Return to the Tropicalesque Garden Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Elephant Ears Cold Hardy?

Posted by sandienc Z7 NC (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 16, 06 at 11:50

Hi guys,
I have several elephant ears. Black magic, Illustrious, Black Runner, Green runner, etc. and live in zone 7. I've read that they are cold hardy to zone 7 and I've also read that they are not. Does anybody have the real scoop please?? I'd hate to leave them in the ground with mulch and loose them if they are not cold hardy here in NC
Thanks for any information you can give me.
Sandie


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Elephant Ears Cold Hardy?

In zone 7, unless you already know they are hardy for you it's safest to overwinter them indoors and I wouldn't risk an unreplaceable plant. I'm zone 7a/b and have never had any Alocasia, Colocasia, or Xanthosoma survive in the ground over even a mild winter.


 o
RE: Elephant Ears Cold Hardy?

I've had them survive in places that stay dry in the winter; trouble is, very little of my garden has good drainage. I split the difference and pot up divisions every fall to winter over indoors. That way, if they don't survive (and frequently they don't), I have replacements available. The younger plants often outstrip the older ones in growth by this time of year, anyway.


 o
RE: Elephant Ears Cold Hardy?

Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it.
Sandie


 o
RE: Elephant Ears Cold Hardy?

I would not leave them in the ground. Trouble with these tropicals is also excessive soil moisture over winter and our Eastern winters can be very wet, combined with cool/cold soil temps they are prone to rotting.


 o
RE: Elephant Ears Cold Hardy?

Hmmmmm, your comments are interesting - I am in zone 5b/6 and leave mine in the ground. I haven't lost them yet!


 o
RE: Elephant Ears Cold Hardy?

Sandie, I grow and over winter outdoors, many different elephant ears, Alocasia as well as Colocasia. Like some other members have written above, the trick to it is raising the leavel of the bed by adding gross amounts of organtic matter. I add to my beds, ground up leaves, I add a lot of that, like 50%, also soil conditioner(pine bark that is ground pretty small), a bag of black cow and a bit of sand. This is how I make most of my beds, they reall take off, and they really like the drainage in the winter. I also have bananas I leave in the ground and many other tropical plants.


 o
RE: Elephant Ears Cold Hardy?

There is one called Pink china in my greenhouse that is supposed to be ground hardy in zone 6. I'll let you know next winter. I didn't sell any of them this year because they were so small.
I overwinter the musa basjoo too. They are easy if you mulch them with bags of leaves after cutting off the stems after a hard freeze. The bags of leaves aren't so pretty, but they provide insulation, and also protection from excess moisture, and later on, in the spring, mulch! Maybe that would work with your elephant ears too?


 o
RE: Elephant Ears Cold Hardy?

I'm in NC zone 7b and they come back every year for me. No special treatment, just sandy soil with compost added. No mulching either!


 o
RE: Elephant Ears Cold Hardy?

In spring add some shredded vegetation. Maybe in April or May.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Tropicalesque Garden Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here