Growing Elephant Ear Black Magic in a pot

linnea56(z5 IL)June 8, 2011

I saw this mentioned in an old thread last week. Someone replied to a thread saying she grew hers in a pot then was able to keep indoors like a houseplant in winter. I tried messaging the poster, but have not heard back.

Considering how long this bulb takes to get started, this seems like a good idea to me. I was planning to plant mine in the ground, but now I am re-thinking that. Hauling in the pot would be easier. I don't have much luck storing tubers of anything over the winter if I dig them up. (Just ask my dahlias). I already started it in about a 1 gallon nursery pot in the house, to give it a head start: I assume I'd need to put it in something larger.

Anyone else do this?

How big of a pot do you need to grow Black Magic?

They are supposed to like it moist, don't they? I wonder if I could keep it moist enough in a pot. I assume for that reason that plastic would be better than clay.

Or, have you ever tried digging it up from the garden and transferring it to a pot in the fall?

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calistoga_al

You can do as you suggest. I have some in pots as well as in the ground. I use about a 15 inch clay pot. My pots are watered on a dripper, but you could dig your pot into the garden for the summer and then dig it up in the fall. It will get bigger every year,including the roots, so I would not use a smaller pot. Al

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 10:04AM
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denninmi(8a)

I've got the majority of my tender bulbs in pots. I am now hauling in probably 60 to 70 large pots -- about 20 of them are 20" diameter. Its quite the annual trek to and from the basement and barely heated garage, but they store SO MUCH BETTER and it eliminates all of the digging and replanting.

Colocasias respond beautifully to this treatment. I just stop watering them a week or so before I want them to come in, then cut off the foliage and plunk them down in the basement, keeping them dry and dark. Alocasias I don't trim, or don't trim all the way at least, and I do give them some light and enough water to keep them from drying out and dying.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 3:30PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Thanks! Do you both bury the whole pot? That would be quite a big pot to dig out. I was wondering if maybe I could sink it enough to prevent tipping, while allowing me a large enough projection to be able to wrestle the pot out again. I water constantly in that area, so it's not like it will dry out by being exposed. I might opt for plastic, to make the weight easier to handle.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 9:56PM
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calistoga_al

You do not have to dig in the pot if you can maintain the moisture and the roots are not overheated by heat collected by the pot. If you use a plastic pot it should be a light color and not be subject to being blown over as the plant becomes top heavy, it could be tied down if need be. Al

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 8:59AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I use my Black EE for drama on the patio. I do the same as denninmi. Big pots and drag them in to the basement and give them a sip of water once a month.

I have a lot of tropicals that are used exclusively for the patio. I have cannas, Dahalias, Glads etc. I would never have time to dig up all the tender bulbs that I grow for the summer.

My pots are so big they never blow over I do not use small pots because I grow more than one plant in a pot. My pots are planted like gardens,

I use my gardens for perennials the tenders are grown in pots.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 10:33PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Thanks! Tomorrow, I go looking for a big pot. It's about 15" tall now and unfurling it's first leaf. I'm planning to locate it amid some large hostas, so that will keep the pot cool, and make it possible to hide the wire I'll use to anchor it. I also thought of cutting some coat hanger wire, bending one end into a hook, hooking it over the lip, and driving the straight end into the ground.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 12:42AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

I just potted it up. There's a lot of bare dirt around the stem/top of the bulb. Any ideas for shallow rooted plants that would look good with it? I'm striking a blank. Especially considering I will be bringing it in for the winter.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 11:56PM
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calistoga_al

I like the Campanula poscharskyana. It is a light colored green foliage, small leaves with a large amount of lavender flowers, small star shaped that will drape over the container edges. To me it makes a really nice contrast to EE you are growing. Al

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 10:50AM
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