Elephant ear bulb help?

ladycraft(6b MO)November 13, 2011

My elephant ear bulb had quit produceing leaves during the really hot/dry spell. I had smaller leaves come out the sides. When I dug them up all the BIG bulbs were gone with the exception of part of one. It looked like somthing had eaten the bottom of it leaving kind of a shell for the top but there were leaves growing where the eyes were. The under side was kind of mushy. We haven't had enough rain for them to rot. I looked and did find some tiny white bugs. On another small bulb I found a couple tiny snails. Does anyone have ideas to prevent this next year? I think I will find another spot but where? Thanks Kathy

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denninmi(8a)

That is normal - the existing structure (I guess it's technically a corm?) rots away, and is replaced by a new one that grows on top of the old one. It's not unusual to find the mostly rotten remains of the old bulb/corm on the base of the newly developing one.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 6:21PM
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calistoga_al

A newly planted bulb when the soil is cold and wet will rot easily, but a plant with roots established will not rot in the same condition. As mentioned above the original bulb will be gone but the plant will survive. I have some over ten years old, still doing well, although the foliage is frosted back yearly. We only get light frosts here. Al

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 8:54AM
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ladycraft(6b MO)

Thanks for the encouragement. People in this area don't usually dig each year but I don't seem to be able to get the really big leaves so thought I would ask. I still want big leaves, so I'll keep trying.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 9:48AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Al and Dennis, those are great bits of info! I learned something new! Ladycraft, you may know this, but just in case you don't, elephant ears love lots of manure and lots of water. (High temps too, of course.) Here, that is the recipe for growing really big leaves.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 9:11AM
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ladycraft(6b MO)

I didn't know they liked lots of manure. Thanks for letting me know. I retired this month so will be sure to get them more TLC this next year.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 5:52AM
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calistoga_al

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Dug up one bulb at end of first season in the ground. As you can see, from one bulb I now have several plants. Al

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At end of second season in ground. My daughter in law modeled for size comparison. Al

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 8:57AM
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