urn shaped planter, elephant ears

lecorbeau(7b)April 29, 2012

Hi, it's been a long time since I came here. I am re-posting a question I put on the container garden forum yesterday, but now I think I should have come right back here. Thanks for any advice:

I have a 20" tall urn shaped planter that is 13" in idameter at its widest part but only has an opening 8" in diameter.

I know that it will make a very handsome addition to my patio, but I don't know how to get there!

I wondered if elephant ears would do well - I have all varieties of sun and shade, and 2 elephant ear bulbs (no idea what kind).

Would they be too large for the opening?

Should I leave the urn with no hole at the bottom (I think elephant ears like very wet places?) or drill a hole for drainage?

I just realized this post is actually 2 questions:

1. what to put in the urn and whether to add a hole

2. what size container to put the EEs in and what other plants would look good with them in the same pot

Thanks for any help.


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I have a pond in partial shade. I have EE in a couple inches of water and also outside the pond and directly in the ground as well. Some in ground have failed to come back in spring. I move most of the pots into the garage for the winter and have brought others into the house for winter color.

I put impatiens (and maybe coleus) in with the EE. Works in the pond and in the house later. My only concern with your narrow neck is that multiple plants would probably get stuck in there. Perhaps only one plant would be best. Dividing after a year or two is necessary and gives you a new supply. One year I got several complete round bulbus roots and other times just offshoots of amorphus shape.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 1:55PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

I think that depending upon the variety of EE you have will be the determinant whether that pot can be used.
If the bulbs you have are just the ordinary green EE, you won't have enough soil to hold sufficient water or have enough space for the roots.
Unless it's a solid concrete urn (and even then) the leaves will be top heavy and won't take much wind to tip the whole thing over.

Put some ornamental grass with some mounding annual and some ivy/type runners in that urn.
Plant the EEs in the ground.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 12:55PM
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Thanks so much for the replies. I was expecting Gardenweb to send me an email, so I haven't checked back until now. (I wonder why the email notifications aren't working...)

In the meantime, I went ahead and put the EEs in a large regular pot. I won't know what kind I have until they come up.

I should have said, the urn is the olive oil urn type shape. It really doesn't have much space. I have tried searching for images of what to plant, but they are scarce. Apparently the urns are used as a kind of accent all their own in some gardens.

Dottie, I think I'll try your grass suggestion after drilling a hole.

Thanks again.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 6:39PM
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Follow-up: my elephant ears have begun poking out of the soil in the large wide pot I put them in -- some far from where I planted the roots!

My olive-oil urn planter was given drainage holes, and I ended up planting some Solomon's seal for height. They are doing well. For the trailer, I put Virginia creeper -- maybe not the best choice, but I couldn't bear to put an invasive alien with my native Solomon's seal. The Va creeper is probably going to be too long. I may change it.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 12:17AM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

If you can find yourself a single pot of ducksfoot coleus, snip off the longest piece and root it in water you can then tuck it in the top of that olive oil urn/planter for a bit of color.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 3:54PM
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Thanks, Dottie! Do you think the big boxes would have that? I've never heard of it.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 11:38PM
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I found them. Those are beautiful, and there are so many color choices!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 11:46PM
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