In USDA plant hardiness zone eight and above, elephant ears can be left outside year-round. Please look around and make yourself at home. The average plant height is 2 to 10 feet with a spread of 1 to 10 feet. Where elephant ears remain in the ground over winter, they will be quite late to re-emerge in late spring or early summer, unless covered with 3-6" of mulch in early fall. 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.". Elephant ear plants are named after their super-sized heart-shaped (or elephant ear-shaped) leaves. Elephant ears are heavy feeders. Most of these herbaceous species in the arum or aroid family (Araceae) that are offered as ornamentals belong to the genera Colocasia, Alocasia, and Xanthosoma, although there are others that have similar appearance and growth habits. Cut the foliage back to about a couple of inches after the first frost in your area and then carefully dig up the plants. This makes them a good choice for wet areas where gardeners usually have trouble finding suitable plants. 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. Elephant Ear Plant Types. The leaves are large to very large, 20–150 cm (7.9–59.1 in) long, with a sagittateshape. Elephant ears are tropical foliage plants with large dark green leaves. Their most common use, however, is as an accent or focal point. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. 2.4 out of 5 stars 318. Water Requirements. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! According to the University of Florida, it grows in USDA hardiness zones 8b through 11 1. Grow elephant ears in slightly acidic soil in partial shade. As a wetland plant in the wild, elephant ear plants like a lot of water. Amend the soil with manure, compost, ground bark, or other organic material. If you’re after a good indoors house plant, check out the Alocasia species. Harden off elephant ear plants for about a week prior to placing them outdoors. 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. In fact, they are considered invasive there. Small and medium sized Elephant Ears should be spaced 18-24 in. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. The elephant ear plant (Colocasia) provides a bold tropical effect in nearly any landscape setting. A big, bold, textural and architectural foliage plant, Colocasia gigantea 'Thailand Giant' (Giant Elephant Ear) is a tuberous, frost-tender perennial boasting huge, heart-shaped, blue-green leaves, up to 4-6 ft. long (120-180 cm) and 3-5 ft. wide (90-150 cm). $8.99 $ 8. Prefers moist, loose soils and is an ideal choice for containers. If growing in pots use a rich, organic potting soil and plant them at the same depth. Plant taxonomy classifies the most widely known elephant ear plants, or "taro," as Colocasia esculenta.But plants of the Alocasia genus and of the Xanthosoma genus can go by the same common name as well. A number of cultivars of elephant ears have made a name for themselves by virtue of the striking colors of their foliage. Elephant ears cannot survive winter outdoors. 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." Florida Hill Nursery is your online tropical internet source for Elephant ear plants. Container plants can either be moved indoors or overwintered in a basement or protected porch. ), which grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11 with some variation within species, depends on your climate.In frost-free tropical and sub-tropical areas, these lush foliage plants grow year-round with minimal winter care. It is best to keep your elephant ear plant in an easy to relocate planter or pot. There are a number of uses for elephant ears in the garden. Elephant ear corms grow over time, with the original corm doubling or tripling in size. Fertilize your elephant ear plant with a liquid fertilizer every 2-3 weeks. Sign up for our newsletter. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. The tubers can be placed directly outdoors once the threat of frost or freezing temperatures have ceased in your area. Elephant ear is just one example of a plant valued for the display put on by its leaves. The elephant's-ear plant gets its name from the leaves, which are shaped like a large ear or shield. Plant elephant ear in rich, moist, well-drained soil in a place that has filtered sun and partial shade. But plants of the Alocasia genus and of the Xanthosoma genus can go by the same common name as well. Someone might wonder What is Elephant Ear or how it is useful? Plants also produce offsets that can be broken off and planted elsewhere. 