How do I plant elephant's ear?

sven556(z5 Kansas)March 26, 2001

I am planning a small bog this spring made from a large rubbermaid storage container. How do I plant taro? also, should I put holes in the bottom of this container, if so what size and how many?



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lindainnc(7b NC)

Stephen..if you are speaking of the giant leaf elephant's ear, then I wouldn't put them in the water. I did that the first year I had my pond and they rotted real quick. The water taro is ok.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2001 at 7:44AM
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sven556(z5 Kansas)

I wasn't going to have it in water the bog would just keep the soil fairly moist. and yes it is an elephant's ear.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2001 at 9:42PM
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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

I planted my Elephant's Ear already in a pot which I keep moist. I intend to put it in a fairly shady part of my garden near a fountain. It is my understanding that it often takes many weeks before it starts to sprout. Mine has been planted for 3 weeks now, and I do not see any evidence of sprouting. So,...I wait and wait and wait....

    Bookmark   April 12, 2002 at 8:53PM
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maleko(USDA 9)

There are two genuses of plants known as elephant's ear. alocasia and colocasia. Alocasia is the taro that is grown in standing water all over the Pacific as a food plant and of which many new culivars are popular ornamentals for ponds and bogs. Many have dark puple or almost black is natvie to Asia and Polynesia. Colocasia is the genus of the Giant elephants'ear and 'african mask' grown as a house plant. It is native to Central and South America. Colocasia will rot in water. Alocasia will grow in moist soil as well as standing water, so it does not matter too much which you have. Just keep it very moist, but not in standing water in case it is Colocasia.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2002 at 9:03PM
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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

Thank you, Maleko. That is just the information we needed. I have 3 colocasia, and had thought about putting it into my bog pond. You have probably saved them from a very moist death.

Now I have to find an alocasia for my pond. Will it take the direct sun?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2002 at 10:04PM
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I think the hardest part is getting the elephant to lie down on it's side !

    Bookmark   April 18, 2002 at 12:03PM
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I just bought a black colocasia on eBay and the instructions said it could be planted in standing water! Phew! Glad I read this thread! I planted it in a big pot of garden soil mixed with peat moss...was planning to satuarate it to the point that it was sort of a baby bog. Will I kill it this way??? Help! I planted three in the garden last year and they croked...I REALLY want this one to GROW! I put the pot at the edge of the woodland garden (ok, garden to be!).

    Bookmark   May 31, 2002 at 11:01PM
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Well time for me to cleer this up, there are 3 genuses known as elephant ear, colocasia, alocasia, and xanthisoma colocasia like to be in water up to 6 in. alocasia just like to be moist as well as xanthisoma they can be in water just have do dry out a little every once in a while just not bone dry, and just keep their feet wet, with the pot sticking out of the water when planting colocasia bulbs, sprout them first in drier dirt then into the water, kinda complicated but it is better than loosing a verry cool plant! and think im just 14 and already know more than you!, just kidding, john

    Bookmark   June 1, 2002 at 10:02AM
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lovemyhubby(5 IL.)

I have to disagree John. I think that is very bad advice. I have a black colocasia and it can not be in water or it will die. It likes well drained good soil like you would find in the tropics but not dried out. I keep mine moist but not standing water. Just by the side of the house with the other plants. If you people are having them die I would sugest to go to the nearest cow farmer and bring a bucket of already composted manure home. Mix it half and half with sand and peatmoss and dig a big hole. Plant it to the depth it sais and it should sprout and thrive like crazy. My green ones do great in this also.
Good luck. Tasha

    Bookmark   June 5, 2002 at 1:03PM
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Luvwest(z6b NW-AR)

Water or not water? Now I am confused. I have grown regular old EE's for years, just stuck them in the flower bed on the east side of the house and they did great. Never dug them up or anything. Then one year none came up. Last year I started collecting the colored taros. Planted them in the ground too, just a moister spot. They did fine. This year I found a new nursery that raises water plants, water lilies, Louisiana Iris, lotus etc. She had 2 new taro's that I bought starts from. She said to pot them in plain old dirt. Put gravel on top and put them in as much as 6 inches of water. So far they are doing great.

