When you look at the elephant ear plant, it is obvious why are they named so. Their huge leaves certainly grabs everyone's attention, thus making them a great ornamental plant. They are wetland plants, but can grow well in your garden (or inside your home) too, if you take good care of them.
How to Care for Elephant Ear Plants
You should take into consideration the following points so that your elephant ear plant grows well.
Provide Lots of Sunlight
Your elephant ear plant will have a really tough time growing, if it does not have enough exposure to sunlight. Just look at their large leaves, they are meant to soak in the sun, so make sure that your plant has a clear view of the sun.
Maximum sunlight exposure is recommended, but partial shade is also fine. Sunlight exposure can be a problem, if you have these plants inside your home, do make necessary arrangements in this case.
Allow Moisture and Humidity
The soil in which you plant the elephant ear plant should be kept moist. So, water this plant more frequently than you water your other plants. Humidity is another factor, which highly influences the growth of these plants.
They prefer a warm and humid climate. You can install a humidifier in your home, right next to the plant (especially if you are living in a region with cold climatic conditions).
Feed Them a Lot
The elephant ear plants are voracious. A plant which grows so huge will obviously have a great appetite. So, you have to feed them fertilizers at regular intervals. With the regular fertilizer feeding, these plants will grow faster. A fertilizer high on nitrogen should be an ideal choice, as nitrogen plays a major role in boosting plant growth.
Apart from being ornamental plants, these plants have very tasty and nutritious tubers. Burrowing animals usually love feasting on them. If your garden hosts rodents, you better get rid of them, so that your elephant ear plant grows.
In addition to the rodent attack, you should also check your plants regularly for any pest infestations (like aphids, mealybugs, etc). If the infestation is in the early stage, you can get rid of the pests, if you hose down the plant. If it is a serious infestation, then you might have to use pesticides to save your plant.
Select the Right Location
Choose a location for planting the elephant ear plant wisely. This plant is bound to overshadow the plants planted right next to it. You can bring the plants inside your home during winter, as it is difficult for them to tolerate the chill. Another way is to preserve the tubers of your elephant ear plant in the winter and replant them in the next season.
The pot should be big, it should be filled with a type of soil which has a good moisture retaining capacity, and it should have enough number of drainage holes. Usage of fertilizers is a must for the plant's growth, but remember, while using fertilizers or pesticides, do follow the instructions written on their packaging.