Elephant ears

Maryl zone 7aJanuary 23, 2012

Can anyone tell me if there is a difference in light levels for Alocasia versus Colocasia? Does one accept more sun, then the other? Are there any dwarf varieties that would be suitable for a smallish (10") container? I've never grown Elephant Ears so would appreciate any advice/experience you care to give. I'm looking for one that will grow in some direct afternoon sun and do well in a container....Thank You...Maryl

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I've found both do fine in sun or shade, but I'm in Michigan, and our summer conditions are, no doubt, a lot less brutal than they are in OK.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 8:30PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Either one should do equally well. In a container in full sun the problem would be to keep the soil from overheating. Plan on providing shade for the container as well as plenty of water for the container as well as soil mix that drains well. EE bulbs will rot very quickly before roots have grown if planted in soil not yet warm enough. If your soil is warm enough to plant beans, it is warm enough for EEs. Al

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 10:08AM
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Maryl zone 7a

thank you both for you input. Good thought on planting too early before the soil warms. The area will receive partial hot afternoon sun as the sun travels over this westerly location. I didn't know if direct sun (sometimes over 100+ degrees) striking the leaves for a few hours would burn them.....Again, thank you for the information.....Maryl

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 1:33AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

They do fine in full blazing sun here too. I would agree with all that was stated above, and add that they really like plenty of nitrogen.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 8:17PM
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Maryl zone 7a

A good tip Donna. I saw some Alocasias growing in a pot last year at Lowes I believe, and if they are there again this year I may try one after hearing how sun resistant they are.........Maryl

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 1:29AM
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maryl: I am in Oklahoma City. I have had a variety of alos and colos for many years. You are correct they will burn in our hot afternoon sun which is unfortunate for us because they respond to lots of light and water and fertilizer in many ways not the least of which are size and color. Lowes and HD will have what you need for your size container. In general the bigger the bulb, the bigger the EE. Tennis ball size will be about 3 to 4 feet tall. If you can keep your containers out of the direct afternoon summer sun,well fed but well drained you will be fine.

Here is a link that might be useful: okcpalms

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 8:25PM
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Maryl zone 7a

OMgosh. What can I say except WOW! about your garden. Do you plant all those bulbs every year? Amazing. Truly a labor of love. And thank you for taking the time to post your experience about EE. After the ice storm of '07 took out my shade tree, I'm dealing with afternoon sunlight so neither probably would work. I had a sneaky hunch that direct PM sun striking the leaves for hours was not a good thing. High, bright light is a different story. My neighbor had Colocasias planted on the West side of her house (the side I have to use), but because of an awning, they were not touched by direct sun light, so didn't scorch. Here there are not barriers between the suns rays and the plant...Anyway, thank you again, and I'll keep in mind the lesson on the size of the bulb. Maryl

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 4:49PM
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Hi Maryl: Thanks for your response. In general most types of EE type colocasia will overwinter in the ground successfully in OK. Most alocasia will not, although I've seen exceptions to both rules. Its funny, I lost a big tree in 07 too, which prompted me to start planting tropical type plants!

Here is a link that might be useful: okcpalms

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 11:09AM
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Different cultivars require different light. Some cannot be in full sun at all while others have to be in full sun. Generic large elephant ears need shade, African Mask, Illustrus need shade. Adora, Black Magic, Black Magic Mini, Jack's Giant, Yellow Splash, Sting Ray take full sun. You can get minis but if you want small, colorful and the look of elephant ears you should go with calladiums.

Here are 13 different ones that I used to grow. I had others too.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 7:38PM
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