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Elephant ears in container?

Posted by wizarama 6b PA (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 24, 07 at 12:11

Hello- my dad knows i love plants...... so for easter he bought me an Elephant ear bulb. Ii have never grown one of these but have seen huge specimens in my neighbors yard years ago!
I live in a condo and have a south facing second floor porch and would love to grow this in a container and have a nice big plant to help with privacy
! Anyone have any suggestions or information? or pictures?
i am not sure of any specifics of type of "ear" it is.
Please help!
THANKS :)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Elephant ears in container?

They are cool plants, aren't they? I picked up a softball sized bulb myself to try in a container this year.

I can't offer you any advice born from experience other than these are high water plants so take that into account when you consider pot size and planting medium. The tops will catch a lot of wind so also consider adding weight to the pot if you are in a windy area.

How deep to plant the bulb seems to be a question of which type you have. I bought mine on impulse and it wasn't labeled either so I will just tuck it 4" or so down and see what happens.

Haven't decided what to place it in yet, but I am leaning toward a 15 gallon container that will also have tall cannas in them. If I do that I will line the inside with plastic sheeting and flood the container with water once growth has started. Cannas seem to love this, I suspect the ear will as well.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 24, 07 at 16:09

They are heavy feeders. In the ground I use 27-3-3 on them. In containers, they'll appreciate frequent applications of a controlled release or soluble fertilizer high in N.

Al


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Yes! They can be grown in containers.
I first tried it in 2004. I grew it in a 16" pot-
This pic is from July '04 - when it was still "small"!
EEs-072204

In the fall, I dug it up - it was a SOLID pack of roots. I stuck it in a basin & kept it in a corner of my (cool) livingroom over the winter. I potted it up (in the same pot) and here's how it looked in July 2005:
Elephant Ears

In Aug 2005 - it looked like this:
EEs-080705

The plant gets enormous - even in a pot. It needs a LOT of water.... a WHOLE LOT of water!

I don't recommend planting it with the cannas. Put it in its own pot.
You see how it looked in July? By Sept, it was HUGE. One of the leaves was nearly 2 feet long!
It's a great plant!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Hey OutofSpite,

What is the container sitting in for the 2005 photos? Is that to catch excess water or to *hold* excess water?

I am thinking about putting an ear in with canna because the canna are tougher (more rigid) than the ears are and the cannas are Pretorias which grow very tall for me and would clash beautifully. I am pretty sure they will hold their own against the ear.

I am quite poor at visualizing how things will look once fully grown so it may not look all that great, but the plants seem like natural bunk mates given they have the same water/fert hunger. Am I crazy to think I could top it all off with some purple wave petunias as a 'ground cover'? My goal is a loud, maybe even obnoxious container. ;-)


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

The pot is sitting in a clear plastic saucer to hold the water.
While I understand your desire to have a loud, wild container, in all honesty I can't see planting the cannas with the EEs.
Mainly because of the EE roots. They completly - I mean TOTALLY filled the pot. The cannas might get strangled.
I think I have a pic somewhere of the plant after I removed it from the pot. I'll see if I can find the pic & post it here. It was solid - like a pot-shaped block of root-y concrete. It was amazing!
As for "ground cover" - The EE's leaves will block any sun. Any sun-loving plants will likely suffer.
Also - the pics above were taken after I did some "house-keeping". As the EEs grow, the stems spread out. Eventually, the weight will cause a stem to bend & eventually start to turn yellow. I cut these off during the season. What you see here is after I cut some off. There was a point when the plant was nearly 4 1/2 feet wide. It took up a large area of my yard. It got quit crowded.
I'm going to look for some more pics.


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Elephant ears in container-more pics

OK - I found some more of the EE pics.
Here's another shot of the plant in Aug 2004:

EEs-082104

Here's the largest leaf the plant produced -20inches x 13 inches -

EE leaf-20x13-061204

Here are a couple of shots of the roots.
See what I mean?

EEs-roots-close-110704

EEs-roots1-110704


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I have to agree that in the same pot with canna or petunia would be a real challenge. Buttttt, do a few containers with each with its own space and you will have winning combo to enjoy for the season. BTW I think I am going to grow a black leaved on in a whiskey style barrel and use some petunia for filler for the first few months. As the taro fills out then I will let the petunias fade away. So yes I will contradict myself that combos can be done in the right size pot and for a period of time. One of these days I will learn how to post pix and drop some in of this combo. The taro are very small corms with just a few leaves so it may take several months for it to fill out so the petunias will be happy for a while and should look drop dead gorgeous till the crowding begins in late June or July maybe a little longer. I haven't played with this variety so I can't say how fast for sure it will fill out. Since I am a garden center manager I have many plant options but I do like to do something different each year to show the possible combos and stylings that people can use short and long term.
Happy Growing David


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Thanks for the advice and the great pics!
Your EE are BEAUTIFUL!!! I hope mine do just as well.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

OK, I am slowly, but surely becoming convinced the canna may not work out in the same container ;-)

Thanks for those pics, they are worth thousands of words.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I bought some elephant ear bulbs about a month ago. I put them in a pot, covered them with about an inch of dirt, and water fairly regularly. It's been a month and I am still watering a pot of dirt. What's wrong?!?


