Answer: There are many plants with the common name Elephant's Ear, but your description fits Colocasia esculenta. It's not hardy in your climate, so you should start the tubers in pots 8-10 weeks before setting them out. Water frequently and use a peat mulch to keep the soil surface moist. Keep temperatures around 70-75F; high humidity is also helpful. Set the plants out after danger of frost has passed in spring. Elephant's Ear requires deep, moist, rich soil in partial shade to perform well. Incorporate a lot of compost and other organic matter 1-2' deep, and mix in a complete fertilizer as well. Before frost occurs in fall, remove the tubers with some soil and store them in dry peat moss at 40-50F for the winter. Slocum Water Gardens (1101 Cypress Gardens Blvd., Winter Haven, FL 33884-1932; ph# 813/293-7151) has a few varieties to choose from - enjoy!
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