Elephant Ear Bulbs - what do I do now?

rhrohdeNovember 3, 2010

We planted some elephant ears this summer, after buying the bulbs on close-out for 50 cents. We were very surprised and happy on what they grew into! But now, after searching the internet, I am still wondering what to do. I cut off the growth and dug up the bulbs as I read they would not survive up here in Wisconson in the ground over winter. There are 4 parts I am not sure on...

1. Roots - the spaghetti like roots. I assume I should cut these off. Correct?

2. The old bulb - 1 of them separated from its new growth and hte other 2 are still attached. Do I save these and replant? Should I separate from the new growth or keep attached?

3. The stalks - cut them off about 4-6" above ground and now they are drying out. How much of these do I cut off?

4. What I'll call the 'new bulb'. This is above the old root and immediately connected to the stem/leaves. Is this the new bulb that gets planted?

Any help would be appreciated. I have a pic and will try to figure out how to post it. If I do, I'll post the link here.



Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Link to picture:

Click on the small dot above the word Elephant and you will get my pic.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 8:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm no expert, but I hope this helps...

1. Yes, trim the roots - and wash off all the dirt.

2. Save the old corm that is detached, it may produce another plant. It would probably be a good idea to put Rooting hormone on the new corm where it was attached. The hormone has a fungicide which could prevent rot from starting at that point. Leave the others attached.

3. From your photo, it looks like you have cut them about as short as needed. The petiole stubs will dry up, one by one, and you can remove them as they do.

4 Yes, that is what you plant next year.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2010 at 1:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Very difficult to tell what you are growing from the photo of the tubers Rick but it is likely Colocasia esculenta. This is the most commonly grown form of "elephant ear.

Despite common misconceptions, you do not have a bulb or a corm, your plant is growing from a tuber since all the roots grow from the top. Read the link below and it will tell you the differences. All aroids grow from tubers, not corms or bulbs.

Your plant could also be a Xanthosoma or one of several other genera. Look at this link and hopefully you can tell the difference. Tubers, bulbs and corms all all very different physically despite the fact they are all starch storage units and underground stems.


There are hundreds of leaf forms to this species due to natural variation.

Sounds like you did it right.


Here is a link that might be useful: bulbs, corms, tubers, stems, etc

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 2:30AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
How to manage Alocasia poly tubers?
As the lower leaves on my Alocasia poly died over time,...
A. Konjac - what should I expect
Here is a picture of my A. Konjac that I purchased...
Anyone growing Philodendron pedatum?
I just recently purchased a juvenile Philodendron pedatum. It...
Amorphophallus titanum leaf cutting
I've had good success with this process (100% for 4...
Aglaonema rescue
I just got this off the discount rack at Loews. It...
Sponsored Products
Hampton Bay Brass Lamps: 26.625 in. Antique Brass and Charcoal Table Lamp with M
$74.97 | Home Depot
Haze Rug 5'3" x 7'5" - MADDER
$569.00 | Horchow
Woodbridge Lighting 1-light Antique Silver Bath Sconce
Design House Madison Widespread Lavatory Faucet - 525816
$179.99 | Hayneedle
60" Taren Bamboo Double Vanity for Semi-Recessed Sinks
Signature Hardware
Fab Collection White Tech Lighting Mini Pendant
Euro Style Lighting
Genova Linear Suspension by Quoizel
$499.99 | Lumens
Round Shade Bedroom Simple Table Lamp
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™