Their leaves die back, but each dead leaf is replaced by a bigger leaf throughout its growing season. In these year-round growing areas some consider the elephant ears to be an invasive plant. A corm or rhizome should be planted about 2 to 4 inches deep, while a container-grown plant should be placed 1 to 2 inches deeper in garden soil than it was in its pot. Calla Lily Manypeople love Arborvitae trees because they tend to make great hedges. Elephant ears usually sprout three to eight weeks from planting. This plant is grown for its colorful leaves rather than its diminutive flow… Growth. • Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth 1 x per week to keep the "plant pores" or "stomata" open. Elephant ears' species name, esculentia, is the same term that gives us the word "esculent," meaning edible. All Rights Reserved. The elephant ear plant (Alocasia spp.) The elephant ear plant is native in tropical regions and has heart-shaped leaves that can be up to 3 feet long, depending on the variety. Note that it can take a while for them to start growing so have patience! Place it in the shade and slowly move it into the sunlight or it will burn. Elephant ear plant is a perennial herbaceous plant with a large corm on or just below the ground surface. Step 3. Typically,Arborvitae plants have the following characteristics: 1. They can be a great focal point with a dramatic appeal for any interior. The elephant ear plant gets its name from the leaves, which are shaped like a large ear or shield. This isn’t a plant you can simply forget about but, if you feed and water it regularly, it’ll give you an astonishing amount of new growth in return. This plant grows quickly, with the amount of height added each year depending on the variety, but its growth rate also depends on the plant's receiving the right amount of light, moisture and soil nutrients. Place the container on the drain tray before filled with soil or use a container with an attached drain tray. The two most common types of elephant ear plants are Colocasia and Alocasia, which are grown as houseplants and outdoors as well. Before planting elephant ear bulbs, make sure to pick the right tubers. Elephant ear corms grow over time, with the original corm doubling or tripling in size. The tubers will not grow until the soil is warm, so don't plant them until the soil temperature is 65ºF. Do elephant ears affect nearby plants? The tropical elephant ear plant is a sight to behold and not one many will forget. Elephant ears are large-leaved plants that come from a tuber. Okay, technically, it doesn’t have ears, but the leaves of this tropical species do closely resemble elephant ears. Choose a location for your container that receives at least six hours of sun each day and stays above 65 degrees. Elephant ear plants will suffer if the temperature is less than 60 degrees. Can You Put an Elephant Ear in the Dirt & Grow Roots? You will need a large sunny space in your home to grow these giants indoors. Start them about 6 weeks before last frost. If the cultivar is a colocasia esculenta or an alocasia macrorrhzia then it will be a very large bulb which should be planted 10 inches deep in the soil with the roots down. Colocasia Illustris and colocasia Bblack agic have a joint between the root system and the top growth. The tuber should be planted so the joint is level with the soil line. • Fertilize your elephant ears plant with a general indoor plant fertilizer at half strength 1 x per month. After this point, you will witness small shoots growing above the soil. In winter, when its growth slows, withhold fertilizer and reduce watering to give the plant a rest. If given the right care and environment, these plants can grow into their full size in a matter of months. Water the plant to completely soak the soil immediately after planting. 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. Since it's a fast-growing plant, it also does well planted in early spring as an annual and adds its dramatic foliage to the garden quickly. Do Elephant Ears Bloom? Joanne Marie began writing professionally in 1981. Why are my elephant ears turning yellow? Just be sure to water it when the soil starts to feel dry when you stick your finger in an inch. What Light Is Required for Easter Lilies to Grow? Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the amount of fertilizer to apply. Because it's a tropical plant, the elephant ear is sensitive to cold temperatures and grows as an outdoor perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11, where winter frost is rare. Especially fast-growing, this plant can fill in spaces in a flower bed or border quickly. Keep the soil moist at all times. They grow one new leaf per week, even indoors. Their resemblance is so uncanny, that they are commonly known by this name. In fact, its average height will usually fall between two feet and ten feet. Overwintering Elephant Ears. Yes, elephant ears tend to emerge fairly late in spring, even early summer, when planted directly in the garden so many gardeners prefer to start them early indoors. It was named for the huge heart shaped leaves that resemble an elephant’s ears. Keep the soil barely moist but not wet. Overwintering Indoors Outside of the growing zone -- anywhere colder than USDA zone 8 -- elephant ears are not reliably hardy. This plant is a heavy feeder and needs regular fertilizing to put out best and fastest growth. Many varieties of elephant ear plants do well in pots and other containers. Marie is a certified master gardener and has a Ph.D. in anatomy from Temple University School of Medicine. The elephant ears will sprout and grow between three and eight