Tips For Growing Elephant Ear Plants: Elephant ear plants are among the most commonly grown houseplants in the world. These tropical beauties offer an interesting focal point to nearly any room, with their large bulbous leaves and exotic look. The plant is actually a member of the dracaena family, which makes it perfect for those who have pets that might be interested in eating!
The most common elephant ear plant has green and yellow stripes running down its leaves, making it appear similar to a corn plant or even a lily pad. This variety is known as Alocasia sanderiana , but there are dozens of other types available. They’re easy-to-please houseplants that don’t require too much care – just occasional light trimming and feeding will keep them happy!
There are many other plants that look like elephant ear plants, but they aren’t actually related. If you’re curious about your plant’s family tree, make sure to read the tips below before you try to grow elephant ear plants.
Caring for Your Elephant Ear Plant
Like most houseplants, elephant ear plants prefer bright rooms with indirect sunlight. However, these tropical beauties can do well in low-light areas as well. Keep an eye out for browning leaves – if the lower leaf surfaces start turning dark or blackish brown , increase light exposure. A south-facing window should ensure adequate lighting for your plant’s needs!
Make sure your plant isn’t sitting directly on a cold windowsill or in drafty room. Warmth is a key factor for elephant ear plants, so keep temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, especially during the winter months.
Water your plant regularly and thoroughly to ensure that it’s always growing in damp soil . The proper leaves of an elephant ear plant should be plump and firm – any limp or flaccid leaves are definitely signs of dehydration! Pinch off brown spots periodically to encourage fuller, healthier foliage. If you’ve been wondering how often do you water indoor plants , check out the infographic below:
Elephant Ear Plant Feeding
Feed your potted elephant ear plant about once every other month during its active growing season (spring through fall). Use a balanced liquid fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. If your soil is poorly drained, fertilize less frequently or dilute fertilizer by half.
Repotting Elephant Ear Plants
Generally speaking, elephant ear plants don’t need to be repotted very often. However, if the plant has outgrown its original pot, it may start to develop root rot on the lower leaves and will eventually begin to look anemic. To redress this problem, simply transplant your plant into a larger container with fresh soil.
If you follow these few easy steps for growing elephant ear plants , there’s no reason why they shouldn’t stay healthy and happy in their new home!
Elephant Ears Gardening Uses
There are dozens of species of elephant ear plants, but they’re all quite similar in appearance and care. The indoor gardening techniques outlined above will work for almost any type of potted elephant ear plant.
The most common type is Alocasia sanderiana , which has dark green leaves with a yellow-green midrib. It’s also known as the black stem plant or alocasia macrorrhiza . There are other variations on this plant with variegated foliage – one has gray-white stripes and the other has maroon veins throughout its leaves.
In addition to being used as houseplants, elephant ears can also be grown outdoors in USDA zones 8 through 10. If you live outside that range, it’s still possible to grow elephant ears, but you’ll have to move them indoors during the cold months.
The most commonly grown type of elephant ear plant is Alocasia sanderiana , also known as black stem elephant ear plant or alocasia macrorrhiza . Alocasias are tropical plants that can’t tolerate frost and require lots of light. Since they’re so often used as houseplants, there’s no reason why you can’t grow one yourself!
Planting Elephant Ear Bulbs
If you want to try growing elephant ear bulbs, there are a few factors to consider before you begin. Keep reading for details on how and when to plant elephant ear bulbs:
Sunlight: Elephant ears can grow in low light conditions, but they’ll produce more and larger leaves if they receive at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. For best results, move your plant outside during the summer months or provide it with artificial lighting indoors. Here’s a list of common household lamps that emit the full spectrum of light needed by indoor plants .
Watering: Just as yellowing leaves signal dehydration , drooping leaves mean that your plant is overwatered. When in doubt about whether or not to water an elephant ear bulb, wait until the soil is dry before you water it again. As a general rule, potted elephant ear plants should be watered once every other day in the summer months and only once or twice a week during colder weather .
Temperature: Elephant ears thrive when temperatures are tropical. When the fall sets in, move your plant to an indoor location that’s protected from drafts and cold air vents. Potted elephant ear plants can survive in average home temperatures, but you’ll have much better results if you keep them somewhere around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius).
Elephant Ear Plant Problems
Before we go over how to grow elephant ear plants, let’s talk about some of the problems that could arise while they’re indoors:
Root Rot: This occurs when soil is kept soggy for prolonged periods. Roots will turn black and die, and the plant will slowly wither and die if it’s not repotted in fresh soil.
Leaf Drop: Elephant ear plants shed their leaves in response to a change in light levels or a change of location within the house . If this happens indoors, move your plant to a more suitable position and keep an eye on new growth that emerges from below the leaf drop. Leaf loss can also be caused by over-watering , so remember to let your plant dry out between thorough watering.
Pests: Aphids are tiny insects with bright pink bodies.