elephant ear indoors

vsayre(z8 SC)December 6, 2005

I've moved a very large elephant ear indoors for the winter(it has been in a patio container versus planted in garden). Am wondering will it survive under the right conditions of light, moisture, etc., or does it have a winter dormant period & will die back? ALso, it is currently "dripping" water from it's leaves constantly since I've moved it indoors (approx 2 weeks ago). Is this normal and if so, will it continue to "drip"?? For you experts out there, I would love to know if I'm wasting my time with this endeavor......


~ Vicki from Coastal SC

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raymikematt(z7b SC)

Vicki, what kind of Elephant Ear do you have? Most will do fine planted outside yearound in Coastal South Carolina. In Fact, Colocasia escuelenta, the most common one, has naturalized into swamps in part of the state. Most likely it will go into dormancy. Just keep the bulb or corm cool and dry and coat it in a little fungcide or sulfer and you should be fine.
Not sure what the drips are unless condensation is forming on the leaves for some reason.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 6:58PM
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Must be losing some water from it's leaves - maybe from the house being so dry? Their leaves hold some water, not a like a succulent but just a tad; the stems are thick and if you sliced thru them, you would see that they are a bit watery. Do you know what kind of EE you have? The common one, esculenta, like Raymikematt suggested, or another one, like an alocasia. I do know that the colocasias like a little more water in the winter than the alocasias do. There has been mention of tuber dessication in the total absence of water. I mean, you don't want to drown it, but you might add a nice big cupful whenever the pot feels light, like it's dried out?

I just check my closely, and when they have been without water for a week or two (they dry out faster than you think if your house is heated), I add a little water. If it's a big pot, I don't add as much water, just enough around the roots so it will soak down about 6" or so. If it's a small pot, I water it and let it drain real good. So far, this is working for me. DON'T fertilize or anything.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 8:00PM
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Grant(6a - ON, Canada)

Hi Vicki, the good news is that it is normal for some EE to drip from the tip of the leaves shortly after being watered. I grow several alocasia as house plants and they tend to drip a little just after watering. Since you mentioned your plant is very big I am guessing that this may be the type of EE you are growing also - perhaps an A. macrorrhiza or odora? I am not sure about colocasia and xanthosoma but my guess would be that they would do the same thing. I find alocasia in general need well draining soil and prefer to be well watered then allowed to dry out somewhat between waterings. Xanthsoma and colocasia prefer to have the soil constantly moist but not overly wet unless the temps are really warm. As raymikematt and Susan mentioned it would be really helpful to identify the plant so you will know how to care for it properly. Once you know what type of plant you have then you can do a search on the web and find out more regarding how to care for it.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 11:46PM
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Hey, Grant - haven't seen you hanging out here before? Welcome, welcome! I love the EEs, but I'm a newbie. Having gotten a lot of advice on overwintering my EEs that just didn't get planted outside this summer. They would be hardy in the ground here, but I dilly-dallied around too long and it got too late to do it. So, they are overwintering in the containers in a dark room, with just enough water to keep the tubers from dessicating.

What do you grow? and you, too, Vicki? We love to have newcomers!


    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 8:14PM
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