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Sweet elephant ears, I'm going to plant my EEs in pots this year since I'll be moving to a place with no yard. Let's see how that goes!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

lizzyd - when I first planted mine I didn't see anything for a while. I kept looking at the center of the pot. One day I decided to dig it up to see if there was anyaction going on. I figured if it was all soft & mushy - it was a no go & would just toss the whole thing. If it llooked like something was going on - pale shoots, new roots, whatever... I'd just put it back in the pot & wait some more.
Well the day I was going to unearth it, I was just about to dig it up when a spot of green caught my eye. The thing is, it wasn't coming up in the center, but at the edge of the pot.
I looked closer and found four more shoots! All around the perimeter. Once it started, it started growing like crazy.

So you can wait - or maybe sneak a peek.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Lizzyd: You have been pretty cool most of this last month haven't you? Might be a little cool for the EE to want to sprout from a bulb. Other than that they do like moisture when they have roots but too wet to start them. Thats all I can think of at the moment as to why they haven't sprout for you yet.
Good Luck and happy growing David.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

This one had the most humungous leaves I've ever seen!!! I didn't have as many leaves, but what a sight!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

okay that does it! I've admired EE's as you all are calling them, from afar for the past several years. Really been wanting to try them so now after reading all your inspiring successes and looking at outofspite's incredible pictures, I'm going to have to give them a try too! Only problem is, I'm going to have to get a pot too. I've run out!!!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Huge leaves, wendyb! Aren't they great?

lizzyd - ditto to what hitexplanter said - EEs are tropical, so if your's are outside, they won't start until it gets warmer. When I started mine, the pot was indoors. Even then it took about 3 weeks before something showed up.

amare_al - You've officially been ENABLED! LOL!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Ok, I'm having the same issue as lizzyd. It's been a month now since I planted 3 large bulbs in a large crimson red container. It's still a pot of dirt. I planted each bulb about 6 in deep. What's the deal? I sure hope it grows.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Sounds to me like it's too deep, rajesh.
I planted mine so the top was just beneath the surface.

Don't use the rule of "plant as deep as the bulb is wide".
That's for tulips, daffodils & such.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I planted a bulb in a 16" container last year for the first time. I put the tip of the bulb maybe 1 " below the top of the soil -- I then planted red salvia in the front of the pot with the EE at the back center. It seemed to take for ever for it to grow - in fact I had given up on it when it starting shooting up and then it kept on growin all summer. If I knew how to post pics I'd show you my pot. I bought an entire box of bulbs this year at Sam's club and am going to be passing a few around to friends since I won't need all 12 msyelf. Try them - I think EE are wonderful!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I am getting ready to plant my EE soon. I have had great success with them in pots.

Question>>>>>>>>In the photos, it looks like there is more than one bulb in the pot. I usually only plant only one because I have been concerned about crowding. I do plant impatiens with only one bulb but I think I like the fullness of more EE better, plus I have numerous babies from years past.

Happy Gardening!!

SG


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

If you're refering to my photos - there is just ONE bulb planted.
Yep - just one.
It sent out shoots from the sides first. That's why The first ones to surface were around the perimeter of the pot.
More grew above them but if I remember correctly, nothing actually grew from the middle of the bulb - just the sides.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Typically the larger bulbs that are purchased are the old stuff from the prior year and the top is what grew the corm that you are now planting then this corm has offset(babies) that come out the sides of the corm and feeds off the starch (food) from the corm until the roots and leaves can provide for its own needs. The original (bulb) corm mostly turns to mush after has given its all to start the babies (offset shoots)that will be what you grow for this year. In Hawaii we used to take huli which is the smaller plants with just a 1/4 to 1/2 slice of the corm to make new crops for the coming season. We would cut off the main leaves but leave the growing point with the small leaf just coming out or still not coming out of the growing point of the leaf sheath. We grew about 40 types of Hawaiian native taro and man some varieties were great eating, some not so great but pretty. If you want to understand some of the differences google Alocasia and coalasia and you will be amazed at the great diversity that awaits any gardener that wants to explore these incredible and in many cases edible plants. I like fresh pounded poi or baked taro or fried taro just not the fermented stuff they serve at luau for the poor unsuspecting tourists.
Happy Growing and Aloha from Texas but lived the Hawaiian kine lifestyle for 10 years before I fell in love with a born and bred Texas gal 11 years ago. I still miss good eating taro but am starting this year to play with a few locally available types and will try cooking some this fall. Aloha from Texas David


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I used to live in Hawaii and while this may be completely false was told the reason Samoans are almost universally grossly overweight (but healthy) is from eating a lot of taro.

