Thursday, 19 November 2009
Colocasia esculenta. Elephant Ear Plant, or Taro

How to Grow Elephant Ears:
Plant bulbs in the spring.  Find a sunny location, as these plants like hot sun and humidity. Elephant ears prefer a rich, organic soil.  They are moisture lovers, but the soil needs to drain well.
Note: Elephant Ear plants can be invasive. You may want to install a border edging 3"-6" deep into the soil around the plants, if you live in the southern USA. If you live in Canada don't worry about it. It will freeze out.
Plant bulbs in early spring. Mix in plenty of compost and organic matter. Apply a nitrogen rich fertilizer once a month for optimum growth. Keep soil moist all season long.
Mulch around plants heavily every year to help retain water, and to replenish organic matter.
In the fall, dig up the bulbs for storage. The bulbs will survive overwintering outdoors only in the warmest area of the USA.  That said, it will survive in South-western British Columbia but needs a lot of protection during the winter.

These are a wonderful tropical plant in the garden and the leaves can be huge, up to a meter. Very striking near a pond. I highly recommend these. Here in Southern Ontario I would start it in the house in the spring. It does take awhile for them to start up. But once they do they grow fast.

In the Indian Subcontinent it is known as Arabi, Arbi, Alvi, Chaama, Ghuiya, Patra, Mukh, This is a favourite starch food there. Also note that some types can be poisonous. So be careful what you buy.


  1. sonny, i really love your moving pictures of the gardens.
    guess what, we have finally beaten the squirrels.
    they just hate hot chili peppers and now they are leaving our bulbs alone..yay!
    but they are not hurt by it. we still see the guys prancing around the lawn. my biggest fear for them are those killer cats that seem to be filling the neighbourhood, killing as many birds and squirrels as they can!
    hope all is going well with you sonny, my kiddo..
    these pretty yellow flowers are all over the place in the fall in our beloved manitoba, eh and ontario seems to have a lot of them too!...take terry

  2. Thanx Terry. I have actually never seen a Cat catch a squirrel. My poor cat just gave up on the whole idea after a time. Those yellow flowers here are Rebbekia. or Brown Eyed Susan's.
    I am doing well, but now way over worked at times. That is a good thing as well I quess!!!! What I do not like about it is that it takes me away from doing this.
    By the way this was my 100th post Yeah for me!!!!

  3. for sure and yay for you sonny sikora!
    your 100th post...i have been blogging for almost four years and you are catching up to me!!..your babysitter and your smarty pants you! terry

  4. Thanks for the info on this plant, Reg. I have never seen one before.

  5. Dimple you are more than welcome. It is a fantastic plant to have in the garden. Very showy due to the huge leaves