The Q&A Archives: Winter Care For Cannas And Elephant Ears

Question: What do I do with full grown Cannas and Elephant ears through the winter so I can be sure to have them next year?

Answer: For cannas, wait until the first frost turns the leaves limp and mushy. Dig the rhizomes and trim away the dead leaves. Pack the rhizomes in peat moss or similar material and keep them cool (40-50 degrees F) until spring. Replant after the last frost.

There are a couple plants that go by the common name, elephant's ear. Colocasia esculenta tubers should be dug and stored, or you can grow the plant indoors in a container. Note that its plant juices can cause swelling in the throat. Alocasia is a perennial plant that would need to be moved indoors. Note that its plant juices are poisonous if ingested.

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