If you want a large foliage houseplant that’s easy to grow and maintain, then Growing Elephant Ear Plant Indoors makes perfect sense!
Elephant ear plants have huge leaves and they make quite a bold impression. They can be a great focal point with a dramatic appeal for any interior. The color of foliage may differ from variegated green, purplish-black to green-white. Here are all the details on Growing Elephant Ear Plant Indoors!
Other Names: Taro, Cocoyam, Elephant ear, Eddoe, Hembu, Saru and, Dasheen
Check out our article on best large foliage plants for indoors here
Types of Elephant Ear Plants
The two most common types of elephant ear plants are Colocasia and Alocasia, which are grown as houseplants and outdoors as well. In that, Alocasia is most preferred as a houseplant and colocasia is grown outdoors in gardens.
To have a detailed look on types of Elephant Ear plants, click here
Choosing a Container
The size of the container depends on the variety of the plant. For nursery brought plants, go for one or two sizes bigger pot than the rootball. Varieties like Alocasia can do well in small pots while you’ll need a bigger pot for Xanthosoma.
Growing Elephant Ear Plant Indoors
Wear gloves before planting elephant ear plants, as the sap is mildly irritating for the skin.
Place your elephant ear plant in a location that receives all day long bright, indirect sunlight. It’s not one of those plants that can survive in the darkness.
Elephant ear plant loves to remain hydrated all the time, but overwatering can be harmful. Since you’re growing them indoors, it’s better to wait and let the soil dry out a bit before watering again.
They thrive well in temperature between 15-25 C (60-80 F). The ideal temperature for an elephant ear plant is above 50 F (10 C).
For growing elephant ear plants indoors, try to imitate wetland by mixing peat and perlite with organic-rich material that holds moisture, but don’t forget that every indoor plant needs well-draining soil.
Elephant Ear Plant Care
Feed the elephant ear with all-purpose liquid fertilizer, once in 2 months. Avoid fertilization in winters and allow them to relax.
Adequate humidity is a must for the elephant ear plant. You can use a humidifier for this purpose. Also, avoid dry air and keep it away from the heater and AC vents. To increase humidity for houseplants check out our detailed article here.
When new growth or pups start to emerge, you can transplant elephant ear plants in separate containers. It will help in providing space for existing plants, and new growth will also find their own space to flourish without any hurdles.
TIP: Just remove the newly grown pups and repot them in organic-rich soil in a deep and wide container.
Pests and Diseases
Fungal leaf blight can cause tiny oval lesions on leaves, making them yellow or purple after drying. Phyllosticta might affect the plant too. In an area with too much water and humidity, the plant may get subjected to pythium rot. To prevent, apply a copper fungicide. Keep the leaves dry and water the stem.
The stems and leaves are toxic to pets and humans as it holds oxalic acid in the form of sharp crystals. It may cause skin irritation, swelling, and vomiting. Though Colocasia (Taro) is widely consumed in many dishes around the world. Cooking properly eliminates the crystals completely. If you apply any lotion or oil on hands before touching them, then it won’t hurt you.