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Black elephant ear plant care
I love elephant ear plants. They have beautiful, elegant, long, thin leaves with a rich green color, and this plant grows from a ball-like seed that takes months to germinate. After it grows into a clump, it can grow up to 18 inches in diameter, so it is perfect for a patio or balcony. It’s an easy plant to grow, and is drought tolerant. It’s not always easy to maintain, but when you do, it is well worth the effort. Here are some basic instructions to keep your elephant ear plant healthy, happy, and beautiful.
What is elephant ear plant?
I know I’m not the only person in the world that loves these plants, as they are called “elephant ear” because of their shape. Here in Northern California, our elephant ear plants grow all year long in summer and winter. They are a perennial that lives for years, and can be planted in the spring, summer, or fall. It has soft, thin leaves with a rich green color that grows about 3 feet tall. It can be grown in pots or in the ground. Elephant ear plants do not really need light to grow, however, they need a lot of water, about a gallon a week. They will grow tall in the summer, but if you water them in the winter and spring, they will look bushy and compact in the winter, and tall and slender in the spring.
They grow from a ball-shaped, deep yellow seed that will sit on the ground for months. After the seed germinates in the soil, the plant will grow into a clump, and in the winter, will turn brown. Elephant ear plants need more fertilizer in the spring and summer, and less in the winter. I grow mine from potting mix in a 4-inch pot, which gets about 2 gallons of water per week. I plant in the fall and overwinter, and then in spring, plant into a larger pot and water regularly, so it is hardy enough to winter outdoors. I do a lot of testing to get these plants to survive through winter because in the cold, wet weather, they tend to be more vulnerable to disease and pests. You can learn more about growing these plants by reading my blog post here.
How to plant elephant ears:
Plant a 4-inch pot of potting soil in the fall.
Fill pot about halfway, and then add compost on top.
Bury dirt and roots in the pot so only the top of the pot is visible.
Fill pot with soil, up to the lip of the pot.
Wipe clean your finger, and hold it over the pot, and when dirt on the root shows, it is too deep. Soak the root, tap it to make sure it is dry, then pull the dirt down to the top of the soil, gently pushing it to the sides. Plant the rhizomes at the dirt line.
Once you have planted your first pot of rhizomes, add soil to the top of the container, then carefully cut out the bottom of the pot to create a flat surface to plant on. This will create a drain hole for any excess water.
Water the pot every week, and allow the soil to dry out between watering.
When soil on the bottom of the pot is dry, add more soil on top, and keep it watered until roots appear.
Elephant ears grow in 6 to 12 weeks, but you can expect the rhizomes to be about 1 foot tall when they start to produce.
As elephant ear grows, the leaves will turn yellow. You can pinch off the growing tips to encourage growth of multiple leaves or keep the plant with few leaves.
Elephant ear has a flower, but I don’t like how small the flower is. The flowers look much better on smaller varieties like spider plant. This isn’t bad, but I’d much rather have a larger plant.
If you’d like to grow your own elephant ears, make sure you keep an eye out for them to have new leaves every week. When they have new leaves, cut off the tops to encourage growth of new foliage.
When your elephant ear starts to produce more leaves, you’ll need to repot. This time, don’t take out the whole pot. Remove only a section that you can fit the new pot into.
You may want to add a pot with some new dirt to your growing area to begin planting your new elephant ear. In this way, you’ll create a growing environment that is easier to care for, and you can repot again when you want.
When elephant ear plants start to flower, you’ll need to divide your plants into multiple plants so that you can have a big growing area and also plant new plants in new pots. You don’t want the same plant growing out over a larger area and taking over your other plantings.
This plant has nice leaves and the flower is pretty, but you may want to try some new varieties to see what you like better. Some varieties of elephant ears have flowers that look more interesting to you.
There are many varieties of elephant ears available to you. The more variety, the more possible it is for you to find an elephant ear you like. You don’t want your plant to grow only a single type of elephant ear that looks the same every time you see it.
When choosing the elephant ear you’ll grow, make sure it has multiple varieties so you can grow a nice looking plant every time you look out at your garden.
The first step in growing your own elephant ear is to choose the variety you want to plant. Find a variety that you like and that has nice leaves and flowers.
Next, plant the elephant ear in a garden area you are comfortable with. You’ll have the time to move it around in the garden as needed, and repot it when you’re ready.
Remember to give the plants the same amount of sun and water they got the first time you planted them in the growing area.
You’ll need to check your elephant ear every day to see if the plant needs a drink. You may need to give the plant some fresh water in a couple of weeks.
Don’t wait too long to water your elephant ear plant. Watering your elephant ear plant is a daily process and it may even need more water to stay alive. Wait until your plant needs water before you water it. If it hasn’t already given off leaves then it needs water.
Another thing you need to know about watering elephant ear plants is to make sure that you give each of your plants the same amount of water each day. Every plant grows at a different rate, so make sure you water your elephant ear every day.
Watering elephant ear is important because elephant ear can take days to dry out. If the plant dries out too quickly it may not survive the upcoming summer.