Elephant Ears & Cannas

septgrl8April 3, 2007

I purchased a few elephant ear and canna bulbs, I know I can't plant them for a few weeks but will I be able to start them off in a container and then transplant them to my bed. The problem is my yard is still in the construction process so I am unable to put them directy into the beds.

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shiollie(z5 MI)

Yes you can, I am in zone 5 and to get the most growth in one season I always start them in pots and them transplant them into the garden and they get huge.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 9:01AM
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xerophyte_nyc(7)

Depending on what "Elephant Ears" you actually have (Colocasia, Alocasia or Xanthosoma), they can take up to 2 months to sprout so definitely get them going in advance.

Cannas grow quick, once they sprout you can get 3-4 leaves per shoot in a month with warmth.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 10:42AM
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jonijumpup(z5, GR MI)

Shiollie, is it too early yet to plant EE indoors here in zone 5? I just bought three very large bulbs.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 12:11PM
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septgrl8

Thank you for everyones help. I'm not sure what type of elephant ears they are. I bought them in Home Depot the sign said "Gigantic Elephant Ears" The bulbs are huge. I still have to wait until this cold weather passes here to start anything, but does anyone have any advise on how I should start them in containers (what size pot should I use? How many in a pot?) Also the safest way to transplant when my beds are ready. Sorry for all the questions, I'm a little new at this. thank you again.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 8:32AM
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sprout_wi(z4 WI)

Septgrl- I just today planted an elephant ear bulb in a large pot. The pot is not huge but allows for root growth all around the bulb. I may need to transplant later.

The instructions said to plant so bulb is 1-3 inches below the soil. It also said to space the roots - I can't find the tag, but I thought it said space them 36" apart. Unless you have a humungous pot, I would say just plant one to a pot. I know they need LOTS of water. Good luck to us.
-Sprout

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 6:41PM
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xerophyte_nyc(7)

Wait until leaves start to grow until you give lots of water, otherwise the bulbs will drown and rot.

Home Depot usually sells Colocasias, which are the typical EE's seen around. Alocasia are commonly called upright EE, while Xanthosoma is similar to Colocasia except more shade tolerant.

EE will do fine in a smaller pot until they are planted outdoors. A 1 gal container is plenty for 1 bulb until transplanting.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 7:36PM
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shiollie(z5 MI)

Jonijumpup, yes it is way to early to plant them in ground, with the weather we are having, the bulbs will just rot. BTW, I am just a bit south of you!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 8:45AM
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septgrl8

Thanks for all your help. Hopefully I can start them out in my containers next weekend when the weather gets a little better.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 6:14PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Regarding Cannas they are very easy to start indoors. As for a pot, I usually use either a one-gallon nursery pot, or even a two-litre milk carton. I think the bigger the container the better if the root (rhizome) is big. If the root is long you may have to tilt it slightly when planting it to get it to fit lengthwise in the container.

Give them the best light you can indoors. I find though, that they usually adapt to outdoor light without leaf scorch as long as you give them total outdoor shade or just an hour or two of morning sun at first.

In some warmer zones, cannas can overwinter outdoors in the ground just as long as the ground doesn't freeze. Unfortunately last fall I left my canna bulb in the pot outdoors too long and the pot froze so it looks like I'll have to rebuy my Tropicana canna.

Glen

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 8:50PM
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lindarb

I just purchased some large elephant ear bulbs and some cannas. Our weather is warm enough so I'm not concerned about them freezing, but do I have to start them out by planting them in a container or can I just plant them in the ground? They will be in a shady area in my yard, so there is plenty of moisture.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 9:17PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hi lindarb, welcome to Gardenweb. In the future, it's best to start a new discussion for a new question.

I think you should put your cannas in a sunny spot in the ground. The EE's will grow in sun or shade. They don't need to go in a container first if you don't want to do that. When it gets cold again, you can dig them both up & store for next year.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 12:27PM
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lou_texas(8a N Central TX)

Regarding cannas and cold temps, I always leave my cannas in the ground throughout winter, and our temps get down to about 10 degrees - although not often. We do have 20s and 30s regularly interspersed with 40s and 50s. That keeps the ground from freezing several inches down. The killer for cannas is cold and wet at the same time. That's why my sister in Missouri must dig and store her cannas for the winter.

My cannas start sprouting in February and grow well in the 50s and 60s although they really take off in the 70s. For me February and March are ideal times to dig, divide, and transplant cannas or alocasia. So it would seem that anyone could put their plants in the ground when the temps are in the 40s and 50s. You'd get slow growth, but you'd get growth. What do you think?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 12:49PM
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glaswegian(5b, Ont)

Here in the great white north (Ontario, Canada ) zone 5b

I started this indoors last month and here is what I have today May 27th

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 9:41PM
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lou_texas(8a N Central TX)

Very nice!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 10:32AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Agreed!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 11:55AM
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glaswegian(5b, Ont)

Updates

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 6:05PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Wet hostas in pots look tropical. Who knew? Was just in the "what to remove" discussion & that's what hit me when I looked at your pics, glas. Are your EE's new to you this year or have you been keeping them for a while? Nice big leaves.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 11:30AM
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glaswegian(5b, Ont)

That one is from last year

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 9:13PM
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butterfly4u

Glaswegian,
What is that brown fuzzy grass looking thing?
i love it!
Beautiful pot garden also!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 12:11PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

This bulb has made especially huge leaves this year!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 8:53AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Purple, I had no idea you would be here! Look at the plants you grow in pots! Nice!

I had a few questions, please if I may?

Do you leave the Hostas in the containers through the winter? Do they come back bigger each year there after? How do you protect them in the winter, or does one even have to?

I have been thinking of putting Hosta in containers, especially the 'white feather' one. It protects them from slugs and other critters been I have always been afraid of winter kill.

Thanks so much. Absolutely beautiful. By the way, I have a passion for any of the darkest leaf plants one can grow. I love the black Cana and or elephant ears. They are so dramatic. I would also plant a black rose if I could find one.

I just picked myself up 'black grass' yesterday that grows a shoot of blue flowers in the fall. They are so beautiful. Do you think growing grass in container can be held over the winter easily in pots too?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 7:42PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hi Mike. I wish I could answer these questions but those weren't my pics. Hopefully glaswegian will come along soon and enlighten us. I'm a huge fan also! That grass you got sounds really cool.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 9:02AM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

HAHA you can dig a hosta here in oct or nov, throw in the sun, upright or upside down, whatever, and generally what you have come april...is a hosta, happy and healthy, ready to plant, the prospect of wintering over in a pot will very rarely bother a hosta much, not to say they wont do much better in the ground.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 2:23AM
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