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Elephant Ear Plant: The Ultimate Tropical Addition to Your Garden

The Ultimate Tropical Addition to Your Garden

Elephant ears or colocasia is a tropical perennial plant. These are ornamental garden plants that add a bold, tropical look to any garden. They can make amazing garden specimens. The recent decades have seen a huge increase in the shapes, sizes, and colours of garden-worthy elephant ears. You can get elephant ear plants with leaves larger than a human’s. Let us explain more about elephant ears.

The elephant ear plant has been around for quite a while and has been cultivated as a food crop for more than 10,000 years. This makes it one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. Its botanical name is Colocasia Esculenta, which comes from the Latin word for edible. Though it is toxic when raw due to calcium oxalate crystals, it is edible when cooked.

The plant can provide a lush tropical interest in your yard. Its leaves grow upright rather than arching over. It does quite well in containers. Elephant ear plants prefer moist but non-clay soil. They can take partial shade well and get some sun. But it should stay moist. You can feed according to the label directions with a good fertiliser. The best spot for growing an elephant ear is in partial sun or bright shade. Full-day long sun can possibly burn the foliage, and dense shade without any sun can be too much shade.

Elephant ears come in a variety of sizes, from small apple-sized tubers to the size of a bowling ball. The bigger the tuber, the bigger the matured plant will be. The plant is a perennial. You can plant them in pots initially and keep them at a bright window. Elephant ear plants require more water and more nutrients, especially giant elephant ear plants like the ‘Laosy Giant’ and the Thailand Giant, since their leaf size greatly depends on the resources available.

Many people grow this plant in shallow bodies of water, but some species need better drainage. They grow very well as a pond marginal. Potted elephant ears should be brought indoors in cold winter climates. They are heavy feeders and perform best when given organic fertilisers and rich organic soil with plenty of composted material. The elephant ear plant will continually produce new leaves as the older ones die off.

Why Should You Grow Elephant Ear?

  • Adding a tropical flair: The oversized leaves of elephant ears scream nothing but ‘tropical’, which means relaxing. They are a perfect way to feel like a vacation in your own yard.
  • Adding contrast to your garden: Elephant ear is perfect for creating contrast in your plant palette. Contrast comes in the form of size, texture, and colour.
  • Excellent focal points: Due to their size, elephant ear plants are excellent focal points in the garden, immediately drawing the eye.
  • Dramatic effect: You can have all types of garden styles, such as modern, romantic, and traditional. But if you are looking for drama, only a few plants can rival elephant ears. Their leaves grow several feet long or wide and thus can grab and hold your attention.

How Can You Use Elephant Ears?

  • Landscapes with pools: If you have a pool in your yard, you can create a small staycation vibe by planting elephant ears close to the entertainment area. But make sure you don’t plant them in the hot blaring sun side of the pool as they do prefer a little shade.
  • Growing in a container: If you want to grow elephant ears in a container, make sure that the container is large enough to house their considerable growth. Also, make sure you stay on top of regular watering. You may also pair them with draping or cascading plants or complementary flowers so that you can complete your mini tropical garden.
  • Lush and colourful tropical garden: Elephant ear plants pair beautifully with other part-shade tropicals like caladiums, ferns, begonias, impatiens, etc. A combination of these plants can provide a wide range of colours and textures to your landscape to create a dazzling and inviting one.

Varieties of Elephant Ear Plant

  • Alocasia Hilo Beauty: This is technically a caladium but is usually referred to as an Alocasia. It has a slightly shorter growth of up to three feet and has deeply coloured stems with brilliantly splotchy foliage.
  • Colocasia Royal Hawaiian Black Coral: It grows up to 4 inches tall and has black foliage that features blue veining.
  • Alocasia Odora Giant Fragrant: This one features giant foliage with pale peach blooms that offer heavenly fragrance in the evening. It can make all of your outdoor gatherings enchanting.
  • Colocasia White Lava: It has heart-shaped leaves and deep red stems with a dramatic white veining and purple splotch in the centre of the leaf. This one truly has a unique leaf pattern.

Final Take

Elephant ear plants can be a great addition to any garden, big or small. They require extremely low maintenance and can thrive pretty well without much care.