I love these plants because given the right conditions, they provide beautiful, big, green leaves. They are easy to propagate as well and whenever they give you a little baby elephant ear plant, you know you’re taking good care of the plant. This is a fairly easy plant to grow but, prefer warmer, sunnier and wetter conditions. I live in a Zone 7, Washington D.C. and let my plant (containerized) thrive outside during the humid and hot summers. I take the plant back in during fall after it’s gotten conditioned to about 65 degree weather outside (because indoors I keep it about that temperature). Of course, before bringing it inside, it’s important to wash the whole plant/soil/pot to prevent bugs/spiders/etc. I’ll post a separate blog to discuss that process later.
My mom on the other hand, lives in northern California and gets great weather all year round. The coldest it gets is about 32 but, it can get down to 28 on a rare occasion. In the summer, it gets up to 114 or higher. She has tons of these elephant ear plants outside and they grow very quickly for her. They constantly give her baby plants that she repots either directly into the ground or in a container for indoor. They do much better outside however, so usually she keeps them out there.
If you give this plant a lot of water, make sure to have a saucer under the pot to allow water to pool inside the saucer. The leaves, when the plant is amply watered, will produce water drops from the tip of it. So, if you have a nice wooden floor, be sure to put a towel or something beneath the elephant ear leaf to collect/soak up the water.
The elephant ear also does fairly well in water. I recently took a baby elephant ear from the main one and put it in a vase of water. It grew a new leaf but, requires fertilizer and enough sun to keep it warm and growing.
I use normal potting soil and it does just fine. It likes moist soil however and can’t be out in the freezing temperatures.
When you see the oldest leaf growing yellowish and start drooping, then you’ll usually see a new leaf grown out already or starting to. Once it’s so low it hits the ground, you are safe to cut it off – do this close to the main body but not where it’s attached to the main plant.
Once in a while, make sure to clean off the leaves to keep them happy and dust free. This is important if you’re living inside and there’s dust collecting on it. The leaves don’t mind water on them so, when I am outside I usually spray water on them using a gentle setting (mist or shower).
They enjoy full sun or partial sun. They actually do fairly well in the corner of my house that only gets indirect light. They thrive in warmer sun that may be filtered through some leaves. My mom keeps them next to the house so they get some sun but, not directly on the leaves.
Overall, the elephant ear plant is great containerized or directly in your soil outdoors. They do well indoor but, prefer the outside in a warm environment. They are sweet plants with their large leaves. If you like the large, tropical look of a plant, then these are the ones for you!!