Elephant Ears: An Ideal Foliage Plant
Elephant Ears can add excitement, elegance, and create stunning center pieces to your garden. These hassle-free tropical plants with spectacular foliage grow up to 6 feet in height depending on what variety you have. Whether you want bold colors, multiple textures, or fascinating shapes, Elephant Ears can provide it.
These plants are gaining popularity at a rapid pace so now is the time to find out what the perfect foliage plant is for your garden.
The Difference Between Alocasia and Colocasia
The name Elephant Ears refers to 2 different plant species. These 2 species are Alocasia and Colocasia. Some of the difference between these 2 species include Colocasia being deciduous unlike Alocasias. This means they shed their leaves in the winter months.
Visually Alocasias have glossy, heart-shaped leaves that either point outward or up to the sky. They tend to be solid green foliage with either light or dark patterns. Their stems are sturdy enough to hold their giant leaves, even when they collect rain water. Alocasias prefer partial shade while being watered regularly and, need to be placed in well-drained soil so that the ground continues to stay moist but not wet.
Colocasia, the species of Elephant Ear that thrive best in zones 9-11, has heart-shaped leaves like Alocasias however, they point downwards. In zones 9-11 you can leave these plants outside all year round but, if you live in a colder climate then you will need to dig up the tubers and store them indoors or plant new tubers for the next year.
The Perfect Weather Conditions for Elephant Ears
As Elephant Ears are from tropical climates such as Southeast Asia and the Amazon. Therefore, they need to be in climates as similar as possible in order to thrive.
Firstly, as the soil temperatures in tropical climates rarely falls below 80°F we always urge people to be patient and wait until at least late spring to transfer their Elephant Ears outside.
If you live in central U.S then it is best to wait until approximately the end of May to plant your Elephant Ears outdoors whereas if you like in northern states it is recommended to wait until at least mid-June.
You might be planning on preparing your Elephant Ears within your home to start with so perhaps invest in a heated mat to keep underneath your containers or pot. This can help replicate the tropical conditions these plants are accustomed to.
The Different Varieties
There are so many varieties of Elephant Ears to choose from and it might seem
overwhelming, especially if you are new to these striking plants.
To start with, think about what you want to gain from growing these magnificent plants. Do you want to use it as a center piece in your garden or home? Or, do you want it for filling out a large gap within your garden? There are endless possibilities but the answer will help guide you to the perfect Elephant Ear.
Secondly, think about what color would suit your color scheme. If you garden or interior is lacking color then perhaps Colocasia Hawaiian Punch could brighten up your space. On the other hand, if you want a darker, more intense color then consider purchasing Colocasia Black Magic.
The Benefits of Elephant EarsThe most well-known benefits to growing Elephant Ears is the fact they are deer resistant. If you live in an area that is home to deer that have a tendency to ruin your garden then Elephant Ears could solve all your issues. These plants emit a certain scent that deer have an abhorrence to so, they tend to avoid gardens with Elephant Ears in.
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