Marie is a certified master gardener and has a Ph.D. in anatomy from Temple University School of Medicine. Just like Colocasia plants, well-watered Alocasia elephant ears will start to sprout in a period of about three to eight weeks whether they are planted indoors or out. This plant is native to tropical and sub-tropical areas. Black elephant ears are no different. Elephant ears usually sprout three to eight weeks from planting. They are borne atop sturdy, succulent leaf stalks. Most elephant ears are fast growers and can be 6' tall or more - which simply means they get thirsty to sustain that growth. Whether you're growing elephant ears in pots indoors or mammoth elephant ears in containers outdoors, you can expect quick growth, but there's some variety to specific sprouting speeds. Difference Between Broad Leafed Plants Vs. Grasses, University of Wisconsin-Madison Master Gardener Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison Master Gardener Program: Elephant Ears (Colocasia, Alocasia, and Xanthosoma), Horticulture: Colocasia Esculenta, or Elephant Ear, for the Garden, Easy to Grow Bulbs: Alocasia/Colocasia Planting Guide, Hortology: Alocasia Zebrina Tiger - Elephant Ear, Missouri Botanical Garden: Alocasia (group), Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International: Xanthosoma Sagittifolium (Elephant Ear), Missouri Botanical Garden: Xanthosoma sagittifolium. 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. Xanthosoma is a fast grower just like its brethren. If you live in the warmer areas of the state, grow the elephant ear in the shade. When do elephant ears sprout? She has also published in hobbyist offerings such as The Hobstarand The Bagpiper. In cooler areas (zones 3-8) they are usually grown as annuals. Sprouting occurs when the weather begins to warm in spring. However, when grown in tropical climates, tannia can reach heights of up to 9 feet with leaves up to 4 feet long and 3 feet wide. Given the easy maintenance requirements, the Elephant ear plant can always be grown at the comfort of your homes. This type of elephant ear is native to south Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Guinea, Australia and the Pacific Islands, with the taro plant (Colocasia esculenta, which grows in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 8, per Horticulture – most other Colocasia varieties grow in zones 9 through 11) being one of the more popular varieties, with over 200 cultivars grown for both its culinary and ornamental qualities. However, if you do find a large red seed pod developing on your elephant ear, you can plant the seed. 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. Zones: In warm climates, similar to their native humid and tropical Southeast Asia, elephant ears will grow as perennials. Alocasia plants can quickly reach heights of about 1.5 to 3 feet, per the growers at Hortology. Elephant ears typically like a sunny spot in the garden. Dan combines his decade-long experience as a freelance writer with hands-on experience in landscaping, flooring, painting, maritime maintenance and handyman work. Despite the variety in genera, all three types of elephant ears share some common growth trends. Wait until there’s no chance of frost occurring overnight so the plant won’t get damaged. 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. How climate affects elephant ears: Fully hardy in Zones 9 to 11 My Elephant Ears are Taking Over! Xanthosoma is a fast grower just like its brethren. 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. Like the Alocasia, they grow from a corm. During winters, lower the water intake and trim your leaves every once in a while. Small and medium sized Elephant Ears should be spaced 18-24 in. To speed up the process, you can start them inside and move them outdoors once it warms up. Each leaf appears at the end of a straight, strong stem that's also thick and succulent. 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. The tip on watering is to keep the roots moist - … If you’re planning to grow it as a houseplant, first get a large post of around 14 to 20 inches. Her work has appeared in health, medical and scientific publications such as Endocrinology and Journal of Cell Biology. In warm, frost-free climates (zones 9-11), elephant ears can be grown outdoors year-round. How Can I Tell if My Hens & Chicks Plant Is a Perennial or a Houseplant? 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. Even the stems deliver impressive colors. 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. 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. Inside, it will not grow as big because of a relative lack of sunlight. Elephant's ears offer some of the boldest foliage you could ever want in a garden. The mammoth leaves can be more than 3 feet long on plants that can grow higher than 6 feet tall. On the tail end, expect top growth in a maximum of eight weeks. Click to see full answer Keeping this in consideration, will elephant ears grow in sandy soil? Elephant ear plants grow from a swollen stem similar to a bulb but known as a corm. Elephant ears are tropical plants that can overwinter in the right conditions. Wait until the red seed pod bursts open and looks like a white, inside-out version of itself. In winter, when its growth slows, withhold fertilizer and reduce watering to give the plant a rest. Fans of foliage plants should be well aware of the elephant ear’s charms. apart (45-60 cm), tall Elephant Ear varieties (over 5 ft. or 150 cm) about 3-4 ft. apart (90-120 cm). They are herbaceous perennials in warm climates. They will sprout faster in warmer climates than in cooler climates. They also require high soil fertility, so gardeners with sandy fast-draining soils are going to need to amend with compost or grow elephant ears in containers. 