 foot in height. Water the bulbs generously after you have covered them. This will ensure the soil is beginning to warm up. They are also known as the taro plant or colocasia, a semi-tropical plant that needs to be moved indoors for winter. It’s best to start growing them in large containers because it is easy to keep the soil moist, but you can certainly plant in-ground. Almost all elephant ear plants grow up to 72″ inches (183 cm) tall, or even taller, so they need a lot of water at all times. The Elephant Ear plant, also known as Colocasia or Alocasia, is known for its huge leaves.This plant is great for layered landscape settings due to these heavy, dark, and sometimes patterned leaves. Elephant ears are large-leaved plants that come from a tuber. Elephant ear plants are fairly easy to grow once they’re established. Elephant ears cannot survive winter outdoors. How to Grow Elephant Ears in Containers. You can save money simply by storing elephant ear bulbs or plants for the winter. Elephant ear plants thrive in the sun and grow fast in the summer. Read on to learn more about how to overwinter elephant ear bulbs and plants. There are a number of uses for elephant ears in the garden. Elephant Ear Plant Care Gide: Common types of elephant ear plants? • Place the bulb root side down and cover with soil and water. If you pick tubers that are large, plump and firm enough to hold big leaves, the leaves of your elephant ears will grow big and lush. Here is more about our approach. Digging. Elephant ears require partial shade and ample room to grow. Once established, elephant ears require little attention. Plant the elephant ear bulbs deep enough so that the tip of the bulb is just slightly exposed. So, let’s figure out how to plant elephant ear bulbs properly so you can enjoy the beauty of this wonderful plant. Since it is easy to replant the elephant ear bulbs, you can always dig up the corms, but make sure to handle the bulbs with extreme care to prevent damage. In cooler areas (zones 3-8) the bulbs are planted in the spring and usually grown as annuals. This plant thrives between pH 6-7. If you’re thinking of planting elephant ear bulbs in your garden, you’ve come to the right place. Elephant ears (Colocasia and Alocasia) are tropical plants grown for their stunning, often enormous leaves, which can be lime green, variegated or nearly black.These summer-loving plants grow from a bulb that should be planted in the spring. They are herbaceous perennials in warm climates. They are mostly grown in containers. Before planting elephant bulbs, it is vital to keep the following things in mind. These plants need the sun to grow. Make sure to keep watering this plant. This plant is great for layered landscape settings due to these heavy, dark, and sometimes patterned leaves. Elephant ears' species name, esculentia, is the same term that gives us the word "esculent," meaning edible. Growing elephant ear plants is easy. They are winter-hardy only in the 8-11 hardiness zone. In fact, elephant ears are an important food source in warm climates around the world. It is better to avoid the tips and the stems and water the roots since they provide moisture to the whole plant. The right spacing for this plant highly depends on the type of plant you are growing. An alocasia in a container placed out in the garden can be a movable focal point, and can hide the bare spot left when spring-blooming bulbs go dormant. Elephant ears do well in containers so long as you provide them with the right sized container, proper soil, and adequate sunlight. Elephant's Ear Planting and Care. Plant the tubers about 2 to 3 inches deep, blunt end down. Cut away any parts of the bulbs that are rotting. They grow well in soil with good drainage, and thrive in sun or shade. They can also be covered with layers of mulch that can protect them during winters. They are also known as the taro plant or colocasia, a semi-tropical plant that needs to be moved indoors for winter. How to Plant Elephant Ear Bulbs and Seeds As far as how deep to plant elephant ear bulbs, you should plant tubers fairly close to the soil’s surface, perhaps two to four inches. A glance at an elephant ear plant (Colocasia esculenta) is all you need to see where this tropical-looking plant got its name. As fall approaches, move your potted elephant ear plant to a shady, cool location outdoors. When and how deep to plant Elephant Ear Bulbs. The Elephant Ear plant, also known as Colocasia or Alocasia, is known for its huge leaves. During winters, lower the water intake and trim your leaves every once in a while. How To Overwinter Elephant Ears The Easiest Way . If you are planting in northern climes, you can start the bulbs earlier in a warm, moist (not soggy) place inside and give them a head start. The tubers can be placed directly outdoors once the threat of frost or freezing temperatures have ceased in your area. Planting: When planting new elephant ears or re-planting for the spring, set corms in the garden when nighttime temperatures are consistently 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. ; Select a location in full sun or part sun with a good, rich, moist, organic soil. Elephant Ears in Pots. These plants come in a variety of colors and sizes. If you want to grow tropical houseplants and wondering How to Plant Elephant Ear Bulbs easily, then you are at the right place!. Freezing temperatures kill foliage and damage tubers. Bulb size Aug 16, 2015 - Elephant ears