How to Grow Elephant Ear Plants
Elephant Ear plants are a big, leafy member of the Caladium family. We're
talkin' big leaves, as big as an elephant's ear. The colorful leaves have
a shape resembling an elephant's ear, too.
Homeowners are fascinated by this big-leaved plant that grows three to five
feet tall. Originating in tropical and sub-tropical areas, they love sunshine,
heat, and high humidity. They are easy to grow and will grow in sun or shade.
Note: this plant can be poisonous to children and pets.
Elephant Ears are grown from tuberous bulbs. After the plants have died back
in the fall, dig up bulbs. Clean and store them in a cool, dark area until
planting the following spring.
After planting your Elephant Ears, have patience. It may take several weeks
for the plant to first emerge. Once it sprouts, a growing Elephant ear plant
can grow at a fast pace.
In southern areas, they can remain in the ground over winter. Add a heavy
layer of mulch to protect the bulbs from freezing.
How to Grow Elephant Ear Plants:
Plant bulbs in the spring. Find a sunny location, as these plants like
hot sun and humidity. Elephant ears prefer a rich, organic soil. They
are moisture lovers, yet the soil needs to drain well.
Note: Elephant Ear plants can be invasive. You may want to install
a border edging 3"-6" deep into the soil around the plants.
Plant bulbs in early spring. Mix in plenty of compost and organic matter.
Apply a nitrogen rich fertilizer once a month for optimum growth. Keep soil
moist all season long.
Mulch around plants heavily every year to help retain water, and to replenish
In the fall, dig up the bulbs for storage. The bulbs will survive over-wintering
outdoors only in the warmest areas of the country.
Insects and Disease:
Occasional problems with burrowing insects can occur. Use insecticides or
organic repellents as needed.
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