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. Keep the soil barely moist but not wet. Most elephant ears will grow to be at least 4 feet wide, so give them space! When planted in spring, they become big, impressive plants within just a few months, so be sure to give them plenty of room. Elephant ears usually sprout three to eight weeks from planting. It can take Elephant Ear bulbs 3 weeks to sprout. All types of plants can make good additions to a home garden, including those grown for foliage rather than flowers. Also like Colocasia, they'll rest for a few months between growing cycles, losing leaves before growing speedily in the warm seasons. 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. Indoor growing is a practical method for new plants, especially when potted in the early spring. Bulbs can be started indoor 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost to give them a head start. 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. Likewise, how fast do elephant ears spread? 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' species name, esculentia, is the same term that gives us the word "esculent," meaning edible. Start them about 6 weeks before last frost. 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. Elephant ears need a constant supply of water. At maturity, the Xanthosoma sagittifolium – the variety of Xanthosoma most commonly dubbed "tannia" or "elephant ear," hardy to USDA zones 8, 9 and 10 per the Missouri Botanical Garden – only reaches heights and spreads of about 2 to 4 feet, making it a more compact plant than the other elephant ear genera when grown in the U.S. When started in an outdoor bed or an indoor container and generously watered, top growth begins to appear in as soon as three weeks. Repotting - Léon & George’s Elephant’s Ears plants come in 10” or 12” grow pots and only need to be repotted every few years if you notice the roots outgrowing the pot, or to refresh the soil and give it new nutrients. Generally speaking, elephant ears show their first growth three to eight weeks after planting. Elephant ear plants, which are grown from tuberous rhizomes, can reach impressive sizes quickly. Plant one inch deep in pots large enough to accommodate the bulbs, use a good quality potting soil. Elephant ears are known for growing into large, towering bushes of leaves that quickly become a pillar of a bush. Native to the same regions as Colocasia elephant ears, Alocasia plants (hardy in USDA zones 9 through 11, according to the growers at Easy to Grow Bulbs) feature upright leaves similar to the Colocasia, but they grow from a corm, a round subterranean organ that's commonly referred to as a "bulb," though it is not technically a bulb. In southern areas, they can remain in the ground over winter. Once it sprouts, a growing Elephant ear plant can grow at a fast pace. Previously, he's published with Black+Decker, Geeks On Home, GardenGuides.com, GOBankingRates.com, USA Today and others. This tropical Arum is an excellent choice for pond edges, lightly shaded areas and as screens for hiding unsightly items. According to the [Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International,](https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/56989#:~:text=This%20species%20can%20form%20mature,10%20months%20(Valenzuela%20et%20al.) Planting distance varies with the size of your Elephant Ear plants. for the plant to first emerge. They also do well n the shade. At maturity, the Missouri Botanical Garden reports that these plants can reach heights of up to 6 feet with spreads of up to 6 feet too. Joanne Marie began writing professionally in 1981. They are a large bulb and take time to wake up. Posted by auggie on 4/14/14 at 7:11 pm to Rex Elephant Ears are mostly known as Taro, or Gabe in The Philippines, that might help. The answer depends on where you want the Elephant ears to grow. is one of the most interesting and versatile, valued for its enormous and often colorful leaves that give the plant its name. 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. To get an idea of your elephant ears' growth prospects, you first need to know the type of elephant ears with which you're dealing. Growing Elephant Ears Outdoors. For starters, a typical one can begin to grow in a pot that’s about 36 inches in diameter, with about an inch between the soil and the top of the pot. Why are my elephant ears turning yellow? how fast do they grow from bulbs? At maturity in their native habitats, the waxy, upright leaves of Colocasia elephant ears can grow about 2 or 3 feet wide, with varieties like Colocasia gigantea 'Thailand Giant' sporting leaves up to 5 feet long and 4 feet wide. The answer depends on where you want the Elephant ears to grow. [1] X Research source The ideal daytime temperature will be around 70 °F (21 °C). Is your elephant ear bulb not growing? They thrive with full sun, heat, and high humidity. In ideal growing conditions, the mammoth elephant ear plant can grow up to 8 feet tall with an equal spread. Growth will continue through the warm seasons. Unlike its elephant ear cousins, Xanthosoma plants are native to the tropical regions of America. (The bigger the bulb the deeper it goes.) In fact, elephant ears are an important food source in warm climates around the world. Planting: When planting new elephant ears or re-planting for the spring, set corms in the garden when nighttime temperatures are consistently 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they will be smaller in size when grown as a seasonal plant. 