Planting Elephant Ear Plants in your Garden:
- Select a location in full or part sun with quality soil that is moist, rich, and organic.
- To properly prepare the bed for growing elephant ears, start by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. After, level the soil with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
- Most elephant ear plants respond well to soils amended with organic matter. Compost is a nutrient rich form of organic matter that has an ideal pH level, and can be added to your planting area at any time. If compost is not available in your area, then top dress the soil after planting with 1-2 inches of organic mulch, which will breakdown into compost over time. After the growing season, you can test the soil to find out what amendments are needed for the following season.
- Plants should stand 2-4 feet apart in the garden.
- Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
- Set level with or a little deeper than the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water.
- Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
How to Grow Elephant Ears
Growing Elephant Ears In Your Garden
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
- Keep elephant ear plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimise disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- After new growth appears, a light fertilizer may be applied. Keep granular fertilisers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer, as higher rates may encourage root rots. Elephant Ears benefit from a granular fertilizer every 2-3 weeks.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Pests or diseases are few and far between. When planting to avoid crown rot, stem rot and other fungal diseases keep your alocasia fairly dry.
- Many gardeners remove any flower stalks that develop to keep the strength in the plant.
- Elephant Ears are only hardy in zone 10.
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