17 Best Elephant Ear Plant Care Indoor Tips + Grow Guide

Elephant ear is another name given to a flowering plant that belongs to the genus Colocasia and the Araceae family.

Most elephant ear species also belong to other genera like Alocasia and Xanthosoma. Elephant ear plant, also known as cocoyam. It has edible purposes and can produce starchy tubers.

Let’s discuss everything about the 17 Elephant Ear Plant Care Indoor Tips. including the following points:

Elephant Ear Plant Profile

Before we know all the how to care for giant elephant ear plant tips. Here are some elephant ear facts; Elephant ear plants originated in India and Southeast Asia. They are widely grown by populations in the present day. The plant’s name was derived from its leaf shape.

Elephant ear plant leaves are known to be wide and large, the leaves have an arrowhead shape. Also, it has a length of 8 to 60 inches (20 to 150 cm). How tall is an elephant ear plant? 

Elephant ear plants can grow from a height of 9 feet to as tall as 27 feet. If cultivated indoors, they can grow within the height range of 3 feet to 8 feet.

Also, read the below guide.

how to take care of elephant ear plant : [5] Top Steps

How to care for elephant ear plants is simple, and requires knowing what benefits the plant.

Step 1

The first thing to know about elephant ear plant care is the significance of the right zone. They are native to Southeast Asia; this Asian region is a tropical zone.

Elephant ear growth will only thrive in a familiar zone to their origin. The favorable daytime temperature for them ranges between 70⁰F to 85⁰F, the nighttime temperature should not drop more than 60⁰F.

In a different zone to their original zone, they will grow through yearly replantation.

Step 2

Tuberous rhizomes are used for the propagation of the elephant ear. Another observation in elephant ear bulb care is overwintering.

During the excess dormant season (excess winter time), the rhizomes need to be dug up for storage. After digging up the rhizomes, store them in a cool and dry place or container.

Step 3

Exposure to sunlight varies in elephant ear plants. An elephant plant with a regular green color can withstand much sunlight. If the leaves are colored dark green, they require less light.

Step 4

Elephant ear plant watering must be regulated. If the base of the plant shows yellowing, applying fertilizer will help the plant.

Step 5

The best option for Thai giant elephant ear care is placing the plant in the sun. It can also be placed in a shade with dim light and organically rich, slightly wet soil.

Best [5] Planting Tips For Elephant Ear Plant Indoors

Elephant Ear Plant Care Indoor
how to look after elephant ear plant indoor

Before planting an elephant ear plant, there are various questions frequently asked by individuals interested in growing the plant.

Before divulging the tips let’s look at some of the questions asked by individuals; “Are elephant ears perennials?”  “When is the best time to plant elephant ears?”

Prior to planting elephant ears, you should keep in mind, that elephant ears are perennial herbaceous plants. To answer the question of when is the best time to plant elephant ears, the ideal time is during a warm season, preferably when winter is over.

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After knowing these two things, planting an elephant’s ear becomes easier. The next question is, “How to plant?

  1. Once the dangers of winter are over, make sure the temperature of the environment is well above 70⁰F. Elephant ear plants are favored by warm soil, which aids their sprouting.
  2. The next tip is selecting the right and favorable position to plant. A bright place with indirect light is ideal. The important thing is, that the place must have moist organic soil.
  3.  It is essential to have good bed preparations. Until the soil is at about 8 inches, dress the soil by disposing of stones and grasses around it.
  4. The next process is optional but advisable. Application of organic matter compost. Adding compost to the soil increases the chance of rapid and good growth of elephant ears.
  5. After the first 4 processes have been completed, the next step is to plant elephant ear bulbs. When planting, the plant should be more than 4 feet apart.

After successful planting, it is important to be observant of the growth of the elephant ear plant.

Growing Elephant Ear Plant Tips

Every grown plant has a natural nemesis named weed. After planting, be observant of the weed growth around the plant. The weeds should be cleared to stop them from competing with the plant.