are large-leaved plants that come from a tuber. They take well to growing in pots, provided you follow a few guidelines. [2] Sign up for our newsletter. The ground will need to be very wet to encourage the plants to grow. For the elephant ears, choose a spot that will get a lot of sun and will have a temperature above 55°F (13°C). Dig a hole so that the top of the bulb is 4 inches deeper than the soil line. Elephant ears do go dormant. If you decide you don’t want to plant your elephant ear plants in the ground, container growing is perfectly acceptable for these plants. Plant elephant ear bulbs 2-4 feet apart. ZONE: Elephant ears are tropical plants. Elephant's ear bulbs produce large, leafy plants which add a tropical look to a home landscape. Therefore, in areas with harsh, cold winters (like those in northernmost regions), the plants must be dug up and stored indoors. If growing in pots use a rich, organic potting soil and plant them at the same depth. Water the elephant ears twice a week with at least an inch of water in order to keep the ground moist. Wait until ground temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, typically in late September to mid-October, to plant bulbs. Choose the site. Elephant Ears are large attractive plants that command attention in your outdoor garden or can be used in your indoor space for cleaning your air. Cut the foliage back to about a couple of inches after the first frost in your area and then carefully dig up the plants. The leaves are massive and can come in variegated colors or even purplish-black. The leaves are massive and can come in variegated colors or even purplish-black. Epic Gardening occasionally links to goods or services offered by vendors to help you find the best products to care for plants. These plants are easy to replant because you can simply break them and plant them somewhere else without starting all over again. These plants are still very popular in tropical regions since they are huge and help in adding personality to your garden. Before planting elephant ear bulbs, make sure to pick the right tubers. Both have bulbs, though the more accurate term is a corm. The elephant ear plant should be grown in loamy soil that contains a lot of organic matter, which can be added through compost. Elephant ear plants come in various colors, which range from … TIPS: • Fertilize your elephant ears plant with a general indoor plant fertilizer at half strength 1 x per month. The next step is to dig a hole that is at least 4″ inches deep and then place the bulb inside. Elephant ears cannot survive winter outdoors. WHEN TO PLANT: Elephant ears are planted in spring after any danger of frost has passed. Combine elephant ears with other tropical-looking plants like cannas, bananas, variegated tapioca, caladiums, and coleus for a summer jungle garden. In warm climates, elephant plants can be grown outdoors year-round. To find your USDA Hardiness Zone, check the map here. This plant grows fast, but it needs a lot of food to grow. Some plants need to be spaced 10′ feet apart, whereas some need to be spaced 6′ feet apart, since their roots need space to spread out under the soil. Most of these plants prefer rich, moist soil and can be grown in full sun, but they generally prefer partial shade. Crocus, gladioli and cyclamen are also grown from corms, not bulbs. Dasylirion Wheeleri Care: Growing Common Sotol, Coreopsis Tripteris Care: Growing Tall Tickseed. Elephant ear plants grow from a swollen stem similar to a bulb but known as a corm. During dry spells, you may want to water plants regularly, especially those growing in containers. Hi, I'm Kevin. How to Care for All Elephant Ear Plant Types. is the right plant for the job. Elephant Ear Bulb Myth. You can even move this plant indoors during winters. These tropical, big leaf plants, thrive in partial to full sun with frequent watering and right soil conditions. They prefer warm weather around 50°F (10°C). Upright elephant ears are called alocasias, whereas elephant ears that go dormant are called colocasias. Place them in a cool, dark area such as a basement or crawlspace. Allow the tubers to dry out for about a day or two and then store them in peat moss or shavings. Planting Elephant Ears If your soil is too acidic, simply add lime or sulfur to balance the pH. Elephant ear plants bring a bold look to any interior or landscape, with their huge heart-shaped leaves. Botanical Name: Colocasia esculenta; Height: 4 - 6 feet Ship As: 7-9" BULB Lift In Fall: 3- 6 Spacing: 36 - 60 inches Spread: 4 - 5 feet Light Requirements: Full Sun, Partial Shade Color: White Foliage Type: Huge, oval, heart shaped to arrow shaped leaves up to 2'+ long and 18" wide. If you grow your elephant ear parent plant outdoors in the ground and the temperature drops below 40 °F (4 °C) where you live, dig them up in the fall and store the bulbs indoors during the winter. (The bigger the bulb the deeper it goes.) 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.) If you started your bulbs indoors, just transfer them to the ground with whatever growth they have in tact. Their most common use, however, is as an accent or focal point. Generally, plant your bulbs with the soil temperatures warm to 65°F-70°F. 