Their most important need is water — they drink a lot to keep the leaves strong and show signs of wilting when they're thirsty. The tubers can be placed directly outdoors once the threat of frost or freezing temperatures in your area has stopped. In warm areas where elephant ears are hardy, simply cut back the plants after freezing and mulch them onto the plants for extra winter protection. If you're in zone 8 and expecting frosty conditions, winter pruning is necessary to keep your plant alive after the winter season.
This variety with fancy leaves prefers shade over partial shade and grows 15 to 20 inches tall and 10 to 14 inches wide.
Can I breed elephants?
If you decide not to plant your elephant ear plants in the ground, growing containers for these plants is perfectly acceptable. Elephant ear is sometimes grown in large containers as patio plants, but it is important to use a flower mix with lots of organic matter that retains moisture. They are ideal as container plants. Raised pots give them even taller stature, but pots should be at least 12 inches in diameter to get the soil mass they need to maintain consistent moisture. Most of these plants prefer rich, moist soil and can be grown in full sun but generally prefer partial shade.
How do giant elephant ears grow?
Esculenta with a matte finish used to be the only type of elephant ear available to gardeners in the Midwest. In recent decades, however, breeding programs have produced many new ornamental varieties. Depending on what type of giant elephant ears you're growing, the plant may need between 2 feet and 10 feet of total space. A large elephant ear, three to five feet tall, with upward, two-foot-wide, dark green leaves that are slightly tousled around the edges. Elephant ears only really thrive in warmer areas, similar to the humid climate of Southeast Asia, and with daytime temperatures of 70 to 85°F and nights not below 60°F.
How do you plant elephant ears outside?
This makes them a great choice for wet areas where gardeners typically struggle to find suitable plants. Consider using perlite to aerate the soil, help drainage, and use containers with plenty of drainage holes for these plants such as moist soil The best way to get an elephant ear to bloom is to place a houseplant in spring after eliminating the threat of frost Free to bring, fertilize the plant and place it in a warm, partially sunny place with plenty of water. Depending on when and where they are planted, it may take you more than a month before you notice signs of growth.
The tubers will not grow until the soil is warm. So don't plant them until the soil temperature is 65°F.