  1. To improve the soil moisture, you can add mulches to the plant. It also helps to keep the soil warm.
  2. Watering the plant also contributes to the plant’s growth. During summertime, the plant requires little water to keep the soil moist.
  3. If new growth is observed in the plant, it is ideal to add a little fertilizer to the plant. Watch out for pests and diseases.

Can Elephant Ears Live Indoors? 

Elephant ears can live and be grown indoors. Elephant ear plants indoors are called upright elephant ears, or Alocasia. Alocasias can be grown inside the house as house plants.

They do not grow to the same size as outdoor elephant ears. The upright elephant ear has a stem that is more than 5 feet long, and the plant’s leaves are more than 2 feet wide.

Alocasia indoor care includes bright sunlight. Their exposure to sunlight has to be timed; much exposure to sunlight will cause discoloration to their leaves.

In indoor elephant ear plant care, regulate the amount of water used for watering them. Always check for soil humidity before watering them.

Can Elephant Ears Grow In Pots?

It is common to find an elephant ear plant growing outside. However, it can also be cultured in a home with the aid of pots or containers.

By now, I believe the question to be asked will be; “how to plant elephant ears in containers.” The good news is, there is an answer to that question

Growing Elephant Ears In Pots

To cultivate elephant plants indoors, get a large pot, size of 14 to 23 inches. Inside the pot or container, fill it with a potting mixture (soil) up to three-quarters of the size of the pot.

Afterward, make a hole of about 8 inches at the center of the soil. Place the tuberous rhizome (tuber) at the center of the soil. Adding a little fertilizer is ideal.

Elephant Ear Plant Indoor Benefits

  1. They are decorative plants that complement the theme of the house. Whether located outside or placed indoors, they add beauty to the house.
  2. Another benefit of the upright elephant plant is, they serve the purpose of freshening up the air within the home.
  3. They are also among the few plants that can consume unsafe toxins and chemical gases in the air. They absorb them and destroy them at their root, rejuvenating air quality.
  4. In Asia, the elephant ear plant is regarded as a great protector. It is believed to keep the house from harm and ill luck.

Why Elephant Ears Plant Dripping Water

Elephant Ear Plant Care Indoor

Naturally, indoor plants seem to shed tears in the form of their leaves dripping water. When it comes to elephant ears, they also weep and drip water. The first reason why elephant ears drip water is due to humidity.

Morning humidity can leave water on the plant’s leaves, especially if the elephant plant is placed close to a window. Also, during rainfall, rain leaves water on the plant’s leaves.

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 If these two reasons do not apply, the other reason for elephant ear plants dripping water is excess watering. In summer, when the air is dry, the elephant plant drips because the plant is getting too much water. Adjusting and regulating the plant’s watering will keep the drip under control.

Digging up elephant ears

Digging up elephant ears happens because of the dormant period (winter). However, it is a choice to whether dig up the elephant plant or not. If you decide to not dig it up, the plant becomes an annual plant.

Digging up the plant is to replant it the next season. Once the weather becomes cold, and the plant leaves change from green to brown, it is time to dig up the plant.

To dig up the plant, from the ground, cut the stem of the plant to four to six inches. After cutting the stem, dig into the soil carefully; remove the tuber from the soil carefully.

Elephant ear plants have moist soil, which will make the tuber slightly wet. Dry the tuber in a place without direct sunlight. Upon drying, store the tuber in a pot or box. It is not a good practice to put them in plastic material.

How frequently should my elephant ear plants be watered?

Elephant Ear Plant Care Indoor
how often to water elephant ears indoors

Elephant ear plants are tropical plants, they are used to the warm tropic zone yet, they love water. Watering them aids their growth in a good way. They get bigger when they get enough water. During the favorable season, daily watering is required by the plant.

However, the best time for watering them is in the morning. Their watering can is regulated by setting a gauge for it. When watering an indoor elephant plant, avoid using too much water, especially if the container has no drainage holes.

