Elephant Ear Plant – Bold Tropical Foliage

The Elephant Ear Plant is a striking tropical plant known for its large exotic foliage. It makes a dramatic backdrop for landscapes, gardens, and home interiors.

This large leaf plant belongs to the Araceaea family, and can be planted year round in USDA Hardiness Zones 8B through 11. If you live in a colder climate, this plant can be brought indoors during the winter.

Depending on the species, the Elephant Ear Plant (also referred to as Taro Plant, Alocasia, Calocasia, and Caladium) can grow up to nine feet tall, with a spread of one to ten feet wide.

Taro plant leaves resemble an elephant’s ear; they are heart-shaped and vary in size (1-3 feet long, 1-2 feet across). The evergreen foliage texture and color differs by species; color can be green, purple, or variegated.

Elephant Ear Plants originate from tropical and sub-tropical climates. They grow from tuberous bulbs, and thrive in hot temperatures and high humidity. Their dramatic leaves emerge from the end of stiff stalks that grow in clusters.

Elephant Ear Plant Care - Indoors

Taro plants make a dramatic statement when potted as houseplants,Elephant Ear Plant and can be used as a focal point in tropical interior design themes.

Lighting - Choose a location with bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight will cause leaf color to fade.

Temperature & Humidity – Room temperature should be 65°-75° F. Keep away from hot or cold drafts. This tropical plant requires high humidity. If your home is dry, place a potted plant on a tray filled with water and pebbles.

Watering – Keep this plant evenly moist (not soggy) at all times.

Fertilizer – Feed once a month with an all purpose, slow release houseplant fertilizer.

Dormancy – At the end of summer, elephant ear plants go dormant. Cut back leaves as they die off. Move pots to a location that is room temperature (no cooler that 50° F). Shoots will start to grow back in the spring. Resume watering and move pot to a bright location.

Elephant Ear Care - Outdoors

The tropical taro plant is an evergreen perennial that grows inTaro Plant warm, humid climates, and is a dramatic backdrop for gardens and landscape. Their large, showy leaves come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and textures.

Elephant Ears can be planted year round in hardiness zones 8B-11. This plant will thrive when planted in rich, organic soil with good drainage. Be sure you choose a bright location that receives partial shade.

Elephant Ear Plants are known to be invasive, so consider planting bulbs in a confined location (edge with a border, or plant in an above ground planter). The best time for planting bulbs is spring.

  1. Dig a hole 2-3 inches deep for small bulbs, 8-10 inches for large bulbs.
  1. Place the bulb in the hole – the roots should be facing down.
  1. Fill in the hole with soil. Note: Water the plant during the planting process to prevent air pockets. Keep soil moist during the growing season.
  1. If you are planting more than one bulb, be sure to space small bulbs 12-18 inches apart, large bulbs 36-60 inches apart.
  1. Fertilize monthly with a slow release, water soluble fertilizer.
  1. If you live north of zone 8, dig up the bulbs and store them indoors for over wintering. They can be placed in a box filled with peat moss, and stored in a cool, dry location.


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