urn shaped planter and elephant ears

lecorbeau(7b)April 28, 2012

I have a 20" tall urn shaped planter that is 13" in idameter at its widest part but only has an opening 8" in diameter.

I know that it will make a very handsome addition to my patio, but I don't know how to get there!

I wondered if elephant ears would do well - I have all varieties of sun and shade, and 2 elephant ear bulbs (no idea what kind).

Would they be too large for the opening?

Should I leave the urn with no hole at the bottom or drill a hole for drainage?

I just realized this post is actually 2 questions:

1. what to put in the urn and whether to add a hole

2. what size container to put the EEs in and what other plants would look good with them in the same pot

Thanks for any help.


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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I can't answer your question about elephant ears; I've never grown them. But I do know nothing will grow well in a container without drainage holes.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 6:22PM
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Thanks for answering. I'm not sure but I thought elephant ears were the same as taro and that they grow in water. That's why I wondered if it would be better to not drain them.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 9:30AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

There are a couple different plants called elephant's ears, and one is a bog plant. But I think the water it needs to sit in must be fresh. In an urn without drainage holes it would quickly become stagnant. I found a long and interesting discussion of both kinds in the bog forum that you might like to read.

Here is a link that might be useful: How do I plant elephant's ear?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 10:50AM
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I think that elephant ear (at least one I grew few yrs. ago) may be too large for 8" opening. The leaves were over 2feet long. Really beautiful; I had it in large pot, diam. was 16".

I watered it generously daily, and it just grew. But pot did have drainage hole. At the end of the season I collected the corm; it actually had "baby corms", so I had more for the next season. I just stored them for the winter(like canna or dahlias).
They could grow quite tall, so that should be considered for your location.
I would not grow it in stagnant water, even if they tolerate boggy conditions. They prefer semi-shade/shade, will do well in dappled sunlight. I would not grow them in full sun.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 1:08PM
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Thanks Ohiofern and Rina! I have planted my EEs in a large pot with a wide opening and am keeping it wet. I can't wait to see what kind they are.

As for the urn, it is like the classic olive oil urn. I will try to find an ornamental grass for it.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 6:47PM
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maybe you can post photos when your EE grows...

The urns should be nice with just about anything. My daughter just planted hers with a Ghost fern, I really like it (it's greyish, and grows 'upright').
Green ferns look great too.
I like to combine plants with anything trailing - small-leaved ivy, creeping Jenny, wire vine (Muhlenbeckia), dichondra...
Ornamental grass is a good idea. Japanese forrest grass (Hakonechloa macra) is great looking in containers - you have countless choices.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 11:15PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I avoid the urn shape for most plants. EE will quickly fill the area with roots that you will not be able to get out of the urn without a lot of work cutting them all up into small pieces. I look for a tapered container that does not restrict later removal. Al

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:47AM
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The urn -- complete with drainage holes -- now holds Solomon's seal, which I had on hand, and Virginia creeper, which is about to come out and be replaced with duckfoot coleus as soon as I can get some.

Thanks for the ideas Rina. I'll post photos of the EEs when they get a little bigger so someone can tell me what they are.

Al, I understand why you don't use the urn shape. To help, I left more inches than usual above the soil, so that the soil is only a little higher than the widest part. Then, at least I will be able to reach in to divide the plants, I hope.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 11:54PM
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hope to see photos, that should look nice (coleus is nice in pots/urns).

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 7:02AM
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