The dramatic elephant ear plant, commonly known as taro, is a dramatic tropical foliage plant with magnificent heart-shaped or arrow-shaped leaves. Here’s how to grow elephant ear in your garden!
About Elephant Ears
Elephant ear belongs to the genus Colocasia, which are tuberous, frost-tender perennials from tropical Asia. So, these plants are accustomed to wet areas with the filtered sun of a tropical forest. Therefore, they prefer moist soils and also partial shade. They are a good choice for wet areas along creeks, rain gardens, or low-lying areas.
If you grow elephant ears in a garden bed, that’s perfectly fine as long as they receive regular moisture and don’t dry out (especially in hot summers)! Elephant ears also look great in a container with other summer bulbs and/or annuals.
In USDA Hardiness Zones 7 to 11, elephant ears can be left outside year-round and are treated as perennials. In colder climates, they are typically treated as annuals and discarded at the end of the growing season. However, you could also dig up the tubers after the first fall frost, store the tubers indoors, and replant them next year after the last spring frost.
Elephant ear leaves can reach lengths of 3 feet on top of 3- to 7-foot stems. The leaves usually have prominent veins and their colors range from lime green to almost black.