What do you think? I tried taro once prepared by someone else and really didn't care for it.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I think that kind of statement is a gross misrepresentation of the polynesian culture. Much like saying irish are feisty because they eat lots of potatoes. How was the taro prepared? Like all things tastes differ and some like potato some don't or asparagus or broccoli. Taro was a staple food for Hawaiians and still is in some other polynesian cultures. One thing to help understand these cultures were that big was not a negative thing and was a show of wealth (aka enough to eat.). I am over simplfying this statement but there is more to this statement than just size. Each culture of man finds different attributes to be beautiful or desirable. Western culture has gone more toward body art (tatoo and piercing) of which tatoo is a polynesian art form now recognized for it art in other cultures of the world. Not my cup of tea but who am I to judge some one else but by the beauty of there heart and soul. I can't say I attracted to skinny pale bodies (aka western cultures idea of beauty)personally but if the heart and soul is beautiful I can love the person. The same holds true for a large (obese) person. Much like the plants that we all enjoy growing there are all types of sizes, shapes, and colors. Nature and humans are each beautiful in their own way. Let us revel in this and spread the joy of diversity.
Happy Growing David
Forgive the long discourse that is off topic at least to some degree and only partially related to this forum.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Hi David,

My apologies if you perceived anything offensive in my posting. I assure you my use of the term 'grossly obese' was meant in the medical sense, not as a pejorative. It is my observation that Samoans are generally extremely large people, even the kids.

Nothing wrong with that, I was just wondering if there was any truth to the idea that a diet high in taro contributes to this. But, it is off topic.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

No offense taken. Just trying to explain to the best of my limited ability cultural contrast and perception. Much of current diet trends are toward getting back to a more native diet in the islands to combat diabetes and other challenges to the fast food, Spam and other unhealthy aspects of the eating habits of western culture that have created health crisis in many polynesian cultures. Taro is a high starch like a potato and if too much is consumed could lead to obesity. But so can big macs. Taro has great nutritional values and is a healthy part of a diet if eaten in moderation like most high starches. What was eaten 200 years ago by folks in Hawaii is much different than today. Yet size seems to be a part of the genes. The unhealthy aspects of a modern diet has been the biggest contribution to the rise of disease in Native populations of the pacific. A more native traditional diet of fish taro and greens(like taro leaf)triple boiled to reduce the calcium oxalates have shown many health benefits but not reduced size most cases that I have read about. So no I doubt taro is a direct correlation to size in the Samoan population or any other polynesian culture. Enjoy those EE's and if interested learn more how they are (or least have been) as important as a starch food source as the potato and rice to other cultures of the world.
I love to talk about plants and the correlations to the culture that grows them for food or beauty sometimes even both as in the case of many elephant ears. Back to regularly scheduled container forum:) Happy Growing David


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Finally! I see shoots from 2 of the 3 bulbs I planted. I couldn't resist and dug down to the 3rd and it also has green shoots which just hadn't broken the surface yet. I can't wait til it picks up growth and fill the container.

hitexplanter, are EE and taros the same thing? I've had taro roots in Hawaii before and they are delicious! It was a a dish consisting of a bed of grilled mashed taro layered upon which was grilled asparagus brushed in olive oil and layered upon those a fine fillet of native fish (forgot which...opakapaka?) With a glass of dry white wine, that was a devine meal.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Many of the plants in the ornamental trade are types not for eating (because of the high calcium oxalates) but others are. Read up on the difference between alocasia and coalasia and you will see where the main differences are.
I am glad to hear your plants are up and going. Yes Many people like taro and others not. Just like some taro are good and some NOT. Usually what you are growing is the part eaten. The small babies (keikis) are the main ones for regrowing the next crop as briefly explained earlier in this thread.
Happy Growing David


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Okay, for all you EE experts out there.
I was at Wally world this past Sat. and lucked out with all their spring bulbs being on sale for HALF-OFF! I was able to get a package of EE's for only $2.50! They all look really healthy and were packaged in a bit of potting soil. Now, it came time to plant them in my pots especially purchased for this purpose. I looked and looked and looked and looked again. I'll be darned if I couldn't tell which end was supposed to be UP! I've always thought it kind of silly when I read about tulips and being sure they are planted right side up so they'll GROW of course. Now, I am the one that needs to be laughed at. I even called the locally owned garden center and of course he couldn't really tell me without looking at them himself. So, I got online and googled "planting ee's" and came up with several good sites. In trying to explain which end goes up, one kind soul said "and if you can't figure it out, then just plant them on their sides". Now how's that for logic? So that's exactly what I did. Does anyone have any additional input on the matter? It's not too late for me to change it but I am not sure it's necessary. What say you?!?! :-)


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Great deal!
As for which way is up -
The one I had was pretty easy to figure out.
It was slightly flat on the bottom. The sides were rough. The top had a small smooth spot on the top that *looked* like it would be where it would start growing.
Most of the ones I've seen in the nurseries were sort of egg-shaped. The top was the smaller end.
Does this help any?


