The Q&A Archives: Pruning

Question: My elephant ears have developed an unsightly stalk, not to mention they are a little tall. Can I cut them off ground level and will they grow back?

Answer: Elephant's ears (Alocasia) grow from a starchy root similar to a potato. This root stores food for the plant and is responsible for new growth in the spring. In some areas of the country where occasional frost hits, Elephant's ears can freeze down to soil level, but the roots produce new stems the following spring. You can safely cut yours down to soil level now - or you may want to wait until next spring to cut them down. The stalk you describe is the beginning of a flower spike. The flowers are similar in appearance to calla flowers. If you're not interested in the flower that's about to develop, you can cut your plant down to soil level now.

Best wishes with your garden

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