Elephant ears have a wide range of types which differ in color, size, and patterns. These tropical beauties are known for its broad leave surfaces and hence the name. There are more than 3,000 species of this plant around the world, some of which are Alocasia, Caladium, Colocasia, Xanthosoma which are commonly available. The history of this plant goes more than 28,000 years in the past and is said to have been found first in the forests of Southeast Asia. It has been a food crop for countries with tropical regions like Indonesia, Polynesia, China, and Africa.
The elephant ears grow in various shapes and patterns and based on that they have been defined in several types such as Black Beauty, Amazonica, Black Stem, Calidora, Coffee Cup, Cranberry, Diamond Head, Illustris, Mojito, Nigra and many more.
Before you plan on growing Elephant ears in your backyard, read these tips to have a healthy plant.
When to plant
Spring season is the best suited season for planting elephant ears in your garden, soon after the cold and frosty weather goes away. However, the time and quality of the type of plant also affect its growth due to which you have to buy them from a reputed service, check for signs liketo know about the availability of the plant. If you live in a colder climate, try to wait till you experience full summer season to receive proper sunlight and heat. Consider keeping your elephant ear plants indoors if you stay in a cold region and use grow lights to provide the required heat.
Where to plant
Elephant ears are tropical plants and prefer a more humid and bright environment to grow at its comfort. It is not necessary to expose the plant under direct sunlight, but it requires sufficient heat. Consider choosing a spot with a partially shady place. If you notice the browning of the leaves, consider moving the plant to a more shady place. Proper water supply is also required. It is always a good idea for the plant to grow inside a greenhouse. But if the plant is kept indoors, it needs sufficient room to grow, as the elephant ear plant can reach up to eight feet.
Tips to take care of the plant
Elephant ear plants do not require much attention once it finds a suitable place to grow. It can also survive throughout the winter with little care.
It prefers partial shading and partial sunlight, though some of its types will prefer full shade even better. As the plant-like moisture, the absence of humidity in brighter places can make the plant grow brown. In another case, if the outside temperature drops below 50 degrees, consider moving the plant to indoors or the greenhouse.
These plants are thirsty for moisture due to their tropical habitat. Potting them partially submerged in water is a good way to grow. Keep the plants away from strong winds to prevent dehydration. Keep the supply of water as much as you can, but if you miss a day, you might find browning next time.
The elephant ear plants like the soil which has organic compost and organic fertilizers. Try to add manure to the soil to keep the plant rich in nutrients. Also, do not forget to give proper space for the plants to grow otherwise, it will slow down or stop the overall growth of the plant.