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