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Out of spite,
the problem I'm having with these is that first of all, one of the three is not like the others which are more rounded, it's a very elongated egg shape with a cone like shape on one end. But, all three of them have an end that looks like white roots are coming out of it but also on that same end is something that appears that it could be the start of the plant. It's a pointy, slightly curved growth that has pink coloration. I thought it strange that both were coming out the same end and I would presume that to be the top because of the growth???!!!???!!! They remain on their sides until further notice. LOL!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

They will grow on their side and do fine. Many a seed is done that way. It will do no real harm. The corm (bulb is merely a storage unit of energy for the plant (food)us or new plant in this case. It may be nice and the best way to plant it upright but I have planted so many plant seed, corm, tuber, bulbs on their side and had good results that I wouldn't loose any sleep over it.
Happy Growing David


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Thanks for your input David!
I'm leaving them on their sides and hoping for the best. Can't wait to see them poking their little heads up out of the soil and get going. I am SO impatient and just like a kid at Christmas when it comes to waiting for newly planted stuff to grow! LOL!
Stephanie


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Huh. Fascinating thread. I saw these huge baseball-size bulbs at the HD this weekend and wondered what the heck they were. Sounds like they'd be a great conversation starter. Especially since I now know the whole backstory on Karo.

I might have to go back and buy one! Incredible photos!
I have been enabled, too.

Thanks!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Did you know that taro is the easiest way to put on weight? (poi) Actors use it all the time for theater or movie roles. But it's also the easiest weight to take off. Those of you with HIV or weight loss problems will find taro will put weight on you quick! It's getting to be sold locally at super markets. Usually 3 or 4 different kinds. Wal-Mart was selling them for 7-8 dollars for the large. I bought several as food items for $1.29 a pound.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

thanks for this interesting thread. about 3 years ago i planted a few elephant ears and hoped for the best (i'm a transplanted chicagoan now living in durham NC). they looked great that first year. the following years they were quite puny, never even reaching a foot in height. we had really hot summers and i planted them in full sun -- i think maybe they didn't get enough water ... i doubted i'd see them again but although they're tiny, they're making a gallant effort to grow yet again. after reading this thread i dug them up and placed them in pots. wish me luck! :)

pat


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Ok i'm back- planted my EE bulb about a month ago and no signs of growth yet? I have it in a large pot with good soil- it is getting tons of sun and I water it almost daily! am I doing something wrong? did I get a bad bulb? please help!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Great thread; the "heavy feeder" part would explain why mine only ever put out 2 leaves at a time. Once the next leaf decided to emerge from the stem of the second, the first would die off. Sigh. I'm such a plant killer.

Maybe I'll try them again; will def go the grocery-store route (root?) next time because I already knew they sold them there.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Wizarama,

Why not gently scoop away the soil and see what's going on? About a month ago I put a bunch of cannas and one EE in nursery containers and left them inside because the nights were still occasionally quite cold.

It was less that a week ago the canna began emerging to I removed them from the pots and placed them in their 'summer home'.

The EE hadn't yet emerged from the soil line, but when I transplanted it I noticed it had some roots and there were growing 'points' on the bulb. It still hasn't broken the soil surface though.

I guess what I am saying is check on it and be patient.

This is my first year growing EE and it seems to behave like caladium in that it will just sit and sit and sit waiting for it's perfect weather and then right around the time I think they must be dead it starts growing.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Remember, they are a tropical plant. It's been pretty cool so far (esp. at night)
They'll work on their roots & wait for warmth before sticking their heads out.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

ok i must admit i did dig a little soil up and take a look to see if anything was going on and I saw a little sprout but wasn't sure if it was a weed that made it's way in there or if it was working on the roots as I had read- it was hard to tell and I was trying not to dmamge it! so i carefully covered it back up - hopefully it is roots like you guys say it is- wish me luck!! and thanks again for all of the info!!! when it breaks the surface I will check back in and let you know!!! THANKS!!!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Out of spite:

In the fall, I dug it up - it was a SOLID pack of roots. I stuck it in a basin & kept it in a corner of my (cool) livingroom over the winter.

