Elephant Ears (or Colocasia) are one of my favorite tropical plants and make an excellent addition to any home. Elephant ears are very easy to grow, they come in several sizes and varieties, and you can take them in and out of the house depending on the season! Don’t be afraid to garden outside your zone either. If you are willing to get your elbows dirty, elephant ears can be a lot of fun, and you can enjoy them year around both in your yard and indoors as house plants.
1. Terrific Flexibility
Elephant ears are terrific in pots as well as the garden. Their biggest strength is that they will do well in full sun, partial sun and even shade.
However, they will not survive in cold temperatures. If you do decide to plant them in your garden (and you don’t live in zone seven), you’ll need to dig them up at the end of the season. This year was the first winter I decided to pot them and it was a great treat enjoying them indoors. If you don’t have room to keep them as a houseplant, the bulb can be dug up and stored in a cool, dry space such as a basement.
2. Price to size ratio
You’ll love the price to size ratio! That is, without spending a lot of money, you can get a beautiful plant that covers a lot of room in your garden. They can get extremely tall and full, which makes them a great tool for the garden in that they can fill an empty spot while you wait for your perennials and shrubs to mature.
3. Great varieties
I have grown several different varieties, but my favorite variety is Illustris, it is black with hints of green down the middle. I also love the black magic. It is smaller in size then the Illustris but completely black which adds a real boldness to your garden.
4. Getting started
A nice way to plant a group of them in the ground is to buy one growing plant, more expensive, and then several bulbs, much cheaper. Then plant the bulbs around the plant – this way you have some instant gratification and color. This also helps you to remember where you planted the bulbs while you wait for them to come up, an you’ll be less likely to disturb that area.
I have purchased Elephant ears from a variety of stores (including, Walmart, Home Depot, Bruce Company, Johansons, Logees and Costco) and had a lot of success. It speaks to the overall ease with which they can be cared for.