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.
Ear Plant Care - Indoors
Taro plants make a dramatic statement when potted as houseplants,
and can be used as a focal
point in tropical interior design themes.
Choose a location with bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight will
cause leaf color to fade.
– 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
Keep this plant evenly moist (not soggy) at all times.
Feed once a month with an all purpose, slow release houseplant
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.
Ear Care - Outdoors
The tropical taro plant is an evergreen perennial that grows in 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
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.
- Dig a hole 2-3 inches deep for small bulbs, 8-10 inches for
- Place the bulb in the hole – the roots should be facing
- Fill in the hole with soil. Note: Water the plant during
the planting process to prevent air pockets. Keep soil moist during the
- If you are planting more than one bulb, be sure to space
small bulbs 12-18 inches apart, large bulbs 36-60 inches apart.
- Fertilize monthly with a slow release, water soluble
- 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.