Do you trim the roots? Do you replant for the winter? I've kept mine inside in a west facing window in winter, then outside in the shade in summer. This will be its 4th winter and I really need to repot it as the leaves are getting smaller (my fault; life got in the way :-(

Thanks for any input.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

The 2nd year, the plant was a little smaller - but not by much. I didn't put it out at all in 2006. I put it, basin and all, in my Mom's basement. I checked it last week & noticed new shoots popping out. New bulbs had formed all around what used to be the original. I broke them apart and ended up with 4 orange sized ones, 1 tangerine sized one and a bunch of "bits & pieces".
I gave three away & planted the orange, tangerine & bits&pieces. It'll be interesting to see what developes.

As for the roots, when I first unpotted it & let it dry out. When the soil dried out, I sort of just tore into it. A lot of the roots just broke away on their own.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Okay, you have me hooked! Is it too late to start EE? outofspite, your's is beautiful!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

No, Pink, it isn't too late. Mine is *just* starting to emerge as of this morning.

Anyone know if soaking the bulb for a day speeds them up?


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I don't think that will help, justaguy.
That's for hard shelled seeds.
Patience is the word.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Reason I ask, outofspite, is I recently picked up some bulbs (can't remember what kind) and they were super hard, like little rocks. The package instructions said best results would be had by soaking them for 48 hours in water before planting.

I figure the bulbs probably have to absorb a certain amount of moisture before they get going, but then again maybe not.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Temp and moisture are the key ingredients to getting for EE's going. Moist not wet until there are enough roots to support more frequent watering. Taro is fairly soft as bulbs go so that is why soaking in not likely to be of much benefit. Other harder bulbs may be a case for soaking.
75-85 degrees seems to be good, lower than 70 degrees slows the sprouting and rooting considerably.
Happy Growing David


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

The bulbs you have are soft? Hmmm... The bulbs in the stores around here are all like round, softball sized rocks. Super hard. Probably a different EE.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Probably the biggest difference we speak of is I am use to fresh not stored bulbs when it comes to taro. Remember that I was use to harvesting and making new ones in the same week. So if they are in long term storage and the starch hardens enough then yes it may well help to soak for a day or two before planting them to activate the dormant bud-eyes. This is a good point and I need to keep reminding myself this discussion is all based on what consumers buy in the stores not what they harvest themselves.
Happy Growing David


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Hi wizarama,

I planted my EE right in the ground in full sun 4 wks 3days ago. One week ago I finally saw some growth. In one week they've gone from tiny stem tips to what you see in the picture. I planted them in miracle gro potting soil with the bulb tips sticking out then covered the bulbs with mulch. I then fertilized with alot of fertilizer right on top of the bulbs then watered down through. I live in Chambersburg PA edge of 6b. Just wondering where you are. I see your from Pennsyltucky also. Glad to see some one else in this state likes tropicals too! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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Elephant Ears - not growing??!

I got my EE's from an online nursery. (UGH, won't do THAT again) but anyway, they stated the plants should be planted once received. So, we did. IT's been about 4-6 weeks now and I don't see anything yet! When should I be expecting to see some growth? They are planted in full sun to shade in late afternoon.

Also, I purchased 3 separate bulbs from a local place and put them in about 3 weeks ago and same thing, nothing. I dug up one bulb and the lower half is softer than the top - it was like a baseball when I put it in.. is this good?


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Rosemary this is my first year with EEs, but it was about 2 months before I saw anything. The first month (or so) the bulb wasn't planted because it was cold out. Then I read they take a good while once planted so I potted them up inside where they sat for a couple weeks. Then the weather warmed , I put them outside and they sat another couple weeks.

As of yesterday a single, one inch tall spike has emerged.

I *suspect* they get moving much faster if planted when very warm out, but regardless they don't appear to be in any hurry to get going. Based upon the eventual size they attain though they make up for their pokiness once they do get going.

Next year I am going to try soaking the hard, stored bulbs for a day or two before planting to see if it makes a difference.


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justaguy2 - Thank you. I'll keep my patience and see what happens. Worst case - I'll put them in pots. *smile* I have lots of those too! I just thought they'd be cool along the fence. I wanted my pool area to seem tropical. I'll keep the pots handy too!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Just thought I'd post an update on my EE's. I mixed compost and potting soil in my wheelbarrow and planted them in these pots. I gave them a real good drink and then simply left them alone. No extra watering except what they got when it rained which wasn't much and you can see how they've done in less than one month! Now, I need to know from you that are experienced with EE's in pots. Do I need to be fertilizing them now that they've started growing? And if so, how often?




