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Overwintering chartreuse Elephant Ear

Posted by donnabaskets 7b-8 MS (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 24, 13 at 22:02

Typical elephant ear type. Outfacing, 2 to 3 foot, golden green leaves. It has done well this summer with just a few hours of late morning sun. Shade the rest of the day. Without the shade, the leaves would scorch. I started two ten gallon pots with one tuber in each. Both sized up very quickly and formed a very dramatic potful of leaves.

I do not know what variety it is. It was a gift from a couple of plant happy hippies (I mean that in the VERY best way) who generously pulled a couple of tubers out a pot in their greenhouse. If it is Elena, it would be hardy in my ground. But if it is Xanthosoma, it's a tropical. (I know of no other chartreuse Elephant Ears. Do you?) Elena is chartreuse, but every picture I have seen of it has a purple eye in the leaf. Mine have purple streaks on the stalks, but none on the leaves.

So, I feel I need to assume it's Xanthosoma, unless someone can give me a confident ID. I have never overwintered a plant in a pot, but these are so positively gorgeous, that I want to attempt it.

Do I just put the pots in my basement, cut them back, and stop watering for the winter? Is it possible it's that simple? Or, do I need to water occasionally through the winter. If so, how much? How often? Honestly, I have no experience with this. There are very few plants I really care about that won't overwinter in the ground here.

Or, am I better off to dig out the roots and pack them in peat? My space is not unlimited...but I really want to hold on to these plants.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Overwintering chartreuse Elephant Ear

Dig them up, wash off excess dirt, let dry completely,cut off foliage, then put in the basement in a box. That's all I do, I've had plants each year from the original tubers from many years ago. Also, to prevent them from growing they're better out of a pot of dirt. I tried both ways and out of the ground deprives them of the medium to grow.

RE: Overwintering chartreuse Elephant Ear

Thanks. That's what I will do.

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