When my mom was in Florida she said she saw wild EE's growing along the St Lawrence river. Growing in the water I do know that my alocasia 'african mask' does not like too much water. Have never tried growing a giant EE in water, but they do like it moist.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2002 at 1:56PM
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Maybe you guys could tell me why, let me start again, I got 2 elephant's ear bulbs this spring, Planted them side by side in 2 containers, put then in the greenhouse and now one is about 2 foot tall and the other has not even tried to start. The bulb is still firm with little bumps on the side but nothing is happening.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2002 at 6:10AM
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microfarmer(z9 Sac-o-tomato)

Thanks for this post. I bought 3 bulbs at the local grocery store (food grade I guess) for $2.49 a pound (there was less than 3/4 lb.) and planted in dirt like a garden plant. This was 2 weeks ago, so still no growth. I'll be modifying my growing paramaters to include slight drying and intermitant drenchings. Thanks again...

    Bookmark   June 7, 2002 at 9:14PM
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the bulbs that you got at the super market wiil take anyware from 1 to up to 6 weeks to sprout, Tasha, i have ben growing black majic, imperial, and regular green for about 2 months now, in fact i got them of of the local zoo that had them in their ponds for about 4 years now, now you are saying that the zoo is wrong? humm there is something brewing here lets see,,, and this place
all agree that taro are pond plants!, john

    Bookmark   June 8, 2002 at 2:21PM
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wolflover(z7 OK)

I grow giant elephant ears (colocasia) and Black Magic elephant ears in my pond. They don't get as large as the elephant ears I grow in soil (6 ft plus), but they get large and put off dozens of baby bulbs each year on long runners. The trick for me is to start them in soil. I then dig them up once they have a few leaves, wash all the soil off the roots, and pot them in pea gravel and sink them in the pond. I think the trick is to start them in soil. The few I have tried to start out as bulbs in the pond have rotted.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2002 at 11:16AM
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I'm in the same dilemma. Here's some info to get us even more confused...

For Full definition, see Botanical Encyclopedia sites:

Below is an excerpt:

COLOCASIA (Coloca'sia)

DESCRIPTION: This group consists of six tender, tuberous-rooted perennials, commonly known as Elephant Ears. Elephant Ears are natives of tropical countries and are grown for their beautiful, large leaves. They are suitable for growing in containers, borders, and also bog gardens because they tolerate wet soil, even standing water.

Variety 'Black Magic' is a gorgeous plant with such dark plum leaves they appear black (This is sold at Zehrs stores as an aquatic plant. Mine are fine...)

ALOCASIA (Alocas'ia)

DESCRIPTION: This group consists of seventy, tender plants, which grow from rhizomes in the tropical forests of Borneo, Ceylon, Malaysia and Asia. These plants (commonly known as African Masks and Elephant's Ears)


"Some varieties of Elephant's Ears can even be grown in or near ponds." (big sigh)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2002 at 4:01AM
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Jroot, I'd dig up the bulb. It might have rotted. I'd shouldn't take that long to get a small sprout growing. It take about three weeks for the sprout to become a noticable plant. It its rotted swipe off rotten places and let it dry. Regular taro likes water but doesn't need to be constantly wet. Try to pot it until it sprouts at least a few inches then carefully put it in the ground. You might want to dig it up in the fall and replant lower in the ground or just replant in the spring. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2002 at 3:15PM
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Novice ponder here, so no technical jargon yet, but I do know that I have some variety of EE that I pulled out of the soil in the woods. They are green and grow wild and wildly down here. Used to think they were terrestrial, then saw some growing in flowing drainage channels.

