Elephant ear - first 'ear' size

frank325May 14, 2009

This is the first time I've grown elephant ear. I got some at home depot back in March so I figured I'd give them a shot. The tubers, if I remember correctly, were about the size of a tennis ball perhaps? The packaging said extra large and that they could reach 60" in height... but after I planted them I saw much larger tubers at other stores and wondered.

This is the first one starting to open up. Does the first leaf say anything about how large the mature plant might be? Should I assume that the first leaf is usually small? This thing better get bigger considering the pot it is in!

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orchidguyftl(z11 FTL FL)

yes your first leaf will be smaller.
Leaves will increase in size as they develop

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 8:30PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Here's a couple of pics of my EE the first year I had it so you can perhaps get some idea of how yours might develop. BTW, I was told they like copious amounts of water....
This pic was taken on 26/06/07

...and this one just 6 dys later on 02/07/07 when the next leaf had unfurled. This leaf was 18inches long at this time, it didt get much bigger but they do grow pretty fast as you can see!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 5:39PM
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Wow! Yes, it looks like the leaves certainly multiplied in size as more and more came along. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 7:10PM
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To achieve full growth potential the Colocasia needs to be planted in the ground, not in a pot. These are aquatic plants and needs lots of water.

Last summer I experimented by taking a large pot, and lining it with a black garbage back before filling it up with soil. I wanted zero drainage to simulate muck.

The few Colocasia plants were thriving in this scenario, the problem was that the pot still needed to be watered daily even with no drainage and complete saturation. The transpiration rate is enormous due to the high surface area of the leaves.

The bottom-line is these are very thirsty plants and it is difficult to keep them adequately watered for optimum growth. But luckily they tolerate less than ideal conditions, they just won't get as big or grow as quickly.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 7:45AM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

X, yes, I realise they would perform much better if grown in the ground (maybe I SHOULD have mentioned this in my post, but I failed to so thanks for pointing this out) Trouble is where I live here in the UK conditions are by no means ideal for trying to grow 'tropical' type plants like this, especially ones with huge leaves as they get shredded by the wind in our garden which we cannot guard against. Dont know what the OP's conditions are like but mine grows quite happily in its now much larger pot. ; ¬ )

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 8:06AM
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Yes they are still handsome plants even if not full size. I especially like the varieties where the petioles are brightly colored - makes for a more dramatic color impact.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 8:10AM
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I don't really have anywhere around my yard where I'd want to put this in the ground. It's easier this way... my soil conditions are not great.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 9:01AM
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This is an EE planted at the edge of my pond. I took this
picture early morning,yesterday when there was a brake in the rain. It has received probably over 10" of rain in the last few days. It receives full Florida sun,all day but since it gets plenty of moisture from the pond it stays
lush and dark green.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 10:11PM
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Update -- 2nd leaf has emerged. It's bigger :-) Hopefully the trend continues!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 6:32PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Frank, glad to see your ears are getting bigger!! Watch out for the next one to grow...it will be even bigger than this one for sure!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 6:32PM
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Actually the next one was about the same size... and unfortunately, this guy picture above broke off in a gust of wind. I have a feeling I'll be putting up with a lot of broken ears this summer.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 7:37PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

I too had that problem as it gets very windy here, the ears acted like windmill sails and just kept getting bent and tattered...luckily we have a g/h so it lives in there permanently. It looks much better even if it's not an ideal growing situation for it as sometimes I have to compromise to be able to grow certain things.
Perhaps if yours has to be grown outside, surrounding it with other potted plants may create a bit of shelter, but no doubt you had already thought of that one?!...good luck anyway.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 5:06AM
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I'm in your zone. Don't anticipate getting the same results as someone in a more tropical climate. Hopefully these pics will be informative as I have useful info in the captions if you arrow them you can read the whole thing.

Please note the largest leaf plant is several years old, very heavy, and quite a chore to dig in and out- but you look young so I don't see this being a problem!

Here is a link that might be useful: how it goes here

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 11:06PM
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