Caladiums and elephant ears - Knowledgebase Question

Thornwood, Ne
Question by bennie35gray
March 17, 2010
I live in southern NY - last frost date is May 15th. When I plant caladiums and elephant ears outside after that date they take forever to start growing. Can I start them indoors and how? I have seen large elephant ears come back in other gardens but don't have the same luck.

Answer from NGA
March 17, 2010


Both plants need warm soils in order to wake them up and make them start growing. While you can plant them in pots and start them indoors, they are difficult to transplant once they've started growing. So, if you do start them indoors, plan on moving the containers outdoors in the spring. Or start them outdoors in the warmest spot you can find. Raised beds help the soil warm faster so you might consider mounding up the soil in the planting bed and then planting the bulbs. If you decide to start them indoors, use potting soil in your containers and plant them at the prescribed depth. Keep the soil moist but not soggy wet and set the containers in bright light. Hope this helps!

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