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There are four main types of elephant ear plants, and their watering, soil, and light requirements are all a bit different.Their needs can also be different when grown outdoors in the ground, outdoors in pots, or indoors in pots as houseplants. Elephant ears need warm conditions to grow, so you’ll need to plant after the last threat of frost has passed. People talk about their bulb, or tuber, but the growth is actually a corm, which is a swollen stem. Although not absolutely necessary, you may also want to apply a slow-release fertilizer to the soil periodically. Elephant ear plants are a fun and dramatic feature to add to your garden, but just because these beautiful plants are not cold hardy does not mean you can’t keep elephant ear bulbs from year to year. 4 Fill the pot about 3/4 of the way with a lightweight commercial potting mix. Tubers may be started inside 6-8 weeks before all danger of frost has passed. Since you’ll already be digging up your plant, this is a great time to separate the new tubers. Once planted, these plants grow fairly quickly and can double or even triple in size if they are taken care of properly. Therefore, in areas with harsh, cold winters (like those in northernmost regions), the plants must be dug up and stored indoors.. Cut the foliage back to about a couple of inches after the first frost in your area and then carefully dig up the plants. Many are even well adapted to growing in containers. The elephant ear plant grew popular in the late 1990s, when tropical plants were the new trend since they came in many sizes and different colors. It is best to give them partial shade for a little while during an extremely hot day, but during winter days, it is best to give them direct sunlight. Just make sure to cover the corms with at least 1″ inch of soil. Water the planting bed to a depth of 4 inches and keep the soil moist, not saturated, at all times. Keep reading to learn more about how to take care of an elephant ear plant. However, if taken care of properly, these plants can survive in the winter, too. After you’re done, cover the bulb with moist soil until it is completely covered. Where to Plant your Elephant Ear Bulbs: Make sure to give your Elephant Ears plenty of room. Some types, such as Colocasia esculenta, can be potted in shallow water, submerged during the summer around the edges of a pond, for instance. Depending on the climate in your region, you can successfully grow elephant ear plant indoors or outdoors. Elephant ear plants can be used as background plants, ground covers, or edging, especially around ponds or along walkways or patio enclosures. Be sure to plant the bulbs six to eight inches deep and that the growing point (eyes) of the bulb is pointing upwards. I created Epic Gardening to help teach 10,000,000 people how to grow anything, no matter where they live in the world. If you see any brown leaves, cut them before they increase in number and make sure to water your plant regularly to prevent that from happening. Growing Elephant Ear Plants in Pots. Plant so the growing tip is up. This article contains incorrect information, This article is missing information that I need. Harden off elephant ear plants for about a week prior to placing them outdoors. Plant … Before putting the corm in the soil, add 2 inches of compost since this plant needs a lot of organic matter to grow. We're always looking to improve our articles to help you become an even better gardener. Make sure to apply fertilizer regularly to make sure your plant doesn’t die. Freezing temperatures kill foliage and damage tubers. How to Start Elephant Ear Plants From Bulbs. Most elephant ears will grow to be at least 4 feet wide, so give them space! According to Iowa State University, the best time to dig up elephant ear plants is after the first frost in fall.It’s also worth noting that you may find sources using the term elephant ear bulbs and elephant ear tubers interchangeably, but the latter is the correct term. If you’d rather not deal with the bulbs, another option is to grow elephant ears as a potted plant. Cover with 4 inches of soil. It will take one to two months for the bulbs to begin to grow. Once your soil temperature reaches at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit, you can plant your bulbs and tubers directly into your outdoor garden. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Elephant Ear tubers will not grow until the soil is warm, so plant once soil temperature is 65ºF. The soil should be moist all year round since this plant needs a lot of moisture to grow. Plant in the spring after any danger of frost has passed. In fact, these plants are commonly grown for their large, tropical-looking foliage, which is reminiscent of elephant ears. The elephant ear plant (Colocasia) provides a bold tropical effect in nearly any landscape setting. Elephant ears are heavy feeders that also need an excessive amount of water. In zones 9-11 they can be grown outdoors year-round. The flat end of your bulb should be pointing down. You can keep it indoors year-round, or you can put it outdoors in spring and bring it back indoors in the fall. Planting elephant ear bulbs indoors approximately eight weeks prior to the last frost date is also acceptable. During Texas summers, water more often. Bloom Time: Rarely flowers Flower Form: Small white spathes, like jack-in-the-pulpit flowers, insignificant. Plant 4-6 inches deep. Use a balanced fertilizer on your elephant ear plant every 2 weeks and your plant will grow fast. Acidic, simply add lime or sulfur to balance the pH or sulfur to balance the pH this! 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