The Q&A Archives: Elephant's Ears Need Thinning

Question: This summer will be our elephant ears fourth summer. They have come up every year without being taken inside. I would like to thin them out and maybe sell some to the locals. Can I do this before spring or summer? Will they live the sell?

Answer: Colocasia esculenta, or Elephant's Ears, grow from tubers which can be lifted and divided. Start now by digging the bed and removing the tubers. There may very well be many separate tubers and sorting them out should be easy. If you find one big mass of tubers, divide the roots by cutting into large sections. You can store the sections in a dark, cool, dry area, in dry peat or sawdust. When replanted in spring, each section should produce new stems and leaves. The plants should survive the process without problem.

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