Took two plants with a total of five leaves at least a month ago, put in one pot in gravel with a tab and now have two new leaves and one original, all look good.

Don't know if this is helpful or interesting, but it's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2002 at 11:47AM
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What about winter storage? For those of us in colder zones, can the bulb be taken up after frost and placed in a basement to dry (possibly divide?) and then replant when it's warm again?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2002 at 1:31PM
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Cremin I have no idea about wintering - except to say that it's been much easier for me since I moved from Md. down here!
I hope to not have to deal with wintering my pond. Even with the occasional frost, I'm very Darwinian about plants and animals in this climate.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2002 at 12:24PM
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Cindi McMurray

Here in zone 6, I pull mine out of the pond and out of the ground for the winter, bring them indoors, repot them, and let them dry out somewhat. (In zone 7, I believe they are hardy.) They seem to need a resting time. Some like to live indoors as houseplants! In the spring, I start watering again and they start growing again, in the soil. After they have a few leaves I put them back in the pond. Any sooner, they rot, just like everyone said! Mine in the pond get much larger than the ones in the yard, but we have very low humidity here. Some bulbs take much longer to sprout than others even with identical care. Don't know why. used to have quite a bit of info on the ones they sell...maybe it's in the archives.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2002 at 6:50PM
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wetdreams(SW Georgia)

I would like to know how to KILL Elephant Ears !!! I have
had them for years and they have become invasive. I even sprayed one entire bed of them several times last year with round up and a lot still came back. I bet I dug up 200 bulbs last year anywhere from peanut sized to big grapefruit size bulbs.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2002 at 5:41PM
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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

I planted my Colocasia in soil, but they get a good bath of water every morning. They seem to like it. I have a photo taken about a month ago, and they have doubled in size since. Amazing plants.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 26, 2002 at 8:59PM
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Luvwest(z6b NW-AR)

I agree with cindi and wolflover. I think you have to start them in dirt, once it is warm enough they will sprout. You need to have a big enough root system to absorb plenty of moisture before you can put them in water. If you submerge the bulbs before then they will rot. Of course I have had them rot in the ground too. All of my EE's and taro and some alocasia are in pots in water. Not all alocasia will tolerate standing in water, best way I know to kill Alocasia Amazonica. Also they will not sprout until temps rise above 60 or 70 degrees.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2002 at 6:34PM
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mommajoan(z6 w ky)

I just saw this message and I had the same problem. The advise I got was simply, Bulbs in dirt....risomes in water.
Mine went in water and is growing well.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2002 at 9:54PM
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i wonder if you could expect results if you set a tuber,rhizome,bulb atop a jar of water in a plastic bag. do you think it would throw off root stock? be kinda neat as an indoor plant trained to water...alot of aroids can be.

one of these days,i'm gonna have to try that! :)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2002 at 9:13PM
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plantman_IL(z5 IL)

all of the three kinds of elephant ear CAN be grown in water. they just can't be submerged. leave an inch or two of the bulb above the water and they'll do fine. but i have to agree that they do get bigger on land for some reason. so a bog is better than a pond. the one in my border now has a bulb the size of a basketball.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2003 at 12:00PM
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I just bought an elephant ear bulb from Lowes 3-4weeks ago. According to directions, it said to wait until all danger of frost before planting. I live in SC. The way i figure it, I still have a good week or two to be positive they won't be killed by frost.
This is my dilemma. During the few weeks after I bought it, I had it tied up in the bag awaiting the time for planting. I just checked it, and I've discovered that it has already started rooting and sprouting. What should I do? According to the "danger of frost" theory, I still have probably 2-3 weeks left before I can plant them outside. Any help you could give me would be appreciated. Thanks!

Pat Gulledge

    Bookmark   March 1, 2003 at 12:29PM
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adrianag(AL z7)

Pat I would pot it up and put it in a sunny window in the house. Bring it outside on nice days when you can, inside if there is any danger of frost... you should be fine.

