The Q&A Archives: Another type of Elephant Ears

Question: How do you take care of the Elephant Ears that grows straight up and are taller than the ones growing from the tubers. How and When can I move them from one house to another?

From louisville, Ky

Answer: Alocasia (commonly known as African Masks and Elephant's Ears) are mainly valued for their gorgeous leaves, which are very large, heart- or spade-shaped and beautifully colored and variegated in gleaming shades of green, purple, bluish-green, red and bronze. The plants produce long stalks which are topped with 12-inch-long, heart-shaped, puckered leaves. They are a lustrous purplish-green above and purple beneath Small forms of this variety may grow only a foot or two, while large strains may reach four to five feet before they begin to form a trunk, eventually reaching a height of up to ten feet. Elephant's Ears are excellent when grown as houseplants and can be grown outdoors in mild, tropical climates.

These plants prefer partial shade and high humidity. Grow them in a very well-drained location in a mixture of ground bark, soil, sharp sand, and charcoal. Some varieties of Elephant's Ears can be grown in or near ponds. They need a minimum temperature of 60? F. In the fall, the tops will die down. Dig the tubers and store them at 50-60 degrees. In early spring, the rhizome can be divided into pieces and planted in small pots of peat and sand; stem cuttings may be rooted. Seeds can also be used. Alocasia can be used as houseplants, outdoors, and in water ponds.

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