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. Though collectively dubbed "elephant ears," this casual identifier actually refers to three different genera of plants: Colocasia, Alocasia and Xanthosoma, as the University of Wisconsin-Madison Master Gardener Program points out. Elephant ear corms or rhizomes can be dug up in fall, before frost arrives, and stored over winter in a cool, dry indoor spot. Plant this easy-to-grow collection as a backdrop for bright flowers, or create a lush living wall that’s deer-resistant and rabbit-resistant. Caladiums and Elephant Ears (Colocasia) range from 12” to 60” tall, creating a perfectly graduated display in gardens or containers. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Use a balanced fertilizer on your elephant ear plant every 2 weeks and your plant will grow fast. The elephant's ear plant is terrific, lush, jungly bedding plant for growing outside over summer with other large-leaved plants like cannas and Trachycarpus fortunei. Mammoth elephant ear plants grow best in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 through 11, where the average annual minimum temperature is at least 20 degrees F. Outside of these zones, the mammoth elephant ear plant can be grown as an annual. The plants grow 4 to 8 feet in height and do well in Texas. Especially fast-growing, this plant can fill in spaces in a flower bed or border quickly. Easy to grow Elephant Ear plants are a large leaved member of the Caladium family. Plant in the spring when nighttime temperatures are above 50 °F (10 °C). 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. After planting your Elephant Ears, have patience. In healthy conditions, expect this elephant ear to reach full maturity from a crom in about 14 to 20 weeks. But if you grow this plant outside in partial shade, it will thrive and grow to its full potential height. Elephant Ears needs room to grow. These massive plants may grow up to 6 feet tall with leaves that span 2 feet in diameter. WHERE TO PLANT ELEPHANT EARS A big, bold, textural and architectural foliage plant, Colocasia gigantea 'Thailand Giant' (Giant Elephant Ear) is a tuberous, frost-tender perennial boasting huge, heart-shaped, blue-green leaves, up to 4-6 ft. long (120-180 cm) and 3-5 ft. wide (90-150 cm). Elephant ears typically like a sunny spot in the garden. If the ground is cold and you see no signs of sprouting, the bulb may have suffered and it could be damaged beyond repair. Plant 4-6 inches deep. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. While elephant ears can be grown from seed, they are most commonly – and effectively, whether you're growing your elephant ear plant indoors or outdoors – grown from rooted plants, bulbs or corms. This is often in April or May. In fact, its average height will usually fall between two feet and ten feet. The elephant ear plant (Alocasia spp.) Care for them correctly, and you can start a whole new crop of elephant ears next spring. Note: The Elephant Ears plant is poisonous to children and pets. Do Alocasia Elephant Ears Have Seeds? The elephant ear plant will do well in full sun if you get the right species. Black elephant ears are no different. In healthy conditions, expect this elephant ear to reach full maturity from a crom in about 14 to 20 weeks. Potting and soil: Mast says that the most important thing to remember about potting an elephant ears plant is to find a vessel that gives it space to grow, since it can span from 2 to 10 feet tall. Colocasia reaches heights of about 4 feet. Can You Put an Elephant Ear in the Dirt & Grow Roots? 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. Elephant ear plants are native to tropical Asia and derived their name from their huge, 2-foot-wide, 3-foot-long, heart-shaped leaves. Elephant ear flower seeds are only viable a short time, so if you want to plant them, harvest the pods and use them as soon as possible. You can grow all three genera of elephant ears as annuals, but those hardy to colder temps can be kept through the winter season too. In cooler areas, they will need to be replanted each year. Tip: If you want to speed up the process, plant your bulbs in a pot inside a few weeks before early spring. Plant Propagation: Elephant ears grow well in an organically-rich soil for the best and fastest growth, For the size of the foliage, these are some of the fastest growing plants around. Super fast draining, low moisture soils are not the place to grow them. If you see any brown leaves, cut them before they increase in number and make sure to water your plant regularly to prevent that from happening. Now fill, around 75% of this pot with any simple and lightweight soil mix, and then gently transfer the plant in it. Missouri Botanical Garden: Alocasia (Group), Plant Delights Nursery: Cool Colocasias -- Elephant Ears for the Garden, U.S. Department of Agriculture: Plant Hardiness Zone Map. A: Elephant ears, either colocasia or alocasia are tropical plants, hardy in Zones 9-11, and are grown as annuals in the Lehigh Valley. The elephant ear grows either from a specialized bulb called a corm or from an underground stem, or rhizome, depending on the type. For newly planted elephant ears, which are placed close to the surface of the soil, it typically only takes a few weeks for the first leaves to appear. Alocasia odora is also known as elephant ear plant because of its colossally huge leaves and the general shape of the foliage. Huge, heart-shaped leaves come in black, purple, emerald green, chartreuse, yellow, or a mix of colors. 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