Colocasia

The Colocasia or Elephant Ears that are growing behind the waterfall in my front foundation bed need to be moved to a shadier location this fall.  These herbaceous perennials are grown from a tuber that is hardy in zones 8 and above.  I’ve never dug mine up and they come back every year in my zone 7b garden.  In fact these came to me as a pass-a-long plant from my grandmother’s neighbor.  These took a beating this summer so I decided to relocate them to the woodland garden where they will get afternoon shade.

This area is rich with compost that I added this fall.  It is directly under a window air conditioning unit which keeps the soil slightly moist all summer from condensation.  Colocasia prefer an area that doesn’t dry out so this should be the ideal location.  In addition their lush foliage will be a good way to fill this bare spot.

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18 responses to this post.

  1. I grow these in a container which I must bring in each winter. Your’s should really thrive in their new home.

    In most climates they are considered a tender perennial. I don’t know if all Colocasia are hardy here but this particular cultivar has been for me. I hope they do like their new home, thanks. 🙂

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  2. You are so brave to move things around like you do–and you are so successful! I moved the hostas to a shadier location and they looked good for a while. Of course now, all my hostas look pretty bad. I’ll look for them to show up in spring.
    Have a great weekend Racquel!

    Thanks Linda, I don’t know if I’m brave or not. 🙂 Sometimes you have to move stuff around if it isn’t working in the current location. I’m sure your hostas will be fine come next spring. It wasn’t a great year for hostas with the heat & drought conditions. Have a great weekend Linda!

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  3. You can’t hardly kill elephant ears. I have them in the back at the edge of the woods and they are huge. My husband’s parents gave us one about 3 years ago and it was left on the front porch for about 2 weeks and we finally decided to plant it. Viola! They are everywhere now.

    That’s been my experience too Darla, they are tougher than they look. I think mine will be be bigger next year with some shade & more moisture. They multiply like crazy here too. I have they everywhere too. 🙂

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  4. Hi Racquel, how lucky you are to be able to leave them outside all year! Like Cindy, mine are in containers that have to come inside over the winter.

    I am grateful for that because I would hate having to bring them in every winter. Dahlias, Calla Lilys & Cannas are the same way. Caladiums not so much.

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  5. Racquel-What if you tried the black elephant ears? Mine have done very well sitting out in the sun as long as they get lots of moisture. Of course you may need something that stands out better than that dark color.

    I’ve tried the back variety in the past Susie with not much luck. These green ones are quite hardy like my burgundy cannas. I think the green will show up better in this area since it quite shady in the afternoon. Thanks for the suggestion though.

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  6. Good luck with the transplant — sounds like an ideal area for them.

    Thanks Nancy. It is cloudy today with a chance of rain so it should be a good time to move them with less chance for shock.

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  7. These are such cool plants. Seems you found a great spot for yours.

    Their tropical leaves make a nice backdrop for everything else in the garden. Thanks Tina!

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  8. Wow! I haven’t tried the elephant ears. I’ve always been reticent to plant things than need dug back up, but it might work here. Our caladiums seem to come back occasionally.

    You should give them a try Dave, maybe with alittle extra winter mulch they might prove hardy in your area. Plus in a sheltered area it can create a nice little microclimate in your yard. 🙂 You are lucky then, I haven’t had any luck with Caladiums coming back, but I have with Dahlias, Calla Lily and Cannas.

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  9. Another colocasia fan!:-) I want to see if I can clear away a section in our woods to plant the divisions from my colocasia next spring. Cameron

    Yep I’m a fan! 🙂 I can’t resist their lush foliage in the garden. They should be really nice along the edge of your woods.

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  10. I’ve never planted elephant ears, but I’m sure mine would have to be dug up each fall. Yours will appreciate the shadier garden, I’m sure.

    Reading yesterday’s post, I have to agree I, too, look for any little surprises in the garden more at this time of year and in the spring. Maybe we notice these small treasures more when the showier plants have stopped producing.

    You might be right Rose, I think you are in a cooler zone than me. But if you plant them in pots you can bring the pot inside after the frost kills the foliage back. I hope you are right & they love their shadier spot. Tiny treasures are more appreciated at this time of the year or in the spring when not much else is going on.

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  11. I love them, but they don’t do well in my area. Too much wind for those huge leaves and temperatures below zero for prolonged periods aren’t their favorite growing conditions;)
    Marnie

    That’s a shame Marnie. They make such a nice green lush backdrop for other plants. Maybe you could try them in containers.

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  12. I love the elephant ear plant, there is a huge one right down the street from me.

    They do get quite large. I had one in my front garden one year where the leaves got bigger than the length of my arm.

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  13. Add me to the fan list. I grow the black elephant ear and love it. It’s another plant that recently went into my basement! Lucky, lucky you, not to have to dig them up.

    I envy you that black variety. I tried it in the past with not much luck. This green variety seems to be hardier in my area.

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  14. Elephant ears really lend a tropical look. I grew some here for a while and wintered them inside. They were a wonderful dark color, but I haven’t tried them after one rough summer.

    They do add a nice tropical flair to the garden in the summer Chris. This green variety seems to be hardier than some of the other ones I’ve tried in the past.

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  15. Hope they do well, Racquel. I think tropical plants add that touch of exotica in temperate surroundings.

    Thanks Kanak. I feel the same way. They give a nice lushness to the garden in the summer.

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  16. These look really interesting – with a very tropical feel. Do the leaves grow really big?
    K

    They are a nice foliage plant in the garden Karen. Yes, the leaves can get quite big. If these hadn’t suffered from the summer drought they would be huge right now.

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  17. Ah! Colocasia eh? Thanks for that, I am going to do a post on the same soon, and was wondering what the name is. We also find that they grow very well – definitely prefer shade though.

    You are quite welcome Julian. I’m sure they are quite hardy in your area. Ours prefer some shade too from the hot summer sun, it helps retain some moisture. Thanks for visiting today. 🙂

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  18. I just love Elephants ears, but have to grow mine in pots as well. You are quite lucky to be able to grow them outdoors all year round. I’m sure they will love it in their new place.

    I feel quite blessed to not have to dig these up each fall. Thanks Violet for stopping by today. 🙂

    Reply

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