Elephant ears - shoud I trim back and dig up bulbs before frost?

bird0601(7b central AR)October 27, 2008

All the articles I've read about them advise to cut them back after the plants have died back, but my elephant ears are still producing new foliage. I'm worried that the predicted frost for the next two nights might harm my bulbs. Should I go ahead and cut back the current growth and dig them up?

I'll ask the same question about my daylillies, too, as they're still producing a few blooms.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

Welcome to Gardenweb!
On elephant ears, I think most people wait until frost kills the tops and then wait for a nice day to dig them up. Don't worry about it hurting your bulbs. They can stand some pretty cold temperatures and even this far north (Springfield area), they will sometimes return if you leave them in the ground all winter. But - when mine have made it through the winter in the ground, they didn't grow as well the next summer. I think they do better when I dig them up and store them.
I have stored mine both in an unheated garage and also in my basement closet which is cool but not cold and they did fine both places. If you search this forum for elephant ears, you will find more info. Some people dig a hole to store theirs but our ground is rocky and I've never tried that. It's too much work to dig.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 5:28PM
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bird0601(7b central AR)

Thanks Christie. I'm in central Arkansas, but I'm afraid the winter might be too hard on them so I'll probably dig up and store in the garage over the winter. But, it's good to know a frost won't hurt them.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 7:46PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Daylilies should be fine outside over winter.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 1:00AM
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bird0601(7b central AR)

Thanks, Helen. By the way, I love all the pics of your garden. I aspire to have your green thumb!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 5:57PM
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bunny6(7 AR)

Welcome! I live in Russellville, just outside of central Arkansas, and I don't dig up my daylilies, but I do mulch with leaves. I have never lost any. The EE's I have in the ground I am going to mulch over and hope they make it through the winter. My aunt gave me some EE, and I am going to store them in my garage:)

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 1:36AM
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