Now my question- I just bought two grapefruit sized Elephant Ear bulbs at Walmart (I assume they are Colcasia althought the label doesn't say). The instructions say to plant them 6-12 inches apart! They must be kidding. Each leaf is over 12" wide!

What is the recommended spacing?

What is the recommended spacing?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2003 at 3:59PM
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Hi, I'm a total novice about bulbs and elephant ears. I just bought a bulb at Walmart (EE) but no idea what kind of EE it is. It is round about the size of a grapefruit with no roots or shoots. How do I know which end is up when I plant it?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2003 at 2:02PM
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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

Adrianna G, I spaced mine about a foot apart. They were spectacular to say the least. The root system they develop is amazing. Don't worry. I always figure that crowded is good. Makes 'em fight for space. Onoy the best survive.

Judecram, the top end is slightly more flat. Stick em in. They'll grow anyway. Mine are still dormant. I think soon, I'll consider planting them up. Actually, I did keep one inside all winter. It is in a sunny window, and doing quite well, although not nearly as big as they were outside (the leave was as large as my wife's torso). Amazing!

Good luck. How I envie your early spring. I still have 5 feet of snow on my front yard.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 11, 2003 at 10:49PM
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kenpaul(z5 IL)

i was given taro "corns", i think that's what you call them. about 5 small ones. in march i started them in the house. they grew real fast and had large leaves before i planted them in the back yard. a nice display. very attractive.

did reall well, at least 5 feet tall and big leaves. when i dug them up in the fall, each plant produced 10 to 20 new "corns". on the roots.

gave most of them away. kept enough for me to re-plant this summer. i kept them dry in a plastic bag in the basement for the winter.

have started them inside.

no special care. they like full sun, hot nights,
and wet feet. i was told that you should cut the old leaf after a new one starts to grow. i was told that you should do this for first 2 or 3 leaves. then stop.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2003 at 3:29PM
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I bought a "Colocasia Esculenta" from walmart this year. Says to plant in water. It came in a plastic container so you can just set it in the water. The bulb itself is wrapped in a fiber that reminds me of cocoanut hair, and the bottom of the container is fulled with rocks for the weight.

I looked colocasia esculenta up on google and apparently this is a water variety.

Last year I purchased taro from the grocery store, put them in soil and they grew very nicely in the ground. My household one didn't fare as well. It died back, had poor leaves. I was going to throw it away and when i pulled it out of the dirt, i noticed new roots being formed. The corm of the grocery store taro is very different from the one I bought specifically for ponds.

Run a google search....I found it very helpful to learn that elephants ears come in two kinds. One for water, one for land. Both do better with soil.

I read somewhere where a fella from zone 5 leaves his root in the ground in the winter, but they need to be dry. They will rot if it's cold AND wet. He said his come back every year on their own. I don't know if mine will or not. I KNOW one won't because I decided to put my water fall where that plant was. I doubt the other will because it's been in a bog area and I am zone 5b. Just in case, I bought another package of the land lover type. :) So, now I have both.

I put the water one (the one in the plantable basket) in a container with some water to get it started..but the water is just below the bulb so it's more over water than in it. I figure the roots will go in search of the water, the corm already has a finger on the top.

Btw, according to my reading, both plants are edible, but not raw. Apparently these things are excellent food. It is used even in this country as the base for baby formula for babys who are allergic to milk and grains (soy free/milk free?)

And finally, Taro is the base for making 'poi', something the Hawiian's eat a lot of.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2003 at 2:12AM
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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

I was at Canada Blooms yesterday, and stopped by the Water Pond Society display. I asked about Elephant Ears, and Taro. They told me that they are definitely bog plants. They grow best if the roots are always wet ( in soil ) and the corm is just above the water line. He suggested to me that if I had a large container with NO DRAINAGE, fill it with soil, and plant the corm, water it well until is is wet, ... and then forget it. Place it in a sunny place.

