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Plant when the soil warms up in the Spring, and after any danger of frost has passed. Elephant Ear tubers will not grow until the soil is warm, so plant once soil temperature is 65ºF.
Make sure to give your Elephant Ears plenty of room. An adult Elephant Ear plant will need at least 3 feet of space for proper growth and in a relatively shady area or filtered sun.
Select a partially shaded location, or an area with filtered sun. If planted in a hot, sunny location, make sure they are shaded from the afternoon sun. Plant tubers in rich, well-draining soil. You can improve your soil by adding loamy topsoil or compost.
Once you have selected a spot, dig a hole about 3-4 times the size of the tuber. Refill the hole as necessary with loose soil enough so that the tuber will be about 1-2 inches below ground level when planted.
Set the tuber in the planting hole, pointed side up, and cover tuber with soil. Water the area deeply. After watering, about 1" to 2" of soil should cover the tuber. It’s good to mark the spot where the tuber is planted, as it will take a few weeks for the plant to emerge from the soil. Use a stake or other marker so you won't forget where you planted the Elephant Ear.
Wait 1 to 3 weeks. The amount of time it takes for the first growth to show will depend on soil temperature.
Water frequently - Elephant Ears need consistent moisture throughout the Summer, and should not be left to go dry. Droopy leaves will give early enough warning for the plant to recover if watered within a day. They can also benefit from an application of liquid fertilizer every 2-3 weeks.
Trim away any faded or brown leaves to encourage new growth.
Zones 7 and below - dig up tubers when the weather turns cold. Elephant ears are Winter hardy only in zones 8-11.The plant will start having troubles when the temperature drop below 50ºF. Before freezing temperatures, you’ll need to dig up your tubers (root system).
Preparing and Storing tubers - First, trim off the green vegetation, or top growth, from the top of the tubers, leaving no more than half to 1 inch of leafy growth on the tuber. Let the tubers sit out in open air for 2 - 3 days, so they can dry out before they are stored. Drying the tubers out helps with minimizing the potential for mold and bacteria to develop.
Store tubers in a cool, dry place. Preferably a basement or location that does not drop below freezing. Do not store in plastic bags. Store in either a plain paper bag with plenty of holes for ventilation, or store in an open crate with peat moss or garden vermiculite. Once Spring arrives, replant the tubers once it starts to warm up. Separate the tubers as needed.
*Elephant Ears are patient growers, especially in cooler zones. They can take several years to reach maturity in some areas.
5064 Milford Road, East Stroudsburg, PA
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Seth H. Richards
Locally owned and Family Operated Since 1932.
Dr. John Richards established Richards Tree Farm in Middle Smithfield, PA as an evergreen farm. Building on those roots, his Great Grandson, Seth Hastings Richards, has grown the farm into a full service Garden Center and Landscape installation business for the past 25 years. The farm specializes in Organic Gardening, Edible, Native, and Unique plants.