weeks. The tuber should be planted so the joint is level with the soil line. When do elephant ears sprout? According to Better Homes and Gardens gardening expert, Roger Fox, elephant ears (Alocasia species) need adequate warmth and humidity to grow indoors as they’re native to tropical areas. You don't have to do much to grow healthy elephant ear plants. Just because you live in a non-tropical zone does not mean that you can’t enjoy an elephant ear plant. While planting the bulbs always remember that the bottom area with the circular pattern is the actual top. The elephant ear plant is native in tropical regions and has heart-shaped leaves that can be up to 3 feet long, depending on the variety. Elephant ears are known for growing into large, towering bushes of leaves that quickly become a pillar of a bush. Apply a liquid fertilizer high in nitrogen once a month after the plant starts to grow. The Elephant Ear (Colocasia) is a tropical plant that grows up to 9 feet (2.7 m) tall and sprouts large, arrow-shaped leaves that resemble the ears on an elephant. Elephant ear plants grow from a swollen stem similar to a bulb but known as a corm. Climate. Elephant's Ear. This is a fun project that any one with a grocery store can do!!! © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Elephant ear corms or rhizomes can be dug up in fall, before frost arrives, and stored over winter in a cool, dry indoor spot. How to Grow Elephant Ear Plants Indoors Step 1. Elephant ears are hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 and warmer and it’s for this reason that many people plant them in pots for indoor house plants. The elephant ear grows either from a specialized bulb called a corm or from an underground stem, or rhizome, depending on the type. Light and Fertilizer. If you want a large foliage houseplant that’s easy to grow and maintain, then Growing Elephant Ear Plant Indoors makes perfect sense!. Elephant ears is the common name for cultivars of the Colocasia and Alocasia plants. The leaves can be as large as 2 feet across and 3 feet long. Thespecies features thick and dense foliage that can easily be cut into a varietyof shapes that are common for fence and hedge lines. They are also known as the taro plant or colocasia, a semi-tropical plant that needs to be moved indoors for winter. Elephant ears are heavy feeders that also need an excessive amount of water. The plant needs an organically-rich soil for best and fastest growth, and adding some compost at planting can increase your soil's organic content while also enhancing its nutrients. Plant the tubers 1 to 2 inches deep. Plant the tubers in pots and grow them a warm, sunny window. To get a jump on the season, elephant ears can be planted indoors, 4 to 6 weeks before you plan to put them outside. Use a balanced, 10-10-10 formula diluted at a rate of 1/4 teaspoon per gallon, and feed the plant every few weeks during spring and summer. Elephant ears tend to grow quickly, and they'll do so even more speedily with the application of 20-20-20 fertilizer at half strength every three weeks or so. In fact, elephant ears are an important food source in warm climates around the world. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Elephant Ears take around 3 weeks for growing roots. Make sure to provide plenty of water when it is very hot or windy. Alocasia thrives indoors or outdoors at a range of temperatures, but it’s fussy when it comes to soil, feeding and watering. • Full strength is too strong a dose for a houseplant and may cause rampant growth before it's ready for it. The Lowest Temperature for the Tropical Plant Bougainvillea. Bring the tropics indoors with a feature plant that really likes to listen! It’s also just as hungry for sunlight as it is for nutrients. Stop fertilizing if new foliage stops appearing as the plant may be going into a dormant stage. Elephant ears is the common name for cultivars of the Colocasia and Alocasia plants. elephant ear or African mask plant) is a big-leafed tropical that's usually grown as an outdoor summer plant around here. Once the plant is in its dormant period (in the late fall and winter), it will begin resting. Elephant ears grow well in either full sun or partial shade, with the best light depending somewhat on the climate in which it's grown. Apply a liquid fertilizer high in nitrogen once a month after the plant starts to grow. Once the weather warms up, they will take off and grow quickly. Mix 1 part compost and 1 part peat moss with 2 parts potting soil. The leaves are large to very large, 20–150 cm (7.9–59.1 in) long, with a sagittate shape. Growing elephant ear plants is easy. When growing Colocasia inside, be sure to choose a fairly large container to pot the plant in. Soil and Water. Yes, it is possible. Are Elephant Ears Fast Growing? Ideally, it takes about 3 weeks for the plant to start developing roots, 5 more weeks to sprout and around 2 to 3 months to grow into mature plants. In incompatible hardiness zones, you can keep your elephant outdoors in the summer and indoors anytime nighttime temperatures dip below 60 degrees Fahrenheit . The new growth will be beautiful too. Elephant ears are easy to overwinter if you live in areas colder than zone 8 like I do. How Fast do Elephant Ears Grow? Plants also produce offsets that can be broken off and planted elsewhere. The bulbs will push upwards as they grow so it's important to leave enough space that they won't break through the soil. In areas with moderately warm or cool summers, they do well in full sun; but in regions with hot summer sun, a spot that gets morning sun followed by filtered shade in the afternoon is best. All types of plants can make good additions to a home garden, including those grown for foliage rather than flowers. Elephant ears (Alocasia spp. Missouri Botanical Garden: Alocasia (Group), Plant Delights Nursery: Cool Colocasias -- Elephant Ears for the Garden, U.S. Department of Agriculture: Plant Hardiness Zone Map. The plant can grow as tall as 6 feet, although some cultivars are shorter, and sometimes spreads to cover a 5- to 6-foot wide area. Water the plant to completely soak the soil immediately after planting. How to Grow Elephant Ears Indoors. Take the plant outdoors in the summer to get some fresh air. Step 2. In northern climates, they can be treated more as annuals where the elephant ears bulbs, corms or tubers are stored over winter for the next growing season. