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Vyacheslav Rybakov
Vyacheslav Rybakov

Where Can I Buy Elephant Ears

One look at an elephant ear plant and it is plain to see where the name comes from. These impressive plants are perfect for making grand statements in almost any yard. Often serving as focal points or creating lush, tropical gardens, elephant ears have been a fan favorite for many years. They can even be planted in pots and grown indoors under the right conditions.

where can i buy elephant ears


Knowing how to store elephant ears in winter is vital if you want your plants to survive until the next year. These beautiful plants originate from tropical climates therefore they are not cold hardy and do not survive cold winters or frost.

The Colocasia for sale from Plant Delights Nursery differ from the mundane green, box-store varieties. We offer many new and hard-to-find colocasia selections with unique, colorful leaves and stems as well as giant elephant ear plants like Thailand Giant. Whether you are looking for a chartreuse, red, or black elephant ear, we have what you want...even variegated elephant ears. We are particularly excited to offer the new Royal Hawaiian series of colocasia for sale from Hawaiian elephant ear breeder, Dr. John Cho. Although Colocasia esculenta is the main species grown in gardens and as commercial taro plants, we also offer other hard to find exotic species of elephant ear plants including Colocasia gigantea (Leucocasia gigantea), Colocasia fallax, and Colocasia affinis.

Colocasia, like many tropical aroids, will not start to grow vigorously until the summer temperatures escalate into the upper 80's. Just like real elephants, elephant ears like it hot. Like many semi-tropical plants that have some cold hardiness, elephant ears should be well established prior to the onset of cold weather in zones where they are winter hardy outdoors in the ground. If you buy Colocasia for your garden, then it is better to do so earlier in the year rather than later.

Elephant ears are heavy feeders, so if your plant isn't growing enough, you either need more water, more sun, more organic fertilizer, or compost. As a general rule-of-thumb, more water + more nutrients = more elephant ear.

Colocasia tubers eventually work their way upward through the soil, so every few years, re-bury your Colocasia at least 4" deep to ensure winter hardiness. Where Colocasia remain in the ground over winter, they will be quite late to re-emerge in late spring or early summer, unless covered with 3-6" of mulch in early fall. A few of the newer colocasia cultivars do not form large tubers and, if dug in winter, cannot be stored dry due to a lack of adequate food reserves. These small-tuber elephant ears are best over-wintered in containers in a cool basement or garage that remains 15-20 degrees above freezing. In colder climates, elephant ears can be grown in containers and brought indoors to overwinter.

There are both running and clumping varieties. Be careful where you plant the running varieties, since they can spread to 20 ft. (6 m.) quite rapidly in moist, rich soils. The clumping varieties are much more suitable to most gardens, and come in a range of sizes from a couple of feet tall to over 5 ft. (1.5 m.) in height. The basic leaf color is green, but there are now varieties with an array of foliage pattern on top of the green base. Also, a number of purple foliage varieties are now available.

Elephant Ear Bulbs are eye catching of the bulbs. Not only are the elephant ears one of the largest flowering bulbs available but they are also very versatile in that they can go with little to no direct sunlight. Caladium Bulbs are just as rigorous as they do well in full to partial shade.

Elephant ears are foliage plants that hail from tropical regions of Asia. They are members of the plant family Araceae, and their large, arrow-shaped leaves easily earn them the common name of elephant ear. Growing from subterranean bulbs, they are surprisingly easy to cultivate.

Elephant ears grow best where daytime temperatures range from 60 to 85F. In temperate climates like mine here in Pennsylvania, elephant ears are grown as a summer ornamental (often the smaller varieties are also grown indoors as houseplants). In the tropics, elephant ears are perennial and make a permanent addition to the landscape. This article focuses on the techniques needed for growing elephant ears in pots outdoors in temperate climates like mine.

There are two genera of plants commonly known as elephant ears, Colocasia and Alocasia. Some regions also refer to Caladiums as elephant ears, but this article focuses primarily on Colocasia and Alocasia species and varieties.

1. Alocasia have the thicker, sometimes upturned leaves and very distinct leaf veins. Many varieties have variegated veination as well (especially those smaller Alocasia varieties that are commonly grown as houseplants). There are nearly 100 species of Alocasia. Depending on the species, the large leaves can grow anywhere from 8 inches to 3 feet in length. Foliage and stems can range in color from green to burgundy to nearly black. Alocasia varieties with leaves that point upwards are sometimes called upright elephant ears.