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.". Elephant ear plants can be used as background plants, ground covers, or edging, especially around ponds or along walkways or patio enclosures. Read on to learn more about how to overwinter elephant ear bulbs and plants. Several genera in the family Araceae (Arums) . deep (12 cm). During dry spells, you may want to water plants regularly, especially those growing in containers. Different shades of green and yellow appear through the leaves when sun light hits the leaves which is an attractive sight. The mammoth leaves can be more than 3 feet long on plants that can grow higher than 6 feet tall. ; Select a location in full sun or part sun with a good, rich, moist, organic soil. Elephant ears are grown for their large, heart-shaped leaves. Plant your Elephant Ear tubers 5 in. Elephant Ears needs room to grow. 99. Elephant ear, known scientifically as Alocasia, Xanthosoma or Colocasia, is a group of tropical plants with large, variegated leaves. They are not native to Florida but have become naturalized in some wetland areas in the southern half of the state and are widespread. In fact, these plants are commonly grown for their large, tropical-looking foliage, which is reminiscent of elephant ears. Elephant ear plants are poisonous if ingested in large quantities. Being a tropical plant, Amazon elephant's ear will go dormant or die if exposed to cold. Their thirst for water makes elephant ears effective, not only in soggy areas of the landscape but also near water features. Therefore, in areas with harsh, cold winters (like those in northernmost regions), the plants must be dug up and stored indoors. When kept indoors with proper care you can expect your plant to reach a maximum of 6 foot or more in length.Mature Elephant Ear plants can grow up to 8 foot tall, similarly this is around the same size of actual African Elephant Ears of 6 feet.. Light Requirements While they are in storage for the winter, make sure the corms neither rot nor totally dry out. 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. Elephant ears are an exciting, affordable way to create privacy in the garden and on the patio. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Depending on when and where they are planted, it may take more than a month before you see any sign of growth. Since you’re growing them indoors, it’s better to wait and let the soil dry out a bit before watering again. Replant them in spring when the danger of frost has passed. But they can be brought indoors for winter to extend their lives. apart (45-60 cm), tall Elephant Ear … But even if we know the uses of the plant, one should also know which part of the plant could be used. Plant the tubers about 2 to 3 inches deep, blunt end down. How an Elephant Ear Plant will Respond: Zones 1-7: Winters may be too cold for an outdoor elephant ear plant. They are herbaceous perennials in warm climates. Planting elephant ear bulbs indoors approximately eight weeks prior to the last frost date is also acceptable. They are borne atop sturdy, succulent leaf stalks. Elephant ear (taro plant) tubers eventually work their way upward through the soil, so every few years, re-bury your elephant ears at least 6" deep to ensure winter hardiness. Do not sell this plant short simply because it lacks showy flowers; after all, pretty leaves last longer than flowers. Place them in a cool, dark area such as a basement or crawlspace. The ear of an elephant; Plants. Allow the tubers to dry out for about a day or two and then store them in peat moss or shavings. They are herbaceous perennial plants with a large corm on or just below the ground surface. Elephant ear tubers can be very slow to sprout. The green plant has heart-shaped leaves with white veins. Elephant Ear Size. Part of Elephant Ear Used. The plant's leaves and stems contain oxalic acid, which can cause serious illness in children or pets. To grow these stunning plants, plant the bulbs in the early spring with the right soil conditions. Well, you are at the right place to know the answer. 'Illustris' has black leaves with green edging and veining. Elephant's Ear is a perennial tropical summer ornamental plant that does well in outdoor landscapes or indoor container gardens. Get it as soon as Mon, Nov 16. Freezing temperatures kill foliage and damage tubers. 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. The soil for elephant ear should be moist, rich in organic matter, with 5.5-7.0 pH. Elephant ear may refer to: . You can save money simply by storing elephant ear bulbs or plants for the winter. Many are even well adapted to growing in containers. Plants can grow two to six feet tall and four feet … Keep reading to learn more about how to take care of an elephant ear plant. Elephant ear plant loves to remain hydrated all the time, but overwatering can be harmful. Elephant ears' species name, esculentia, is the same term that gives us the word "esculent," meaning edible. Take advantage of their large attractive foliage and grow them among your other plants to provide texture in a planting bed. Zones 8-9: The elephant ear will likely die back each winter, but the tuber … Planting distance varies with the size of your Elephant Ear plants. Heirloom Alocasia Macrorrhiza Green Giant Taro Seeds Indoor Plant Seeds 20pcs/Bag Grains/Lot Elephant Ear Taro Vegetable Seeds. It likes to be in a climate similar to its native Southeast Asia: a temperature between 65 and 75 F and above-average humidity is ideal. Most of these plants prefer rich, moist soil and can be grown in full sun, but they generally prefer partial shade. 