Growth will continue through the warm seasons. Missouri Botanical Garden: Alocasia (Group), Plant Delights Nursery: Cool Colocasias -- Elephant Ears for the Garden, U.S. Department of Agriculture: Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Elephant ear flower seeds are only viable a short time, so if you want to plant them, harvest the pods and use them as soon as possible. They also require high soil fertility, so gardeners with sandy fast-draining soils are going to need to amend with compost or grow elephant ears in containers. 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. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. All types of plants can make good additions to a home garden, including those grown for foliage rather than flowers. Is your elephant ear bulb not growing? It can take Elephant Ear bulbs 3 weeks to sprout. But if you grow this plant outside in partial shade, it will thrive and grow to its full potential height. Fans of foliage plants should be well aware of the elephant ear’s charms. Wait until there’s no chance of frost occurring overnight so the plant won’t get damaged. WHERE TO PLANT ELEPHANT EARS How climate affects elephant ears: Fully hardy in Zones 9 to 11 If you’d like your plant to grow larger, find a new grow pot that is … 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. When planted in spring, they become big, impressive plants within just a few months, so be sure to give them plenty of room. Plant in the spring when nighttime temperatures are above 50 °F (10 °C). Black elephant ears are no different. Caladiums and Elephant Ears (Colocasia) range from 12” to 60” tall, creating a perfectly graduated display in gardens or containers. When do elephant ears sprout? This tropical Arum is an excellent choice for pond edges, lightly shaded areas and as screens for hiding unsightly items. 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. 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. Note: The Elephant Ears plant is poisonous to children and pets. For starters, a typical one can begin to grow in a pot that’s about 36 inches in diameter, with about an inch between the soil and the top of the pot. They also do well n the shade. Joanne Marie began writing professionally in 1981. 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. Plant this easy-to-grow collection as a backdrop for bright flowers, or create a lush living wall that’s deer-resistant and rabbit-resistant. When started in an outdoor bed or an indoor container and generously watered, top growth begins to appear in as soon as three weeks. Keep the soil barely moist but not wet. Like the Alocasia, they grow from a corm. Plant 4-6 inches deep. 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. Even the stems deliver impressive colors. [1] X Research source The ideal daytime temperature will be around 70 °F (21 °C). On the tail end, expect top growth in a maximum of eight weeks. In fact, its average height will usually fall between two feet and ten feet. 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. Most elephant ears are fast growers and can be 6' tall or more - which simply means they get thirsty to sustain that growth. While elephant ears can be grown from seed, they are most commonly – and effectively, whether you're growing your elephant ear plant indoors or outdoors – grown from rooted plants, bulbs or corms. In fact, elephant ears are an important food source in warm climates around the world. In cooler areas, they will need to be replanted each year. Elephant ear plants, which are grown from tuberous rhizomes, can reach impressive sizes quickly. Her work has appeared in health, medical and scientific publications such as Endocrinology and Journal of Cell Biology. Elephant ears need a constant supply of water. To speed up the process, you can start them inside and move them outdoors once it warms up. This is often in April or May. The elephant ear plant (Alocasia spp.) 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). The answer depends on where you want the Elephant ears to grow. The answer depends on where you want the Elephant ears to grow. Previously, he's published with Black+Decker, Geeks On Home, GardenGuides.com, GOBankingRates.com, USA Today and others. How Can I Tell if My Hens & Chicks Plant Is a Perennial or a Houseplant? She has also published in hobbyist offerings such as The Hobstarand The Bagpiper. In warm, frost-free climates (zones 9-11), elephant ears can be grown outdoors year-round. Especially fast-growing, this plant can fill in spaces in a flower bed or border quickly. The plants grow 4 to 8 feet in height and do well in Texas. Super fast draining, low moisture soils are not the place to grow them. This type of elephant ear is native to south Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Guinea, Australia and the Pacific Islands, with the taro plant (Colocasia esculenta, which grows in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 8, per Horticulture – most other Colocasia varieties grow in zones 9 through 11) being one of the more popular varieties, with over 200 cultivars grown for both its culinary and ornamental qualities. To get an idea of your elephant ears' growth prospects, you first need to know the type of elephant ears with which you're dealing. Plant one inch deep in pots large enough to accommodate the bulbs, use a good quality potting soil. A: Elephant ears, either colocasia or alocasia are tropical plants, hardy in Zones 9-11, and are grown as annuals in the Lehigh Valley. This plant is native to tropical and sub-tropical areas. Why are my elephant ears turning yellow? However, when grown in tropical climates, tannia can reach heights of up to 9 feet with leaves up to 4 feet long and 3 feet wide. Growing Elephant Ears Outdoors. Easy to grow Elephant Ear plants are a large leaved member of the Caladium family. Elephant ears typically like a sunny spot in the garden. 