Plant-o-Pedia: Elephant Ear

Elephant Ear Calypso

Whenever we need to fill a big space with some green, the Elephant Ear is one of the first leaves we turn to. The huge scale of these plants alone make them an easy choice for styling, but they're also a really stunning house plant.

Elephant Ear Aleas

GET THE GREEN: Elephant Ear (Colocasia varieties)

WATER: These love water! Water regularly and keep soil moist (but not soggy). Great for humid areas and rooms such as large, sunny bathrooms. If air is dry, spray water on leaves often, run a cool-mist humidifier nearby, and/or place the plant on a pebble and water-filled saucer so roots don't sit in water but the humidity around the plant is increased.

SUNLIGHT: Bright, indirect light.

PLACEMENT: This plant can get big- between 3' and 5' (0.9 -1.5 m) tall and wide, so give it space. It makes a good room divider or large focal point and is best on the floor or on a sturdy side table, as the tuber and plant can get heavy.

EXTRA CREDIT: Leaves may die if temperatures fall below 60°F (15°C). If this happens, set aside in a cool, dark place until springtime, letting soil dry out, but take care that the plant does not freeze. As temperatures rise, new leaves should sprout from the rhizome.

WORD OF CAUTION: This plant is poisonous to cats and dogs, and to humans if eaten raw. It's sap can also irritate the skin.

Got a plant you want to learn more about? Leave a comment and you may find it in a future Plant-o-Pedia!

Photos: 1) Alea's home by Dabito from The New Bohemians  2) Dabito for The Jungalow

 

Plant-o-Pedia excerpt from The New Bohemians with thanks to Stephanie Bartron.



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