Stephanie


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Rosemary - I never order plants on-line without checking the "Garden Watchdog".
You can check for reviews - good and bad - for different mailorder companies.
It's a great tool for checking out other people's experience with a particular company.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Watchdog


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

  • Posted by alys Zone 5/6 - MO (My Page) on
    Wed, May 30, 07 at 9:18

Three years ago, I got one of those great big softball-sized elephant ear bulbs at Wal-Mart. I planted it in a bed and got a nice plant for the summer. Come winter, I decided not to bother digging it up, it was only $5.00 and I was lazy. My DH dumped a pile of mulch in the spot where it was planted. Next spring I spread the mulch and lo and behold - it came up! I was so surprized it lived, but then came winter and I never got it dug up - again. No mulch this time, so I was sure it was dead.

Last week, while weeding, I see little inch-long sprouts coming up. I now have the cutest teeny elephant ear growing you ever saw. It's not big, maybe leaves of 4" long...but it's a miracle plant that it survived our winter! This fall, that puppy is going in a pot! Anything that determined to live deserves a hand!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

((( APPLAUSE!!! ))))

LOL!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I HAVE A SPROUT AS OF SATURDAY 5/26! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!! I have waited so patiently! one is about 3 inches tall- came out of nowhere- one day it wasn't there- and the next 3 inches tall!!I was literally dancing around my deck!!! Now I have another sprout about an inch tall. I have been watering frequently because we haven't had much rain and the past week has been pretty warm (80+) Thansk again for all of the posts! ENJOY - i know i am enjoying my new baby!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

It's the heat that makes all the difference in the world! It'll take off now. I have no more room to grow them that gets enough sun but the container I had mine in for a couple years now has a DC banana in it (this would its 3rd year so it may pup). I'll see how that goes... LOL


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Help - Elephant ear

I planted my elephant ears in my back yard. Some of them were finally coming up. A few of them weren't even close to poping out of the ground. So, my hubby dug them up for me. One smelled awful! The other had no growth at all. When he dug it up, the bulb split in half. Anyone think if I put them in a pot they'd grow? or should I chuck them?


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

If it's soft & spongy - toss it.
If it's hard - maybe it will grow.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Outofspite: Thank you! The one that smelled was soft. the one that got cut in half is hard as a rock! It completely split down the middle.. I'll put it in a pot and see if it grows.. worse case .. I watch and water dirt! *smile* Thanks!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

hello again!!! I wish I had a picture of my EE to post- it is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i have 12 leaves now- each day a new one ones and the others get bigger!
now my next question is sun- i have it on my porch which gets mid-morning and all afternoon sun- it has been doing well so far but we really haven't had any scorcher days yet- well until today. the high is 93 and with the humidity heat index will prob reach 100 ~YIKES~ i am concerned that the EE won't be able to handle that??? anyone have any idea?
My dad planted his bulb in the shade the same day I planted mine in the pot (in teeh sun) and mine is 4 times the size of his- (and yes I had to brag to him since he is the one who bought me teh bulb in teh first place hee hee) so i figured it liked the sun since mine was doing so well in it- just concerned now that it is getting hotter- please advise- thanks !!!!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I think it should be fine with plenty of water, Wizarama. I am just growing one for the first time this year, but mine gets full sun all day on a hot deck. It has experienced temps in the low 90s (air temp) and the potting mix went near 100F due to the container not being shaded at all.

It didn't appear to mind at all.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Thanks for the info JUSTAGUY2- appreciate it. Hopefully I will have a picture to post soon!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I wouldn't worry about the heat, wizarama.

Remember, it's a tropical plant.
Heat & humidity are the norm for this plant.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Wizarama, this might help assure you the heat isn't going to be a factor.

Here is my EE that 'emerged' less than a month ago in my northern location.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Even though I live in the north, that hasn't stopped the heat from coming on full force, take a looksee at the potting mix temp:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Your EE is going to be just fine. BTW the leaf curl in the EE isn't from heat, it's a new leaf that hasn't completely unfurled yet.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Great pics thanks- looks like yours is on the same spot of your porch as mine!
i noticed yesterday when I checked it that one or 2 of the lower smaller leaves had a tint of yellow on the outside edge? that is what made me think maybe the heat wasn't good. do you know if the leaves will just keep sprouting and the existing stalks/stems will grow taller?


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

The yellow fringe *might* be heat/light related, but it could also be wind (or other factor)related. Not visible in my picture is that the leafs do have *some* damage and yellowing in the damaged areas occurs. I attribute it to the stiff winds that have blown though (some tearing occured also).

I do not know if leafs will continue to sprout all season. Right now there is no end in sight, but I *suspect* that once a certain number of leaves are present and healthy the plant will likely slow down and remain fairly consistent. This is my first year with EE though so I really don't know, just guessing.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

As the plant grows, the older leaves will turn yellow & flop down.
Just cut it off at the base.
In the meantime, the plant will continue to grow.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Hey Justaguy and Wizarama!
I love how you guys keep posting updates. This has been such a fun thread!
I just wanted to share a couple of pics. of mine. I have one in the shade and had one in full sun. The one in the shade was really outperforming the one in the sun. I decided to move that one to a shadier spot and it is going gangbusters now. I was thinking I had read someplace that they prefer shade to sun. My mom lives in HOT and HUMID Houston, TX. and has hers growing in her shaded beds and they are huge.
Maybe sun is fine too though as long as they get their full share of water each day. Yours are obviously not objecting to their sunny locale.
Happy EE growing!