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. Alocasia plants can quickly reach heights of about 1.5 to 3 feet, per the growers at Hortology. Plant Propagation: Elephant ear plants grow from a swollen stem similar to a bulb but known as a corm. At maturity, the Xanthosoma sagittifolium – the variety of Xanthosoma most commonly dubbed "tannia" or "elephant ear," hardy to USDA zones 8, 9 and 10 per the Missouri Botanical Garden – only reaches heights and spreads of about 2 to 4 feet, making it a more compact plant than the other elephant ear genera when grown in the U.S. 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. Elephant ears usually sprout three to eight weeks from planting. During winters, lower the water intake and trim your leaves every once in a while. Can You Put an Elephant Ear in the Dirt & Grow Roots? In healthy conditions, expect this elephant ear to reach full maturity from a crom in about 14 to 20 weeks. Potting and soil: Mast says that the most important thing to remember about potting an elephant ears plant is to find a vessel that gives it space to grow, since it can span from 2 to 10 feet tall. 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. Difference Between Broad Leafed Plants Vs. Grasses, University of Wisconsin-Madison Master Gardener Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison Master Gardener Program: Elephant Ears (Colocasia, Alocasia, and Xanthosoma), Horticulture: Colocasia Esculenta, or Elephant Ear, for the Garden, Easy to Grow Bulbs: Alocasia/Colocasia Planting Guide, Hortology: Alocasia Zebrina Tiger - Elephant Ear, Missouri Botanical Garden: Alocasia (group), Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International: Xanthosoma Sagittifolium (Elephant Ear), Missouri Botanical Garden: Xanthosoma sagittifolium. The tip on watering is to keep the roots moist - … Elephant ears typically like a sunny spot in the garden. Huge, heart-shaped leaves come in black, purple, emerald green, chartreuse, yellow, or a mix of colors. for the plant to first emerge. Posted by auggie on 4/14/14 at 7:11 pm to Rex Elephant Ears are mostly known as Taro, or Gabe in The Philippines, that might help. Dan combines his decade-long experience as a freelance writer with hands-on experience in landscaping, flooring, painting, maritime maintenance and handyman work. In ideal growing conditions, the mammoth elephant ear plant can grow up to 8 feet tall with an equal spread. Despite the variety in genera, all three types of elephant ears share some common growth trends. Elephant ears are tropical plants that can overwinter in the right conditions. 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. 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. is one of the most interesting and versatile, valued for its enormous and often colorful leaves that give the plant its name. Elephant ears are known for growing into large, towering bushes of leaves that quickly become a pillar of a bush. You can grow all three genera of elephant ears as annuals, but those hardy to colder temps can be kept through the winter season too. In healthy conditions, expect this elephant ear to reach full maturity from a crom in about 14 to 20 weeks. Colocasia reaches heights of about 4 feet. Most elephant ears will grow to be at least 4 feet wide, so give them space! These massive plants may grow up to 6 feet tall with leaves that span 2 feet in diameter. Elephant Ears needs room to grow. 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. However, if you do find a large red seed pod developing on your elephant ear, you can plant the seed. Now fill, around 75% of this pot with any simple and lightweight soil mix, and then gently transfer the plant in it. This plant is a heavy feeder and needs regular fertilizing to put out best and fastest growth. Use a balanced fertilizer on your elephant ear plant every 2 weeks and your plant will grow fast. 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. Sprouting occurs when the weather begins to warm in spring. Elephant ears grow well in an organically-rich soil for the best and fastest growth, For the size of the foliage, these are some of the fastest growing plants around. However, they will be smaller in size when grown as a seasonal plant. Xanthosoma is a fast grower just like its brethren. Though collectively dubbed "elephant ears," this casual identifier actually refers to three different genera of plants: Colocasia, Alocasia and Xanthosoma, as the University of Wisconsin-Madison Master Gardener Program points out. At maturity in their native habitats, the waxy, upright leaves of Colocasia elephant ears can grow about 2 or 3 feet wide, with varieties like Colocasia gigantea 'Thailand Giant' sporting leaves up to 5 feet long and 4 feet wide. Start them about 6 weeks before last frost. If the ground is cold and you see no signs of sprouting, the bulb may have suffered and it could be damaged beyond repair. Repotting - Léon & George’s Elephant’s Ears plants come in 10” or 12” grow pots and only need to be repotted every few years if you notice the roots outgrowing the pot, or to refresh the soil and give it new nutrients. Wait until the red seed pod bursts open and looks like a white, inside-out version of itself. In southern areas, they can remain in the ground over winter. Click to see full answer Keeping this in consideration, will elephant ears grow in sandy soil? Likewise, how fast do elephant ears spread? Care for them correctly, and you can start a whole new crop of elephant ears next spring. (The bigger the bulb the deeper it goes.) They will sprout faster in warmer climates than in cooler climates. 