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Mix 1 part compost and 1 part peat moss with 2 parts potting soil. How Fast Do Elephant Ear Plants Grow? The dense foliage alsocreates green areas that are lush and will provide plenty of shade for homesand people. The massive leaves and speedy elephant ear growth rate make this a plant that is perfect for maximum impact in the garden. To grow these stunning plants, plant the bulbs in the early spring with the right soil conditions. Sprouting occurs when the weather begins to warm in spring. The elephant ears will sprout and grow between three and eight weeks. Plant one to three tubers towards the center of the soil. And, of course, be sure not to overwater it as that's the quickest way to kill a plant. If you keep your house very cold or have a cool summer, try to maintain a stable temperature indoors. 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. Hey guys in this video I show you how to grow eddoes for the grocery store. Bring the plant back indoors when the temperature starts to drop below 65 degrees. Zones: In warm climates, similar to their native humid and tropical Southeast Asia, elephant ears will grow as perennials. They will sprout faster in warmer climates than in cooler climates. The roots will freeze in the cold soil, killing the plants. Do not locate the plant near heat or air conditioning vents or near an outside door in the winter. They grow to a set width and height, which makes … The plants can grow as high as 8 feet and just as wide. To speed up the process, you can start them inside and move them outdoors once it warms up. In northern climates this will be early June. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, Easy to Grow Bulbs: Elephant Ears (Colocasia and Alocasia) Growing Information, University of Minnesota Extension: Elephant Ear Care. Start elephant's ear indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the average last frost date in your area. They are herbaceous perennials in warm climates. She has also published in hobbyist offerings such as The Hobstarand The Bagpiper. Elephant ears can live outdoors all year in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 – 11. Plant one inch deep in pots large enough to accommodate the bulbs, use a good quality potting soil. With minimal care, a gardener can coax along these plants and feel proud of the lovely houseplant they create. Colocasia Elephant Ear Growth 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. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the amount of fertilizer to apply. Stop fertilizing if new foliage stops appearing as the plant may be going into a dormant stage. Supply humidity to the plant by filling a spray bottle with distilled water and spraying when it’s dry indoors. Fill the container with the soil to within 1 1/2 inches of the top. Water your elephant ear when the surface of its potting medium starts to dry out. It has an upright clumping form with a fast growth rate and typically grows 1 to 2 m tall. Elephant ear plants have huge leaves and they make quite a bold impression. Continue to care for it, and the rapid growth will return the following growing season. It also grows fastest when given regular watering during spring and summer, and is a good choice for a moist spot near a pond or other water feature, although it won't grow well if planted in standing water. Her work has appeared in health, medical and scientific publications such as Endocrinology and Journal of Cell Biology. I will dig up the corms, cut most of the stems off, and shake off all the extra soil. The plant itself reaches heights of between 3 and 5 feet (.9-1.5 m.) tall and for this reason is usually grown as an outdoor specimen; however, it is possible to grow elephant ears indoors. You can also set up a humidifier near the plant if you use central heat or air conditioning that dries out the air. The leaves are massive and can come in variegated colors or even purplish-black. Apply a liquid fertilizer high in nitrogen once a month after the plant starts to grow. Alocasia macrorrhiza Stingray (Elephant Ear) is an evergreen, ornamental indoor house plant. A: Alocasia (a.k.a. Elephant ears are hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 and warmer and it’s for this reason that many people plant them in pots for indoor house plants. is one of the most interesting and versatile, valued for its enormous and often colorful leaves that give the plant its name. Each leaf appears at the end of a straight, strong stem that's also thick and succulent. Elephant ear also makes a good houseplant that can move outdoors for the warmer months and be over-wintered in a bright indoor spot such as a west- or south-facing window. Foliage may not appear for several weeks as elephant's ear tubers are often slow to sprout. 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