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How to Grow Elephant Ears

People are fascinated by the huge leaves of the Elephant Ear plant. Why, they are as big as... an elephant's ear!! And, the colorful leaves are shaped like an elephant's ear, too.

It is simply fascinating to watch this big-leaved plant grow three to five feet tall in just one year.

Easy to grow Elephant Ear plants are a large leaved member of the Caladium family. This plant is native to tropical and sub-tropical areas. They thrive with full sun, heat, and high humidity. They also do well n the shade.

Note: The Elephant Ears plant is poisonous to children and pets.

Plant Propagation:

Elephant Ears are grown from tuberous bulbs. Plant the bulbs in the spring. After the plants have died back in the fall, dig up bulbs. Clean and store them in a cool, dark place.

In southern areas, they can remain in the ground over winter. Add a heavy layer of mulch to protect the bulbs from freezing.

After planting , it takes several weeks for the plant to sprout. Once it sprouts and begins growing, the plant will grow at a fast pace.

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.

Plant bulbs in early spring. Mix in plenty of compost and organic matter. Apply a nitrogen rich fertilizer once a month for optimum growth.

Elephant Ear plants are be invasive. Place border edging 3"-6" deep around the plants.

For optimal growth, keep the soil moist.

Apply a thick layer of mulch around plants heavily, to help retain water.

In the fall, dig up the bulbs for storage. The bulbs survive over-wintering outdoors only in the warmer areas.  

Insects and Disease:

Burrowing insects can pose a problem. Otherwise, there are few problems.

Use insecticides or organic repellents, only when needed.

More Information:

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