Elephant Ear Plant Winter Hardness??

treeguy123(AL 7b)May 9, 2007

I bought two Elephant Ear bulbs that were labeled 'Elephant Ear Mammoth' from Wal-Mart. The bulbs are round and about 3 to 4 inches wide. Does anybody know the exact scientific name of this? I think it might be Colocasia esculenta but I'm not sure. I'm in zone 7a but many winters here are only 7b temperatures.

Can I leave the bulbs in the ground all year here??? I would prefer it to stay in the ground if the bulb will be OK each winter. What is the best way to plant this Elephant Ear Plant having a heavy silty clay soil at my location? Thanks.

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WOODSGRANNY(Z9 S LA.)

let me know if you can kill 'em... i have a bunch i can't get rid of,you think they're dead,and they come back and multiply

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 10:22AM
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jeff_al

probably is the species c. esculenta.
it should not be hardy for you outdoors in zone 7a but may persist for some years until temps go low enought to kill it. they like moisture and shade but will take sun if the soil is not allowed to become dry for extended periods.
plant the top of the tuber at or just below soil level.
i am growing a cultivar with smaller blackish foliage in a large plastic planter. i did not knock out the pre-punched drainage hole in the bottom so i can keep the soil saturated and they seem happy there in a half-day of sun.
in your zone, container-grown plants would need to be overwintered in a protected area or dig the tubers and hold them over the winter in a cool, dry area.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 1:36PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

We had a rather cold winter this year and our elephant ear are coming back up again. They've been in the ground for 10 years. I know they like a lot of water since they are quite tropical...then you'll see the huge leaves. G'luck!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 12:01AM
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emcrorie(7b - Charlotte)

Mine comes back every year. It is planted in a bed near the house, facing south, so it is in a warm spot.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 10:37AM
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vondakay

Mine comes back very year. It is planted on the west side of the house. I live in Atlanta.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 7:57PM
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