Propagation of Elephant Ears

cajungal328September 4, 2007

Hi, I'm new here, and I really need help, more like peace of mind, rather than help... anyway...

I live in Lafayette, LA, and up until earlier today, I had a beautiful, full cluster of elephant ears growing on one side of my porch, near the stairs. They were at least 8 feet tall, leaves measured about 3 or 4 feet long. It was absolutely georgeous, but too big. They were massive, and taking over my stairway, so much so that there was hardly room to walk up and down the steps. So, I did something that I think may have been really stupid.

Now, I want to say that I have never had a green thumb, and I know very little about growing anything. I wish I knew more and growing stuff, becuase I love plants and flowers.

So, I decided I wanted to eliminate some of this massivly huge plant, and transplant it on the other side of the house (I love these plants). So dumb old me, I take a shovel and try to dig up the bulb to seperate it, but it's like trying to dig up a tree, it's no use. Very little of it will budge. After fighting with it for some time, I hastily decided to take the shovel and cut between some of the outer stems, cut into the root, and seperate part of the root system off of the main root, along with the stalks and the leaves. I cut off about 4 or 5 stems, all of which had some roots attached, and I planted them in other locations throughout my yard. Then I watered them down with water with Miracle Grow Plant Food added, that granular blue stuff that you add to water.

At first I thought it would be ok, until I see the stems that I cut off are drooping to the ground, and all the leaves are shrivelling up and dying. I think they may be in shock, then again, maybe I killed them, I'm not sure. I am a 'KNOW NOTHING' when it comes to plants :-) Even the main plant, though the leaves are not shriveled up, the bottom stems and leaves are drooping to the ground. The stems and leaves growing from the center of the plant look fine, and are as peppy as before. My main plant looks naked now, with so many leaves gone, but that's what I wanted, isn't it? I guess we should be careful what we wish for, right...

Do you think I killed my plant(s)? Will the main plant survive? Will the new plants survive? What should I do? Should I cut the shriveled leaves off? I don't know what to do, or how to revive it. Could you please help me?

Sorry so long...



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I'm not a master gardner but I understand it is very hard to get rid of elephant ears so I think you are safe in that they will come back. I had some out side my sewing room window that had gotten too big making it hard for me to enjoy the view. I chopped them almost all to the ground about a week ago and today noticed that there is one medium set of leaves already.
I like them too although to some people they are a nusiance.
Good luck,

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 8:01PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

There's lots of different kinds of 'elephant ears', and some are almost impossible to kill while others are kinda on the finicky side. With any plant, so far as I know, when leaves go bad it's a good idea to cut them off. I don't know if it's true, but somebody told me a long time ago that the plants actually waste energy trying to heal the bad leaves and they can't. In any case, I think it's best to take them off. I have one that needs water so much that if it even goes a few hours without water in the basin the pot sits in it'll get bad leaves, and I cut 'em off regularly. It's really thirsty! Some others will get damaged leaves if they get too much water, so it's helpful to have an idea of what you have.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 11:11PM
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You are probably fine!

I have them growing in my ditch and about once every couple of years the parish comes by and digs out the ditches and cleans them out. I was devestated the first time they did this! But come spring, here come my elephant ears again. They were smaller, but still there.

I also decided in the middle of summer to move a ginger lily out of one bed into another...not thinking...hey wait until it dies back in the fall. Well, it all died back and I figured I had killed it, but new sprouts came out.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 11:32AM
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DON'T worry they will most likely be ok. the only thing is there is a bug or worm that will get in them and might kill it. spay antiseptic on the wound when you seprate it.good luck Jim

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 5:26PM
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