Elephant ears in winter

lonestarlion(8 TX)June 11, 2007

I picked up a mega-box of plain ol' elephant ear bulbs at Sam's back in the spring on a whim. I'd planned on them being a one-year shot until I could do something else in that bed, but I'm beginning to like the way they're shaping up. I'm just about convinced that that spot might be a permanent elephant ear bed, but will they over-winter in the ground?

I'm in east TX in zone 8. They're in a northeast bed that gets a little protection from the wind because of the lay of the land.

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Howdy Lion,

Plain ol' EEs are the stars of my backyard. My neighbor was tired of hers and gave it to me years ago. Last year I added a dinosaur egg, thinking it would be exotic, lol, it was the same kind I already had.

Anywho, with decent drainage, they come back fine. Mine get so big, I cut off the pups and grow 'em and give 'em to friends. I overwintered a couple of pups inside just to have greenery - they got nice and big.

When they die back, do leave part of the stump uncovered. I mulched some of mine and they rotted! What a nasty, stinky, gooey, disgusting...

Give em lots of water and an occasional dose of plant food. A few caladiums add a spot of color -those won't overwinter, but I dug mine last fall and stored them in newspaper per a kind gardener's instructions. Amazingly enough, they look really great this year.

A neighbor has a truly enormous pot planted with EEs. She hasn't done a thing to it - other than water - for decades. The EEs are much, much smaller than mine due to crowding, but they consistently come back.

Enjoy the peaceful, tropical greenery that is EEs. And take a look on the website for way more information than a brain can absorb on the subject.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 1:54PM
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scuba-gal(8a ~ Keller)

Mine have over-wintered great - I do mulch mine though.
I let them drop at the first frost and them cut them to the ground and mulch. When spring days start warming a bit I push the mulch back and the come right up!


    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 2:16PM
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rcnaylor(z7 Tex)

Here is what mine looked like a couple of years ago. but, up here, I have to dig and store them.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 7:08PM
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rcnaylor, just wondering where 'up here' is? I live in 7b, Abilene, and wondered if I will have to dig mine. Caladiums of course don't live through the winter, but will these I wonder? I planted some this year and love them........

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 7:29PM
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rcnaylor(z7 Tex)

Well libby, up here is Amarillo. And, my guess is that you are kind of on the break line. Some years years you could get by not digging it, and other years not.

Maybe someone who is along the Wichita Falls, Abilene, Lubbock line can tell us better from their experience.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 9:46PM
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paxetamor(7b Abilene TX)

Abilene here. Mine are in a pot and get morning sun. I am not too sure what I am going to do when it gets cold. I have bananas and a palm too. Guess I will project a green house this summer/fall in my spare time(?). scuba-gal & rcnaylor very nice looking plants. Which direction do they face? Also, how do I post a photo please? Thanks! Mick

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 9:57PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

I don't even mulch mine here in North Texas, and they come back year after year with many babies.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 11:06PM
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This is an interesting thread. I've got the "giant elephant ears". Here in San Antonio, they get smaller each year.

I can't figure out what it is. Couldn't have been lack of water this winter. Obviously, it can't be cold, because everyone is north of me.

Rockyn in Austin, your weather is pretty much like mine.

(My husband likes the bold tropical look, but I convinced him to go with one of those huge split leaf philodendrens, which would I highly dought is not cold hardy north of hear, but it seems to do better here than EEs)

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 6:33PM
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As I understand it they like lots of fertilizer. I have one in a pot and it's growing like gang busters but this is the first year I've owned it. Plus this weather is so different that our norm it's hard to judge anything. Very Florida-esque!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 11:34PM
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scuba-gal(8a ~ Keller)

I am in the Fort Worth Area - I have never fertilized mine - if I did, I'm afraid I might not be able to get to my front door anymore -lol
Mine face north - but I have a friend in the area whos EE face west and do well also with the shade of a tree inbetween them and the evening sun.


most people use photobucket.com to post photos - I do.
You create an account for free with them, upload your pictures to their site and then under each picture there are 3 links...use the 2nd option HTML TAG - jjust copy and paste it into the body of your post on here and when you hit preview - your picture will be there!!!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 11:41PM
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I think I figured this out!!!

I was looking over at Dave's Garden website. There are two species, alocasia and colocasia. Colocasia is hardy to zone 7. Colocasia has leaves at the end of the stem.

Alocasia is huge. The leaves are about 3 feet long and stems go straight through the leaves. They tend to point up instead down. If it would grow the way it is supposed to, it would look like something in the Botanical Gardens.

I've got Alocasia, but I'll have to switch to Colocasia. (Sounds like a drink or some type of medicine...)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 12:39AM
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