Last year, I had a gorgeous display in an area that got about 5 hours of sun a day, but the leaves only got to be a about 1.5 feet long. This year, I think I will still plant there, but also set up a planting on my patio which gets sun from sun up to sun down. What can I loose? I have lots of corms left from last year.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2003 at 10:20AM
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dirt_bunny(Zone6 KY)

I have just started a bog garden next to my pond and I planted several elephant ears in it. I am thinking about pulling them up, starting them in pots and planting them when it is warmer. I have read that to keep them from rotting you must plant them after the water temp is above 70°. This is my first bog garden and pond so not sure if this is true or not just thought it might help.
Dirt Bunny

    Bookmark   March 28, 2003 at 6:15PM
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glenda(z7 alabama usa)

Elephant Ears turning yellow......what does this mean?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2003 at 2:15AM
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sheryl_ontario(Muncho Lake, BC z2)

I planted mine in the spring and it took six weeks for it to come up. It was a very dry spring and it didn't sprout until we had a few days of rain. Next year it's going in a bog!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2003 at 6:58PM
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mooch(5a NH)

Yellowing of the leaves for me meant I got a frost here in NH and it was time for them to be dug up. Doubt you have to but thats my sign to dig and store.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2003 at 10:38PM
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how big do these things get?

I have no idea what kind of elephant's ear it is. I got it at Walmart and it was really cheap. It has a nail in it. I already took the stupid tag of and threw it away. I assume its the kind that doesn't grow in a swamp.

I have seen picture of some of these things getting taller than children with HUGE leafs. If thats the case than where I wanted to put it would not be a good place.

They like shade ?? thats good.

Do these flower at all???

    Bookmark   April 11, 2004 at 9:47AM
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suep_ct(6b/7a CT)

I planted EE's last year. Alocasia "Black Magic" seemed to need more moisture and more sun than the colocasia. It lost some of it's rich deep color in part shade. The directions I received (From Park's Seed-I think) said they would root faster if kept warm. Still took a few weeks but they sprouted. Some say that Colocasia can go dormant in winter but that alocasia cannot. Since there does appear to be a great deal of disparity among the experts I chose to keep them all going.I dug them up from the garden and overwintered them indoors. I lost one alocasia (probably when I went on vaction and failed to water it well enough) but the others seem to have made it just fine. The Colocasia's are getting huge now that I moved them next to my seed lights. Plan to keep them in containers 'til I can find the best spots for them in my mostly shady gardens. None have been grown in bog conditions but I do have a lot of clay in my soil so it stays pretty moist.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2004 at 7:23PM
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Very interesting thread. I went in search of taro roots from the grocery store. They were labeled Malanga 99 cents a pound they were small 6 were just over a pound. With 6 I can try to plant them differently.
Another larger bulb was labled Malanga coco it is dark brown and hairy like a coconut kind of elongated. Any ideas how it might be different.
Right next to them was Galanga I asked the produce guy what it was . He said asian ginger. Think I'll give it a try.
So the taro I have planted two in the dirt two near a tiny little spring. The other two I will pot up to set in the fish pond just above the water line.

Another question . What levels of shade and sun have different people tried ? We had one planted last year that has just poped up. But we have added to uour deck and it will get a lot less sun this year

Thanks every one great thread.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2004 at 2:54PM
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Someone asked earlier if you can plant any of these variations in full sun and the answer is yes BUT... not late afternoon texas sun. It will curl their leaves as if they were near a citronella candle (yes keep your fragile plants away from the smoke given off by any citronella candle or oil).

I have all varieties of the "elephant ears" and I know none of them are submersible plants. Meaning; I need to lift their pots up to the surface of the water. The stems MUST be out of water for the majority.

Some of these plants love moist conditions opposite to the taro varieties. Those love boggy conditions. But the normal elephant ears I have like moist conditions better not drenched like the taros and they also do well in normal soil mulched very well.