Stephanie


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Thanks for the pics!!! yes I have received so much useful info from this posting!!!
I have also read different info- some say better in sun some say better in shade- wo knows what to think>!>!> I figure now i should just let it go and see what happens since it is doing so well so far!!! when I went home after work yesterday I check it and it was a bit dry so maybe it was just thirsty- i gave it a gallon of water to get thru the hot day today and see how it does! :) happy growing!!!
I am going to try to get a picture on but can't promise anything!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Healthy looking EE, Stephanie!

If I had more than one EE I would try a bit more shade to see what happened. Generally living in Wisconsin I try to error on the side of more sun rather than less sun, although I am seeing some strange things this year.

I am growing Jester Millet which is related to Purple Majesty Millet. Jester forms clumps and PM makes single stalks. Anyway last year the PM did great in the full sun and was very drought tolerant.

This year the JM in a northern garden (still gets a good amount of sun) is significantly outpacing the ones with a full sun southern exposure.

Go figure ;-)

I am very pleased so far with the ease of growing EE so next year perhaps I will get more and try them in different areas.

Thanks for sharing your experience.


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RE-: Elephant ears in container?

out of spite, thanks for that info on the leaves. didn't know that.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

This is my first year growing EE too. I saw one the other day on the front steps of an art gallery near were I live. It was huge! That one must have been grown over the winter. filix


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

  • Posted by yong sunset zone 15 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 28, 07 at 17:02

Is anyone familiar with the Maki variety of Alocasia macrorrhiza? Will it really grow faster and taller than the macrorrhiza and odora I already have?

Second question, how well will my colocasias do which are in gallon containers if I just bring them indoor before the frost? I want to avoid having them going into dormancy or digging them out,drying them, and packing them until spring?

I have always left my Xanthosoma sagittaria in the ground and it survive in the winter with no problem, but the Xanthosoma violaceum had never survived one winter.

Thank you.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

More pics..... This is from last summer, but they are on their way to looking the same this year. The two green pots have EE's, the one on the right is a black one. The pot on the very right is Canna. It's never bloomed in the pot, but I still like it.
Mike
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I really like the black one, I will have to try that next year.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

MIke,
I really like your black one too. Pretty arrangement of pots and decorative items.
Stephanie


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

  • Posted by yipla z6/7 NYC (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 3, 07 at 10:29

Is it way too late to start an elephant ear? After reading this post, I'm itching to! They look fantastic!


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

probably not, yipla. While they can take awhile to emerge, I suspect they will be fairly quick now that the temps are warm. Once they do emerge it doesn't take long for them to fill in.

Just look for the largest bulb you can find.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I received what was labeled as a 'baby elephant ear' in a round robin swap. It's way to hot in phoenix to put it outside, so I have it indoors until fall. It's seems to be doing fine, alive but no growth. I am assuming because it's just not warm enough in my house. Though I don't want to kill it in our 115 degree weather we're having.

Is baby elephant ear just a cute saying for a small seedling (only 1 leaf that's 2") or is it a different type of plant. I haven't been able to Google anything on it except pictures of actual elephants. LOL


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

In case you thought this thread was dead, here's the tale of my taro and a search for overwintering advice....Bought a hugantic corm at HD in May and threw it in the ground, north side, mostly shade. Watered a LOT. Mulched that puppy down, watered a bunch more. It got hot. Humid. Hot. Too hot to move; sit still, ya mold. Humid AND dry. Greenhouse guy says EE take a long time. Drought. Humid. Gave up hope. Kept watering a LOT anyway. 3 wks ago it finally started to rain around here and didn't stop for about 24" (be careful what you wish for). On the 5th day of rain, I looked out and saw a 3" shoot and 2 1/2 wks later I have (a wet basement and;) a 20" high lovely with 2 huge leaves. 4 months after planting. (Now understand what is meant by "long time" and "they need lot of water.") 'Course, it's now fall in WI so i came here looking to see if i could pot the thing and grow 'er indoors all winter or if she should go dormant. Looks like I'll have diminishing returns if I try to keep it growing? And pictures and descriptions of the roots give me pause as to what I might find when I do take it up. How wide should i dig for a single stalk? And, if the corm should go dormant, do I dig after first frost knocks down the foliage (like dahlias) or before? Probably elementary questions, but it's my first outdoor tropical and i don't want to damage it in its prime. Thanks for an entertaining and informative thread.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I was given a black EE, which had been potted, then dug up for me. I repotted, (in the south, it will spread to a neighbors yard!), and threw it under a live oak. It's marching merrily along! Yes, it does looooove water, LOL.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I leave mine in the pot. It stays in a dark laundry room temps 50-60 all winter. I give it a 1/2 cup of water once a month. I may have one or two small leaves all winter but when I put it outside in May it takes off.

