Imperial Taro Elephant Ear (Colocasia) with its dark burgundy-tinged foliage. Elephant Ears come in all shapes and sizes, as well as many colors and perform beautifully in warm climates; however, they can also thrive in colder areas if you follow some simple steps.
Prepare Your Elephant Ears For The Winter
Who doesn't love the bold, dramatic texture that Elephant Ears bring to the summer garden? Whether you're gardening in a colder area or not, there are a few simple steps you should take to overwinter your tubers for next spring's planting.
Hardiness Zones 1-6
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If you're in Zones 1-6, this means you will need to bring your Elephant Ears inside for the winter. It's a fairly simple process:
After your first frost, cut the stems to about 6 inches tall.
Put the tubers in a grocery bag, plastic pot or bulb rate and cover with a mix of peat moss and soil.
Add water to the container and store it in a cool, dark place to ensure the tuber stays dormant throughout the winter. Keep your Elephant Ears moist but not wet. Once there is no more chance of frost in your area, plant your tubers in the ground as you normally would.
Hardiness Zones 7-11
In these Hardiness Zones, your Elephant Ears can stay in the ground but should be covered to protect them throughout the winter months.
Let the stems of your plants die back naturally with the frost. Cutting them can lead to rot.
Cover your plants with chopped-up leaves and lawn grass. This helps to keep the Elephant Ears warm and insulated throughout the winter months. Reinforce with chicken wire or simply create a mound.
Uncover the plants after the last spring frost.
What are some of your tricks to keeping Elephant Ear tubers through the winter? Please share in the comments below or on our Facebook Page. Happy Gardening!
The Upright Elephant Ear is pure tropical expression with its enormous, skyward facing- foliage that lends a lush and breezy feel to any outdoor space. The huge, green leaves are the perfect touch to offset your favorite blooms or to be admired all on their own. This bulb is extremely easy to grow and ideal for containers. (Alocasia odora)
‘Hawaiian Punch’ Elephant Ears is a gorgeous cultivar with deep burgundy stems and veining, with light green, arrow-shaped leaves. If you’re thinking of dabbling in the delights of tropical foliage, but want something a relatively compact, ‘Hawaiian Punch’ Elephant Ears is a terrific choice for your containers or garden beds. This deer-resistant plant will give your garden months of foliage color in full sun or part-shade. (Colocasia esculenta)
Splashed with chartreuse and rich violet tones, ‘Mojito’ Elephant Ears has large colorful foliage, amazing vigor, and a heat-loving attitude. Stems reveal a beautiful mottling that makes this plant a great choice to stand along to to enrich a colorful planting design. Energize your summer garden with deer-resistant arrow-shaped leaves in large containers, garden beds, or nestled against the margins of water features. Bring happy hour to your summer garden, patio or balcony with a few easy-to-grow ‘Mojito!’(Colocasia esculenta)
Soaring up to eight feet tall, ‘Yucatan Princess’ Elephant Ears has gigantic deep green leaves fanning over dark stems. Broad, puckered foliage boasts a glossy sheen and chocolaty undersides. This tropical plant displays a remarkable depth of color and adds unique structure to the garden, to make a statement alone, or to contrast plants with bright blooms. Plant as a specimen in the garden or containers for lush foliage and dramatic impact the first season. (Alocasia sarawakensis)