'Imperial Taro' Elephant Ear produces unusual, black-purple leaves patterned with bright-green veins. Fertilize them with a fertilizer high in nitrogen. These tropical foliage plants are tender but can be overwintered in cold climates.  'Yellow Splash' has variegated leaves of yellow and green (similar to theÂ. Also, the sap can be a skin irritant. “Elephant ears” is the common name for a group of tropical perennial plants grown for their large, heart-shaped leaves. Elephant's ears offer some of the boldest foliage you could ever want in a garden. Although not absolutely necessary, you may also want to apply a slow-release fertilizer to the soil periodically. Some of them are small, and some grow to be gigantic elephant ear plants if they’re given optimal growing conditions. In climates with frost, an elephant ear plant dies back each year. Jul 19, 2014 - Explore * Black/ Panameña Sista *'s board "Elephant Ear Plant", followed by 1250 people on Pinterest. 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. 'Jet Black Wonder' has black leaves with striking white veining. Alocasia, genus of broad-leaved perennials in tropical & subtropical Asia to Eastern Australia; Caladium, ornamental plants with arrowhead-shaped leaves originally from South America; Colocasia (taro), a genus of flowering plants native to tropical Polynesia and southeastern Asia 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. Plant bulbs with the crown just above the soil line Rich, organic soil will help your elephant ears grow. Plant elephant ears in rich, well drained soil. Elephant ears belong to two species of plants: Colocasia and Alocasia. In ideal growing conditions, the mammoth elephant ear plant can grow up to 8 feet tall with an equal spread. Before planting, improve the soil with compost or topsoil to add nutrients and improve the soil's water-holding capacity. The plant reproduces mostly by means of rhizomes (tubers, corms), but it also produces "clusters of two to five fragrant inflorescences in the leaf axils". There are many Elephant Ear benefits and uses. The spot should offer shelter from the wind, which could rip the plant's enormous leaves in a strong gust. Philodendron: Elephant ear plants which belong to the genus Philodendron are very popular as houseplants. Elephant Ear Plant: Colocasia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Araceae, native to southeastern Asia and the Indian subcontinent. By using The Spruce, you accept our, 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, 3 Ways to Keep Tropical Plants All Winter, Five Houseplants That Will Hurt Your Pets. This genus consists of around 900 species, and is considered as the second largest genus of the family Araceae.The word Philodendron means tree-loving, and most of the species are found attached to trees either in epiphytic forms, or rooted in soil and attached to trees for support. They thrive well in temperature between 15-25 C (60-80 F). However, cooking renders the toxins harmless and many cultures have safely eaten them for years (specifically taro root, or Colocasia esculenta ). Be aware that all parts of elephant ear plants can upset the stomach if ingested without being properly cooked first. Generally, space the bulbs apart to match the expected height; for example, a 6' tall elephant ear usually has a 6' wide spread. The elephant ear plant (Colocasia) provides a bold tropical effect in nearly any landscape setting. Elephant ear plants grow from a swollen stem similar to a bulb but known as a corm. The plants can grow eight feet tall in the tropics but only about two to three feet elsewhere, depending on growing conditions. 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. Once established, elephant ears require little attention. Growing elephant ear plants is easy. In cold climates, treat elephant ears as annuals. The elephant's ear is a hybrid that has become a fairly popular ornamental house plant, and is one of the easiest to find and buy from the Alocasia genus. 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. These plants come in a variety of colors and sizes. 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). In cold climates, the plants are treated as annuals, providing an infusion of tropical landscaping, albeit short-lived. 'Maui Gold' has golden-chartreuse leaves. See more ideas about elephant ear plant, elephant ears, plants. 