It is advisable to water the plant from below, which is closer to the root. Sprinklers are not the best tool for watering elephant plants.

Do Elephant Ear Plants Need Direct Sunlight?

The favorable exposure of light for the elephant ear plant is bright light but not direct sunlight. Placing them directly in the sun has an adverse effect on the health of the plant.

The plant’s leaves change because of direct sunlight. 70⁰F to 85⁰F temperature suits the plant best. For elephant ears cultured indoors, place the plant close to a window having the reflection of bright sun, and maintain a favorable temperature for the plant.

Where is the best place to plant elephant ears?

Elephant ear plants can be planted in various places, especially a place similar to its tropic zone. They sprout rapidly when planted in the right place. It is ideal to plant them close to standing water. Standing water gives the plant soil the advantage of being kept moist.

A place with the right compost is suitable for planting elephant bulbs. A location with less wind will give the plant room to grow; strong winds can damage its decorative leaves.

They prefer a bright place without direct sunlight; some varieties of plants thrive and grow well in direct sunlight. For indoor elephant ears, the best location is either the south or west window.

Do elephant ears like to be misted?

Misting elephant ears serves two purposes. The first purpose is, that misting the plant is a good way to care for elephant ear plants. Elephant ears can be dust-free through misting. The second purpose is, that misting elephant ears is also a way you can water the plant.

Elephant ear plants like to be misted, it keeps them happy because it is a good way to keep their soil moist. However, the water to be used for misting the plant must be at room temperature.

Regular misting of the plant prevents pests from attacking the plant. Spider mites love a dry environment. They are also a common pest attacking elephant plants. Misting keeps the plant wet, keeping the pest at arm’s length.

Why does the elephant ear plant turn yellow?

The natural color for an elephant ear plant is green, some varieties of the plant are colored dark green. Once you start noticing a yellow color on the leaves of the plant, it is pointing to a problem.

  • The problem might be from exposure to sunlight. Lack of sunlight makes the plant leaves change to yellow.
  • The best way to solve this is to change the location of the plant and adjust it to proper sunlight.
  • It is also possible the problem is from the watering conditions of the plant. Change the water conditions and put more fertilizer.
  • Using hard or tap water also can cause serious problems for the plant.
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Also, read the below guide.

How do I prevent bugs from infesting my elephant ears?

Various bugs and diseases can attack the elephant ear plants. The presence of bugs is seen, through the color change in the plant leaves (green to brown).

Common bugs attacking elephant ear plants include; spider mites and aphids.

You can get rid of the bugs by using a safe organic product favoring the plant. Spraying the plant leaves with a heavy flow of water will get rid of aphids. Keep the plant in a moist condition always; it will get rid of the spider mites. 

Also, read the below tips to control common gardening bugs.

Are elephant ear plants poisonous?

  • If the plant leaves and stems come in contact with your skin, it will cause irritation of the skin and itching of the skin.
  • Avoid getting the plant sap into your eyes, it is dangerous. The plant roots and leaves are poisonous.
  • If the plant is consumed by a child, it will cause both mouth and lips to burn.
  • Ingesting the plant will cause; diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. The best way to prevent a child from elephant ear toxicity, plant it out of reach.

The best soil for elephant ear plant

Selecting the right soil is a way to ensure the good growth of the plant. For an indoor elephant ear plant growth, you will have to use potting soil, and make sure the soil contains a mixture of peat and perlite.

The soil should also have the addition of the right organic materials; this will produce soil with the ability to withstand moisture.

For outdoor elephant ear plants, choose loamy soil with a pH range of 5.0 to 6.5. Steer clear of soil that might contain rocks and stones, they will misshape the tuber planted.

Also, read the below tips for plant growth

Conclusion

Elephant ear plants are cheap plants. we have seen all possible tips on whether can you grow elephant ear plant indoors. They can be bought and nurtured as home plants, they require the best conditions to ensure their growth.

They are decorative plants that will beautify the house and they provide many health benefits.

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