I do this with all my tropicals, canna, gingers, bananas. I keep them just alive enough so I do not have to wait all summer to have a showing in my tropical garden. My summer is too short. So I made a decision to try to give the plants growing onditions as close to semi tropical conditions as possible.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I'm growing my first EE and I live in Minnesota. I was thinking of storing the bulb in my garage over the winter (at 40 degrees). Would I be better off growing it in a container in my house over the winter? It is planted in the ground now but I could move it to a pot to bring indoors.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

The 1st time I grew EEs (in a container) I took it out of the pot (There were Lots... I mean LOTS of roots!) and let it dry out.
I removed the dry dirt & most of the roots.
I set it in a plastic basin and left it in my mother's basement over the winter.
The following spring, I spotted new growth. There were a bunch of new corms surrounding the original.
I broke them off. Shared some, planted the others.

If you have room and enough light to grow it indoors, it might work. I have neither - so mine is banished to the basement.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Is it possible to transplant the EE to a pot and keep it indoors for another month or two and then dry it out? I am making concrete casts from the leaves and I would like some more time before I have to store the plant for winter.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

You probably could do that.
Just make sure you bring it in before the temps drop & the leaves start to yellow.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

is it only the new side corms that produce foliage next year, or does the original bulb still have life?


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I had growth from the original - smaller than its first year, though.


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What kind of EE's can i get.

Hi all, I am interested in getting some EE's for my garden and would like to keep them in a pot. What kind do you all recommend for my zone and also how large of a pot do I need.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

The EE pic above (posted Apr '07) is one in a 16" pot.
It was HUGE!

OoS


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

What size bulbs are you all planting? Are they ALL big old softballs?

I have 4 grocery-store taro I'm starting (just sprouting now, inside in a warm spot). They were the size of eggs as the market only had small ones available. Does bigger bulb = bigger plant?


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

There are so many different varieties! You might want to check out this link to see some of them and get an idea of their needs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Alocasia at Daves


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Another EE link

And here's some more!

Here is a link that might be useful: Colocasia at Daves


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Does bigger bulb = bigger plant?

Good question. The common thought is 'yes'. The idea is that the larger the bulb, the more stored food it has to fuel new growth.

I really don't know that the idea is universally true though. For example with garlic cloves that I plant the common advice is to plant the largest cloves (for the largest bulbs) and eat the smaller ones. In my garden though I have not seen any correlation between clove size and eventual bulb size.

So, with EEs I look for the softball sized ones since I figure I can't go wrong this way, but I really don't know if it matters much or not.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Thanks JAG. Interesting, as I know in the dahlia forum there are some who believe a big dahlia tuber actually makes for a "lazy" plant. And when I plant my potatoes I get a great many which are bigger than the seed potato. So, not a onesided question at all it seems.

I'll give my little colocasias lots of food and water and see how they go.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I plant an elephant ear this spring in my apartment at New York. The plant does good, it is 4 feet tall and produced three leaves now(22inch X 15inch), but all of them droop causing the stem to bend in half. The leaf does not die nor does it turn yellow. Does anyone know what causes the stem to bend like that?


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 22, 08 at 2:54

If it's still in your aptmt, I'd guess a lack of adequate light is causing the plants inability to support the weight of the foliage - typical legginess (is that a word?).

Al


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I don't think so. My room is full of sun light during the day.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

I don't think so. My room is full of sun light during the day.

In that case you have a wide variety of house plants you can grow terrifically. Lots of sun indoors though, pales in comparison to direct, outdoor sunlight. Houseplants are all shade plants that in nature live in the shade of something else and therefore do well indoors.

EE is not a shade plant, it is an outdoor, full, blazing sun plant. I would have to say it is probably impossible to grow it in a house even if that house was made of glass. It would undoubtedly survive for a period, but it would clearly be in a state of decline rather than robust health and growth.

It just won't get enough light/warmth. Glass filters light and most house windows filter light too well for a plant suited for outdoor full sun.


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RE: Elephant ears in container?

Sorry to resurrect an old post but I have a question about pot size. I have a big 18" wide pot I want to put EE's in this year. I ended up buying two Colocasia Esculenta (regular green ones) JUST in case one doesn't work. Can I put TWO bulbs in this 18" wide pot? The bulbs are about 14" all the way around or about 5" wide. Would there be any advantages/disadvantages to this?


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