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Elephant Ear brought in is DYING!

Posted by jim_dandy z6 PA (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 11, 06 at 13:26

HELP! I don't know what to do now. I brought my elephant ear into the basement so that it didn't frost but I guess it isn't getting enough light or it's too dry. The leaves have all dried up and all that's left are the stems sticking up and some new little leaves tightly curled up. There is a woodstove in the basement so it's very dry. Should I let it dry up. Will it just go dormant or do I need to take it back outside for a few hours so that it can freeze. Would it be better for it to water it and let it straggle it's way through the rest of the winter? It is the standard large green kind that I bought at Target if this helps. I need some advise fast before it is gone for good. Thanks for any help.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Elephant Ear brought in is DYING!

Take it out of the dirt, rinse the dirt off, then put it in a paper bag, and keep it cool. Just let the green part dry up. It will be fine. Plant out in spring. Works for me every time! :) Arum


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RE: Elephant Ear brought in is DYING!

Mine does that all winter. I do not know how warm your area of storage is but my area is 55-60. I continue to give it some water about 1/2 cup per month. I do this because if I let it go totally dormant it takes 2 mos or more to really get going.

My last frost date is the end of May so it was almost Aug a few years ago before I had a large plant. By then it was time to bring it in.

If you are going to store it without the soil I would plant it inside in March and get it going. Just do not water too much or the bulb will rot. Just put it in a sunny window and plant shallow in damp soil.


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RE: Elephant Ear brought in is DYING!

The reason that I brought it in instead of just letting it frost was because it had taken so long to really get going during the summer. It was the end of June before it really had any leaves over 12" long. I had wanted to give it a little more growing time before it went dormant.
The basement's temp varies from just above freezing to around 60 and it is under regular florescent shop lights. I was afraid that if I kept it growing it would use up it's energy and be wimpy when summer comes. When you let yours grow what is it like when you put it out again?


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RE: Elephant Ear brought in is DYING!

jim_dandy, it looks bad, maybe one leaf. But because I keep it going all winter. Buy June it has at least 5 good size leaves.

I know people in warmer climates have a longer growing season so they have time to get the plant started in April or even early May.

I found that most years my zone does not really start cooking until June. So if it is just starting to grow roots in June and start to leaf late July you will not have a decent looking plant until Aug. Then I get frost in Sept. It is not a good plan for me to let them go dormant in a cool zone.


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RE: Elephant Ear brought in is DYING!

I read something the other day, I think on the aroid.org website, that most colocasias and alocasias only get about 3 or 4 leaves at a time from one tuber before the others begin to die off. Can this be substantiated?

Some of mine "look" like they have more foliage, but it's only because the pups that have grown around the mother tuber are throwing up leaves, too. I think there may be something to this.

I brought my Illustris, Fontanesii, and Black Magic in for the winter. But they're in a corner in their pots in the kitchen, and I water them a very tiny bit about once a month, about 1-2 cups of water. This is because, with colocasia, I have heard that without ANY water, the tuber is likely to dessicate totally. I think this info came from Dan (BlueBonsai), but I don't really recall.

There is very minimal growth, mostly dried up top growth, but hopefully they will begin to come out of dormancy earlier indoors than they would have outdoors in the ground, even though they are hardy in my zone. I delayed getting them planted out, and I should have done it. We have had such warm weather, but if I'd planted them late, it would have been colder - that's the way it goes, you know.

Hopefully, I can plant them in the spring and get some good growth this year. My macrorhiza, Thai Giant, Ruffles, plumbea nigra, wentii, and remusatia should be fine.

Good luck - I'm sure you'll have a gorgeous plant this spring!

Susan


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