Houseplants forum: What's wrong with my elephant ear?

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Name: Colorado Amateur
Parker, CO (Zone 5b)
Jun 9, 2017 12:08 AM CST
I brought home this plant in great condition 2 weeks ago and repotted last week. Since then it has developed these brown spots. What am I doing wrong? I put a layer of Spanish moss on top of the soil. Was that a bad idea?
Thumb of 2017-06-09/ColoradoAmateur/bef38d
Thumb of 2017-06-09/ColoradoAmateur/a099b8

Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Houseplants Cactus and Succulents Annuals
Foliage Fan Birds Critters Allowed Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover
Jun 9, 2017 10:22 AM CST
Sadly, these are not known for their ease of care. They require quite high humidity. I'm not sure what is wrong with yours, but I suspect a humidity issue or being too wet.
Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Jun 10, 2017 8:55 AM CST
Your plant is correctly named Alocasia. "Elephant Ears" is a common name loosely applied to many different plants with large leaves that are totally unrelated. Best to use correct names to avoid confusion.

The leaf spots were likely caused by some minor root damage when you repotted. Although those spots will never go away, new leaf growth should be healthy if you provide proper care. High humidity is not necessary if you keep the roots appropriately moist. Allowing the soil to get too dry on occasion or keeping the soil constantly wet will cause quick decline with this plant. In that sense, it is not a very forgiving plant.

Provide lots of very bright, but indirect sunlight indoors. No more than an hour or so of direct sun. If you keep it outside, keep it in shade at all times.

Water thoroughly as soon as the surface of the soil feels dry. Fertilize very sparingly.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Colorado Amateur
Parker, CO (Zone 5b)
Jun 11, 2017 12:31 AM CST
@willc - Thank you so much.
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
Charter ATP Member Bookworm Amaryllis Houseplants Annuals Garden Photography
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Foliage Fan Bulbs Bee Lover Frogs and Toads Container Gardener
Jun 11, 2017 12:48 AM CST
I kept one alive for many years. I suspect your plant has just had a shock from being moved from the store to your house and being repotted. If you keep it in good light and out of drafts and don't overwater as Will says it should settle down. I will periodically shed the older leaves. The flowers are interesting as well.

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