Yellowing of the leaves means more often than not (since for other plants would mean too much water commonly) that it is infected with an insect. Do the leaves soon curl up and die? If they begin to diminish after yellwoing flip the leaves over CAREFULLY as the leaves are VERY fragile and will rip. Now once you have done this look to see if there are little brownish bugs on the underside. They are tiny. If so that is your problem. To fix this problem I use Bioganic by Green Light. It is orgranic and better for your plants than anything else you could imagine. I do not use chemical anything in my plants and gardens. I also pour a little amount of hasta gro by medina in the water directly for my plants or ocassionalll I will place agroform tablets in the pots (these are not 100% organic but some of my plants absolutely love them).

    Bookmark   April 19, 2004 at 5:41PM
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My god this link is stlll alive! Somethings never die I guess.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2004 at 9:57AM
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SideOne(Z8b - 9 Fl)

I have pulled up xanthosomas and placed them a bucket of water to keep them moist while i 'eventually' get to them and they all grew so many roots that the entire bucket was roots in a matter of weeks.

Some elephant ears are just about unable to kill. i have also pulle dup some xanths and colocasias and laid them on the ground (spraying a couple times a day to keep them moist) and they just grew right where i laid them.

But i had a xanthosoma vilocasium and planted it in a conatiner of good soil and it grew one leaf and then just got weaker and finally died. i guess it all depends on the elepant ears. there are so many available now. but i love the big ones!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2004 at 1:43PM
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DanTheMan14(z4 MT)

Ok i feel dumb, but doesn't matter what side you plant up? Is it the bumpy side, or the the flat side with the little notch in the middle. I have been looking all over, but i can't find anything about it. I find it weird because i have caladiums, which are like EE's but more colorful. I'm talking pink and white, and some with white,pink, and green. I know that if you do not plant them bumpy side up they will die. SO WHAT SIDE GETS PLANTED UP??!!?? If this helps during my travels over the web, they all are moisture lovers, but not to be placed in water all the way. You can also plant them in any soil or light conditions as long as the are fertilized properly and have enough moisture. But i really just want to know what side gets planted up?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2004 at 11:47PM
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Becky55(Kansas City)

Dan, I'm sooooooooo glad you asked your question. I was sitting here feeling pretty dumb cuz I wasn't sure which end of my EE bulb to put in the ground.....On the edge of my seat waiting for the answer :)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2004 at 4:50PM
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rrice(7 LONG ISLANDny)

What do you feed an E>E> with ? What is a good fertiliser and how often?
thanks, Ron

    Bookmark   June 28, 2004 at 9:12PM
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If this helps anyone out, I have Mickey mouse elephant ears, regular elephant ears, and Black Magic elephant ears. The first two grow in full sun with regular waterings. My Black magic is in mostly sun and doesn't get nearly as much water as the other beds. The Black Magic does grow much more slowly than the other kinds, and the leaves aren't as big, but they are getting larger every year.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2004 at 3:45PM
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I bought a bog EE for my pond and it's come back three years in a row. The first two years, though, I brought it in out of the water and it withered pretty badly. This year, I got myself a 5 gallon ceramic crock pot, dropped the pot in, and filled it up to the top of the dirt line with water. Then, to keep scum and smell away, I have a tiny table-top fountain pump down in there just churning the surface of the water around. I continue to drop pond tabs in. But now, with no fish eating them, there's no need to press them into the soil. It's growing like gang busters with a little flourescent lighting. I may need to break it up because I've got babies squeezing out all over the place.

