Top Questions About Elephant Ear Plants

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Questions About Elephant Ear Plants

Asked by
gloriam on
June 15, 2014

Q. Proper planting and care of elephant ear plants

Sorry in advance for asking several questions. Just given a large elephant ear plant as a gift. It has what looks like two, thick separate stalks but could it be one tuber? I live in NYC, so I know the plant cannot be outside in the winter. I am considering planting it in a large aluminum container rather than in the ground so I can bring it indoors for the winter. Do you advise that? Is it possible to keep it indoors and continue to grow? Is it better to cut it down or let the leaves die and store it in my basement, although it can get cold there also? Thank you for your help in advance.

Answered by
theficuswrangler on
June 18, 2014
A.

It's possible that the plant is growing from 2 tubers, but probably it's one tuber that's sent up 2 stems.
In your area, you're going to want to keep it in a container, and put it outside during the warm months, and bring it in for the winter. This article has more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/bulbs/elephant-ear/growing-elephant-ears-indoors.htm

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Asked by
Anthony Johnson on
July 2, 2014

Q. Why do I have a yellow leaf on my elephant ear plant

Fort Worth, TX – Why do I have a yellow leaf on my elephant ear plant?

Answered by
theficuswrangler on
July 3, 2014
A.

One yellow leaf doesn't usually mean much other than that the leaf got old. Plant leaves get old and worn out, and don't work very well anymore, so the plant pulls out the materials that are in it for use elsewhere, and let's the leaf go. You might want to dig with a shovel to check the soil moisture, it shouldn't be too dry or too mucky. Here's an article on elephant ears that might be useful to you: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/bulbs/elephant-ear/growing-elephant-ear-plants.htm

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Asked by
Lanie20012001us on
July 10, 2014

Q. What can I do for wilting and brown elephant ears

I planted them in my gardens and some of them have wilted and turned brown.

Answered by
theficuswrangler on
July 12, 2014
A.

There are many species of elephant ear, with differing needs, so the first thing is to make sure yours has the light specified on the plant tag. The next thing is moisture -- elephant ears require moist soil, but even they can be drowned. Too much moisture and too little moisture can result in brown and wilted plants. This article tells you how to determine the moisture in the soil: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/testing-moisture-in-plants.htm
Here are a couple of articles with more information on elephant ear plants: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/bulbs/elephant-ear/growing-elephant-ear-plants.htm
http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/giam/plants_and_grasses/houseplants_foliage/elephant_ears.html

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Asked by
greenthumb10 on
August 6, 2014

Q. elephant ear plant

I repositioned the plant from morning sun to no sun at all but some leaves are still burning. I make sure the plant is well saturated.

Answered by
theficuswrangler on
August 7, 2014
A.

This article discusses some reasons for leaf burning for you to evaluate. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/bulbs/elephant-ear/elephant-ear-brown-edges.htm
One other thing that isn't mentioned in the article is age of leaves -- if the browning is on the older leaves, that could be the cause.

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Asked by
sborissenko on
October 21, 2014

Q. stems of my elephant ear plant broke

All of the stems of my large elephant ear plant broke off while moving into house. The central stem is now completely brown and dry. Is it dead or can it be revived?

Answered by
theficuswrangler on
October 21, 2014
A.

If the plant had been growing in a pot the whole time, it should send up some new leaves eventually. If you dug it up from the ground, if you brought enough root, it should be able to send up new leaves. Of course the dead, brown parts can't be "revived;" they are dead. The only thing the plant can do is grow new leaves. This article has tips on successfully keeping elephant ear indoors. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/bulbs/elephant-ear/growing-elephant-ears-indoors.htm

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Asked by
shina masingo on
October 29, 2014

Q. elephant ear bulbs too big

I have elephant ears and they are so big – the bulbs are 2 foot long. Can I cut them in half and replant? I store them for the winter. The bulbs are about 10 years old, but they’re just so big.

Answered by
theficuswrangler on
October 30, 2014
A.

There are many many varieties of elephant ears, in many different sizes. You apparently have a large one, and one that is hardy in your area, which is kind of rare. I'm assuming that this is the first time you've dug the tubers (they are technically tubers rather than bulbs.) You can break off smaller tubers that are emerging from the big main tuber, but the big main tuber should be left as is. Since you've left them in the soil over the winter, you can probably rebury them around 6" deep, then cover with up to 1' chopped up leaves for a mulch. You might want to overwinter some of them in a dark place, following these guidelines: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/bulbs/elephant-ear/storing-elephant-ear-bulbs.htm

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Asked by
robinholly on
November 2, 2014
Zone 7

Q. Should I remove elephant ear and caladiums in my area

Just need to know if my elephant ears and caladiums need to be taken out of the ground in the northwestern part of South Carolina? Or can they be heavily mulched and survive staying outside? Thanks!

Answered by
theficuswrangler on
November 3, 2014
A.

Caladium and elephant ears are both tropical plants; the standard warning for temperatures is nothing below 55 - 45F, although sometimes they can withstand a few hours 38 - 32F. Kind of a broad range, because there can be a variation between cultivars and individual plants. In your area, which is sort of on the border, some people would recommend you to dig them up and overwinter indoors, others would say you can keep them outdoors under heavy mulch. If you have enough plants, you could try both approaches, just to see what happens. If you bring in the caladiums, treat them the same as the elephant ears.
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/bulbs/bgen/storing-bulbs-in-south.htm
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/bulbs/elephant-ear/storing-elephant-ear-bulbs.htm

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