How To Prepare Your Elephant Ears for the Winter

prepare your elephant ears for the winter - imperial taro

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

Not sure of your USDA Hardiness Zone? Click here.

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:

  1. After your first frost, cut the stems to about 6 inches tall.
  2. Put the tubers in a grocery bag, plastic pot or bulb rate and cover with a mix of peat moss and soil.
  3. 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.

  1. Let the stems of your plants die back naturally with the frost. Cutting them can lead to rot.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

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