When's a good time to cut the tubor, and how shall I do it?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2004 at 9:02PM
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TexanGardenAddict(z8 NE Texas)

Noticed that some of you have lots of shoots, rhizomes or bulbs multiplying. Would you please contact me so we can discuss me buying some of the extras from you?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2004 at 10:41PM
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scubadoo2(7 MD)

I would be interested in buying extra tubers as well,
please contact me.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2004 at 2:14PM
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Well, I'll say it again, this link is still alive. I guess some things never die. PF

    Bookmark   December 31, 2004 at 7:34AM
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gardengranma(6a/6b MD)

I planted some in my garden and some in my pond waterfall. The ones in the garden were huge, the others lived, but were not huge. I dare say, put them in the ground and water them well.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2005 at 3:05PM
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sandcrab(coastal SC z8)

I'll the the third party to ask, which way is up on these bulbs?? One end looks like it has been cut and has formed a scar, which makes me think its stems were cut, but the other end looks layered concentrically as if something is preparing to erupt.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2005 at 1:49PM
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wallermomof2(Houston, Texas)

I couldn't figure out which way to plant the large bulbs myself so I asked a neighbor, who is a garden freak and grows all kinds of EE's. He said to plant it on its side since its difficult to tell which side is up. I took his advice and it worked great. I planted 4 that way and had success with all of them. I don't know what "kind" of EE's I have but I can say that they do like moisture and lots of it. As a matter of fact, I just moved them to a location in my yard that is constantly wet - not under water but always wet. I hope they don't rot there but I got tired of watering them everyday. We'll see when spring comes if they do well or not - I'll post the results. I do love my EE's - their leaves are beautiful - I am just going to hate it if I've made a mistake.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2005 at 7:22PM
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I grow colocasias, alocasias and the xanthasoma series. I have much more experience growing the colocasia which I grow in water during the growing season. I grow 1 gal pots in 6" of water in full sun. I grow a few in a bog adjacent my pond and a few in moist soil in various parts of the landscape. The ones I grow out of water require more shade or filtered light. The wetter they are, the more sun they tolerate. However, any of them will rot in the winter rains, so they must be dry in the Oregon winters. A friend of mine grows gigantic alocasias in his gardens on a regulated drip system with high nitrogen. Everyones experience and results seem to vary, so I thought my input might help someone.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 12:39PM
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johnCT(Z6 CT)

Hi. I was wondering if someone could help. Just bought a few of the elephant ears bulbs from WM. It says to plant them blunt side down, but its hard to differentiate on a couple of them. On this pic, I am assuming the blunt side is on the right? So those are stems starting on the left? Thanks for any help.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2005 at 12:32PM
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i got an e.e last year had the hardest time growing it right now i got it in the house in a bowl of water not much water and in a dark place its doing great

    Bookmark   May 2, 2005 at 10:36PM
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tissmith(z7 NC)

I wish I had looked this up before I planted my giant elephant ear bulbs yesterday. They had pink pointy nubs on the outside and I planted these pointed up. Are these the roots or the shoots? Is it upside down? Should I dig them up? If they're completely upside down, will the plant right itself? Thanks for any advice!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 11:41AM
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I purchased 3 imperial taro plants from ebay and received them last week. Planted each in a container of potting soil and vermiculite and fertilized with osomocote. They are not doing well. The one leaf they each had is shriveled and I am wondering if it will sprout new growth since it is not a bulb. It is watered well - the soil is very wet with the rain we had the other day. Days are in the 60s and 70s and nights are 50s. What can I do to save these?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 10:41AM
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I dug the tuber up carefully after two weeks in a pot, and discovered that many shoots about one inch long are growing from the bottom and from the sides. I planted it as indicated in the left photo, which by guess work was correct. There is a slight indication of upward shoots starting from the top judging by the slight bulges showing on the top of the tuber.

The smooth ringed end of the tuber is the top.