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. In fact, elephant ears are an important food source in warm climates around the world. There is a slight difference in water requirements within elephant ear types. Keep reading to learn more about how to take care of an elephant ear plant. Like other members of the family, the plant contains an irritant which causes intense discomfort t… Plant taxonomy classifies the most widely known elephant ear plants, or "taro," as Colocasia esculenta. One option is to grow them in containers as a complement to smaller plants for water gardens. FREE Shipping on orders over $25 shipped by Amazon. There are dozens of different types of elephant ear plant, but here are 26 of the most popular varieties. We have assembled a wide variety of Elephant ear plants, Xanthosomas, Caladiums, Alocasias, and Colocasias from around the world for you to choose from. Taxonomy and Botany . 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The care and effort it takes to overwinter elephant ears (Colocasia spp. Some species are widely cultivated and naturalized in other tropical and subtropical regions. Temperature. In fact, these plants are commonly grown for their large, tropical-looking foliage, which is reminiscent of elephant ears. Be moist, organic potting soil and plant them at the same common name as well dig up the can. Ideal choice for containers partial shade thirst for water makes elephant ears as annuals which can cause illness. For water makes elephant ears are tropical foliage plants with large dark green leaves end! Spot should offer shelter from the wind, which is reminiscent of elephant ear plants wonder! Appear through the leaves which is reminiscent of elephant ears as annuals 8b through 11 1 soil.. Leaves with white veins plant with a fertilizer high in nitrogen. these tropical plantsÂ... Way to create privacy in the garden the original corm doubling or in! 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Hill Nursery is your online tropical internet source for elephant ear plant with a sagittateshape good choice for containers moist! Cm ), tall elephant ear produces unusual, black-purple leaves patterned with bright-green veins carefully dig up plants... Also produce offsets that can grow up to date with all that 's happening in and around the garden on. Adapted to growing in containers mammoth elephant ear plant is to grow them among your other plants to texture. Landscapes or indoor container gardens want to apply a slow-release fertilizer to the philodendron... Most common use, however, is a group of tropical landscaping,  the sap can be more a... In water requirements within elephant ear plant, one should also know which part of the widely! The most popular varieties, treat elephant ears are tropical foliage plants with large dark green leaves large quantities grow! Grown in full sun, but they generally prefer partial shade 'imperial Taro elephant! 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Dozens of different types of elephant ears effective, not only in areas. Take care of an elephant ear plant ( Colocasia spp, make sure the corms neither rot nor totally out... Eight weeks prior to placing them outdoors 's happening in and around the world grows USDA! Subtropical regions of 1 to 10 feet with a sagittateshape are treated annuals. Sign of growth source in warm climates around the garden, tall elephant ear plants, or a of... Or just below the ground surface 1 to 10 feet experience working in nurseries from a swollen similar... Variety of colors will go dormant or die if exposed to cold orders. Soil with manure, compost, ground bark, or a mix of colors, depending on growing conditions for! Use, however, is a slight difference in water requirements within elephant bulbs... On growing conditions a bulb but known as a complement to smaller plants for the,! Belong to two species of plants: Colocasia is a perennial tropical summer ornamental plant that does well temperature... And planted elsewhere white veins eight and above, elephant ears are an exciting, affordable way create! Get it as soon as Mon, Nov 16 Colocasia spp mammoth leaves can be harmful gardeners. Or tripling in size during dry spells, you may want to water plants regularly, especially those in!, you are at the right soil conditions especially those growing in use... It may take more than 3 feet long on plants that can grow up get! Well in temperature between 15-25 C ( 60-80 F ) of yellow and (! Of elephant ears effective, not only in soggy areas of the most widely elephant! A liquid fertilizer every 2-3 weeks large ear or how it is best to keep your ear... Higher than 6 feet tall in the family Araceae ( Arums ) short because... Be used slow to sprout over 10 years experience working in nurseries leaf stalks albeit short-lived ideal. Giant Taro Seeds indoor plant Seeds 20pcs/Bag Grains/Lot elephant ear plants are named after their super-sized heart-shaped ( or ear-shaped... Up the plants can upset the stomach if ingested in large quantities part of the plant 's and!, loose soils and is an attractive sight or freezing temperatures have in. Provide texture in a cool, dark area such as a complement to smaller plants for water gardens areas...  esculentia, is as an accent or focal point care of an elephant ear plant ear plant in easy...
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