How long does it take for shoots to appear after planting Elephant Ear bulbs?
It normally takes about a week or two if the temperature (especially soil) is fairly warm. This article will help with growing these plants: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/bulbs/elephant-ear/growing-elephant-ear-plants.htm
When is the right time to plant elephant ear bulbs that have been dried and stored all winter?
You want to wait until the soil warms up. The easiest way (and this will sound a bit odd) is when you can stick your hand or finger all the way into the soil and keep it there for the count of 10. If the soil is still too cold, you will not be able to do it.
Typically the soil will be warm enough around the time that night time temps regularly stay above 50F.
I live in zone 6 and we have had some warmer days, and my elephant ears were starting to grow while in storage (they were stored in peat moss and in a Rubbermaid container), so I planted them back into the pot about a week ago and started to give them a little water. They did wonderful last year in these pots and the types are Colossal and Midnight variations. Problem is the weather is going up and down and I don't want to lose them. I set them outside on warmer days and keep them in the heated garage on the cooler days. I know it was kinda early to plant, but there is about 12 inches of white growth that has sprung up. I figured they were ready to go. What are your suggestions to make sure they survive the next couple of weeks until the 60 degree days start? And should I not water them anymore?
They only need to be watered when the soil is dry and do not require as much during cooler conditions as oppsed to warmer ones (which allows the soil to dry quicker). If there is white growth, this is likely mold popping up, which basically means that it is too wet. Back off on the watering. Once the temps warm back up, you can resume your regular watering schedule.
My yardman cut my elephant ear bulbs in half and uprooted some by mistake. How do I know which piece to replant?
To begin with, here's an article containing some info on elephant eat that you might not know: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/bulbs/elephant-ear/storing-elephant-ear-bulbs.htm
The tubers should be planted blunt end down. That being said, it's hard to know how much of the important growing parts of your tubers were damaged. I would plant them all, and see what happens.
I read somewhere I should cut my elephant ear plant down to approx. 6 inches for the winter if there is several days below 20 degrees. So I did. Now spring 2014 is in and looking at the base of the plant is green but the outer layer around the base there is a hard brown/black layer, and some parts are soft and wet. So I pulled the hard brown/black layer parts off and scraped the soft layer parts off. The top of the plant is very wet. What should I do now?
Elephant ear is generally considered a tropical plant, and is not recommended for winters with freezing weather. However, there are some varieties that are cold hardy. If you have one of these, this article explains something about their culture:http://lee.ces.ncsu.edu/2009/06/bending-ears/
You'll need to wait and see if the one you have now survived the winter. It should send up a new sprout from the tuber if it did. if you lose it and want to try one again, this article will tell you how to overwinter them: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/bulbs/elephant-ear/storing-elephant-ear-bulbs.htm
I live in SE Wisconsin. Do I start my elephant ear bulbs indoors or can they be planted directly in the ground? When should they be planted outdoors? Thanks.
You can put them directly outdoors as long as the temps are warm enough. These plants can also be successfully grown in containers, but be sure to provide adequate drainage so the bulbs do not become waterlogged and rot. Here is an article that should help as well: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/bulbs/elephant-ear/growing-elephant-ear-plants.htm
I have just received 2 colocasia esculenta tubers. I've read everywhere you can grow them as houseplants. Now I read they need part sun outdoors (morning or afternoon sun). I live in an apartment with a very large east patio door. It gets full morning sun from sunrise to about 11 am-noon. Will this be enough sun for them to grow enormous inside? My house temps are 72-85 F all year long. As for water, should I let them dry a bit between watering or keep them moist as you would outside?
Yes, elephant ear plants can actually make exceptional houseplants given the proper care. Indoors, they require indirect sunlight most of the day, but even outdoors they enjoy some shade, so semi-bright, indirect light should be fine. Colocasia thrive with lots of humidity too, so mist the plant daily. This is actually more important than the amount of sunlight - too much sun will scorch the leaves. Keep the plant moist, not wet, watering when the top 1/2 inch or so of soil feels dry to the touch. Use a balanced fertilizer (at half strength) every couple weeks, until the onset of winter to allow the plant to go dormant. If desired, you may allow the plant to spend summer outside (on the patio, if feasible), bringing it in before cold weather. Here is more info: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/bulbs/elephant-ear/growing-elephant-ears-indoors.htm