While you can purchase started elephant ear plants from nurseries and garden centers, I find it much more cost effective to grow them from bulbs. I buy the bulbs at my local garden center, but there are lots of online sources too. The only time I recommend purchasing started plants instead of bare bulbs is for gardeners who live in a northern zone with a short growing season.

The ideal mix is well draining while still being water retentive. Remember, elephant ears are native to tropical regions with high amounts of rainfall and soil moisture. Many varieties will grow at the edge of a pond, but they do not like to be in stagnant water. Make sure your soil mix is capable of retaining soil without staying constantly boggy.

To plant elephant ear tubers, first fill your containers with potting mix three-quarters of the way up. Then determine which end of the elephant ear bulb is up and which end is down. On the tip of the up end is a small nub that protrudes from the bulb. This will become the shoot system. The down end has a round basal root disc where the roots will emerge from.

Place the bulb into the pot with the correct end up and cover it with more soil mix so the small nub is only about one to two inches beneath the soil surface. Do not bury elephant ear bulbs too deeply or they may take a very long time to emerge, if they emerge at all. They are not like spring-blooming bulbs that need to be planted deeply in order to survive the winter. Keep them shallow in the pot.

When growing elephant ears in pots, I tend to make them the focal point of my patio or deck display. Everyone asks about them and comments on how fun they are. The goal, of course, is to make sure you site them where you and your family can appreciate and enjoy them the most.

Both older leaves and new leaves take up a lot of space. Give potted elephant ear plants plenty of space to strut their stuff. Avoid placing the pots up against a wall or fence because the plants will grow one-sided. The more room they have, the healthier they will be.

Elephant ears evolved in regions with moist soils, so they need lots of water during the heat of summer. I water my pots daily using this method of deep watering in the summer. In the spring, before hot temperatures arrive, I water deeply two to three times a week. The pots should not be allowed to fully dry out because elephant ears are not drought tolerant. Consistent soil moisture is a key to success.

I get this question a lot. The answer is yes, when grown for their edible plant parts, some species of both Alocasia and Colocasia (Colocasia esculenta in particular) are known as taro. Both the bulbs and the stems are eaten in many cultures. Also called dasheen, kalo, edo, or a large number of other names depending on the region where it is grown, the bulb must be properly processed before eating. If it is not, it is poisonous and can cause extreme irritation due to the presence of calcium oxalate. Since it requires such careful processing, I do not recommend trying to eat Alocasia or Colocasia bulbs unless you learn how to properly prepare them first.

Elephant ears bulbs produce large, leafy plants which add a tropical look to a homes landscape. Large plants are exquisite on their own and smaller plants provide an exceptional complement to other plants with color, like Caladiums.

This plant is phenomenal. I purchased two earlier in the summer, planted them in June and they are now between 7-8 feet tall. They are both mammoth. I'd add a photo but I don't see where I can attach one. I never want to go without this gorgeous plant in my beds. It's stunning. People stop by and compliment me on it weekly. No bug issues with this plant, either. Stays clean. I simply love it!

Use tongs to carefully add dough rounds (1 or 2 depending on the size of your pan) to the hot oil. Fry the elephant ears for about a minute on each side until golden brown. Always monitor the temperature of the oil and stay close by the skillet.

The classic topping for deep fried elephant ears is cinnamon sugar but there are many other options as well. Since the elephant ear is sweetened fry bread, you can add any sweet toppings. Here are a few to try:

  • Wrap cooked elephant ears loosely in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for 1-2 days.

  • Or store in an airtight freezer storage bag for 3-4 months.

  • Reheat in the oven at 350F for 10 minutes.

Nutrition facts were calculated using three tablespoons of oil since most of it wasn't absorbed. Your results may vary depending on your oil temperature, length of cooking time, and the method of frying.

FYI, my husband used to be a bakery manager at a large grocery store in the south-they made all the elephant ear dough and had it delivered to the local county fair. It was the Italian bread dough recipe.

Hey there, I need wise advice not about the Colocasia but its elephant ear relative Xanthosoma. I ordered one a couple of months ago and it got stuck in a warehouse and went into cold shock. I'm down to the last few leaves which are fading fast. Repotted it out of the squishy nursery soil into a nice and airy aroid mix, and saw that the corm and the roots are still going strong and even setting out new ones. What should I do if my Xanthosoma loses all of its leaves? Do I need to lift the corm so it doesn't rot or is it ok to stay in the soil? Have been looking for advice specific to the xanthosoma but haven't seem to have found any. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you :) 041b061a72


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