Here is a link that might be useful: Tuber Pictures

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 9:33PM
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The picture on the left indicates the top of the tuber.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tuber photos

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 9:48PM
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    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 8:17AM
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I could not tell the up side from the down, so I planted it sideways, in my awful, wet clay soil. The leaves were small at first, but I fertilized it several times (plain old Miracle Grow) and it gets plenty of falling debris from my brush cherries. After 1 year, it's 8-9 ft tall and a single leaf is 4 ft long. Amazing!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 6:27PM
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I grew colocasia esculenta for the first time this summer. Purchased 3 orange-sized corms at Costco for about $7. The one I planted in full sun is now over 4 feet tall and wide. The leaves are huge and my kids like to use as umbrellas! Constantly asked by strolling neighbors what it is asis very unusual in Michigan. I planted two others in a border in side yard near maple tree. This gets a lot of morning and some afternoon sun, regular watering but these did not get even 1/4 the size of the full sun plant. Will be digging up huge plant and trying to overwinter the corms and any new corms that have grown. But will leave the other two in the ground and see what happens.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 10:37AM
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I live 30 miles South of the Chicago area. Some people leave EEs in the ground here and they come back. Anyone know how to do this? I am lacking space so I can't bring them in.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 11:41AM
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I grew an elephant ear and cut it back to store all winter.... now it's March and can't figure out and can't find out on the web which end is up? Is it the end I cut the stem from , or the end I cut the roots from???
I'm stumped .....HELP !

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 10:02PM
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rickinla(8B SW AL)

Up is the end that had the stem or green growth. If you stored your bulb, the up end is the end that is round and has rings, the down side has one or more scars where the roots were cut off.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 8:13PM
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I bought a bulb the size of an orange. The hair is growing around the middle of the bulb, one end has several small circles and the other end has one circle in the ends center. I still can't figure out which end is up ( story of my life ) Should I plant it on it's side like suggested? Oh yeh there are a few little spots that look like wart(bump) they are not on an end either. I live in NY so glad someone told me to wait for warm weather as Country Max where I bought it said I could plant it now. We had trace of snow on mothes day. I wonder how many people here have already planted theirs because they ere told they could. I bought one of the last 2 in te box.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 4:19PM
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This will be the 2nd year that I am planting an elephant ear bulb. Made it a center piece to my garden last year and it was a hit. The problem I am having this year is that I planted it May 10, 33 days ago (today being June 13, 2011), and I am not seeing any activity yet. We've had a cooler then normal spring here in zone 5 and I am hoping that this may have stymied the growth. I am new to "GardenWeb" having just registered after coming upon this site tonight. I can't seem to find the "followup" to which said that one shouldn't plant the elephant ear bulb to early, if the ground is cold as the bulb can rot. So my question and concern to an expert out there is simply.. did I plant to early? Or am I just in a stalled window of growth due to the cooler spring we've had here in zone 5 and that I should just be patient.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 11:35PM
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I purchased an elephant ear tuber at the local market (taro). I notice that one end is bulbous with a few coconut-like hairs on it, and the narrow tip at the other end of the taro is rather blunt, as if it was cut off on that end.

Will that affect my taro's ability to be used as a tuber to grow an elephant ear plant?

I hope I didn't waste my money, please let me know!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 8:39PM
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mommomsgarden(6/Jersey Girl!)

Mine is looking quite gorgeous I must say!!

1 Like    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 1:26AM
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Ofa Tukuafu

I bought taro roots from the Oriental stores month of December, I just put them in a tray no water and leave them on the refridgerator then i check back the end of January you can see the green slips coming out from the tubers, so plant each tuber in those lil containers with soil potmixing ( i used some small coconut fiber cups 4" high) from HomeDepot then l line them up in a tinfoil pan with water 1 " by the window for 2 wks, check back you won't believe they 6" inches tall but I wait till mother's day then I transfered them to outside garden, i fertilized them with all purpose then I flooded them with water everyother day. They grow about 3' tall, my problem that I should cut out the old leaves liked it mention above so they grow taller. We cook the taro leaves with cornbeef as our best dish for dinner. What I am asking for I have tubers ready to plant outside but afraid might they get by the frost, is there any idea when to start plant them, last year I plant them very late.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2015 at 10:39PM
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