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. 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. how fast do they grow from bulbs? Given the easy maintenance requirements, the Elephant ear plant can always be grown at the comfort of your homes. If you’re planning to grow it as a houseplant, first get a large post of around 14 to 20 inches. They are herbaceous perennials in warm climates. Alocasia odora is also known as elephant ear plant because of its colossally huge leaves and the general shape of the foliage. They thrive with full sun, heat, and high humidity. Elephant ear plants are native to tropical Asia and derived their name from their huge, 2-foot-wide, 3-foot-long, heart-shaped leaves. Small and medium sized Elephant Ears should be spaced 18-24 in. Elephant's ears offer some of the boldest foliage you could ever want in a garden. Generally speaking, elephant ears show their first growth three to eight weeks after planting. 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. Elephant ears usually sprout three to eight weeks from planting. Planting distance varies with the size of your Elephant Ear plants. After planting your Elephant Ears, have patience. Inside, it will not grow as big because of a relative lack of sunlight. Unlike its elephant ear cousins, Xanthosoma plants are native to the tropical regions of America. The mammoth leaves can be more than 3 feet long on plants that can grow higher than 6 feet tall. In winter, when its growth slows, withhold fertilizer and reduce watering to give the plant a rest. Do Alocasia Elephant Ears Have Seeds? Whether you're growing elephant ears in pots indoors or mammoth elephant ears in containers outdoors, you can expect quick growth, but there's some variety to specific sprouting speeds. The elephant ear plant will do well in full sun if you get the right species. Tip: If you want to speed up the process, plant your bulbs in a pot inside a few weeks before early spring. Once it sprouts, a growing Elephant ear plant can grow at a fast pace. Elephant ears' species name, esculentia, is the same term that gives us the word "esculent," meaning edible. Indoor growing is a practical method for new plants, especially when potted in the early spring. They are borne atop sturdy, succulent leaf stalks. apart (45-60 cm), tall Elephant Ear varieties (over 5 ft. or 150 cm) about 3-4 ft. apart (90-120 cm). If you live in the warmer areas of the state, grow the elephant ear in the shade. For newly planted elephant ears, which are placed close to the surface of the soil, it typically only takes a few weeks for the first leaves to appear. The elephant ear grows either from a specialized bulb called a corm or from an underground stem, or rhizome, depending on the type. Marie is a certified master gardener and has a Ph.D. in anatomy from Temple University School of Medicine. My Elephant Ears are Taking Over! At maturity, the Missouri Botanical Garden reports that these plants can reach heights of up to 6 feet with spreads of up to 6 feet too. Bulbs can be started indoor 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost to give them a head start. Also like Colocasia, they'll rest for a few months between growing cycles, losing leaves before growing speedily in the warm seasons. 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. 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. Black elephant ears are no different. Xanthosoma is a fast grower just like its brethren. In cooler areas (zones 3-8) they are usually grown as annuals. Elephant ear corms or rhizomes can be dug up in fall, before frost arrives, and stored over winter in a cool, dry indoor spot. Zones: In warm climates, similar to their native humid and tropical Southeast Asia, elephant ears will grow as perennials. The elephant's ear plant is terrific, lush, jungly bedding plant for growing outside over summer with other large-leaved plants like cannas and Trachycarpus fortunei. According to the [Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International,](https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/56989#:~:text=This%20species%20can%20form%20mature,10%20months%20(Valenzuela%20et%20al.) Each leaf appears at the end of a straight, strong stem that's also thick and succulent. Just like Colocasia plants, well-watered Alocasia elephant ears will start to sprout in a period of about three to eight weeks whether they are planted indoors or out. They are a large bulb and take time to wake up. Native to the same regions as Colocasia elephant ears, Alocasia plants (hardy in USDA zones 9 through 11, according to the growers at Easy to Grow Bulbs) feature upright leaves similar to the Colocasia, but they grow from a corm, a round subterranean organ that's commonly referred to as a "bulb," though it is not technically a bulb. 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. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. 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