Propagating Elephant Ear Plant: 4 Best Ways

Ralph Astley is a retired gardener from Philadelphia who specializes in outdoor plants and trees. With years of hands-on experience, Ralph not only cares for a diverse range of outdoor flora but also shares his extensive knowledge through well-written articles and social media posts. A trusted authority in arboriculture, he's committed to helping the community grow healthier, more robust gardens.
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Thinking about Propagating Elephant Ear Plant? Don’t move ahead without consulting this guide that we have curated especially for our readers!

Propagating Elephant Ear Plant

Propagating Elephant Ear Plant – our guide offers a rewarding and cost-effective way to multiply these exotic beauties. Dive in to learn various propagation methods that suit your gardening style, complete with pro tips to maximize success rates.

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Propagating Elephant Ear Plant

1. Division Method

How to Do It

  1. Preparation: Water the plant well a day before the division to minimize stress.
  2. Remove the Plant: Carefully dig around the root ball and remove the entire plant from the ground or pot.
  3. Inspect the Root Ball: Identify natural divisions in the root ball, looking for separate “crowns” that have both roots and at least one leaf.
  4. Cut the Divisions: Using a clean, sharp knife, cut the root ball into separate divisions.
  5. Replant: Plant each division in its own pot or a new location in the ground, ensuring proper spacing and soil requirements.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Quick method, high success rate, suitable for large plants
  • Cons: Can stress or harm the parent plant if not done carefully

Best Time of Year

  • Late winter to early spring, when the plant is dormant or just coming out of dormancy.

Important Pointers

  • Use sterilized cutting tools to avoid disease.
  • Make sure each division has at least one healthy leaf and root to ensure a higher chance of survival.
  • After replanting, water well and keep the soil moist until new growth appears.

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2. By Offsets or Pups

Propagating Elephant Ear Plant 2

How to Do It

  1. Identification: Locate the offsets growing around the base of the parent plant.
  2. Separation: Use a clean, sharp knife to cut the offset away from the parent, ensuring some roots are attached.
  3. Planting: Replant the offset in suitable soil and water well.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Less invasive, good for beginners, retains parent plant’s characteristics
  • Cons: Not all plants will produce offsets.

Best Time of Year

  • Late winter or early spring, coinciding with a dormant or low-growth period.


  • Make sure the offset has at least one good-sized root for better success.
  • The separated offset should be replanted quickly to reduce stress.

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3. Using Stem Cuttings


How to Do It

  1. Cutting: Cut a 4–6-inch stem section just below a node, where a leaf joins the stem.
  2. Preparation: Remove the lower leaves and dip the cut end in the rooting hormone.
  3. Planting: Place the cutting in a pot with well-draining soil.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Ideal for leggy plants, good for cloning
  • Cons: Risk of rot, requires close monitoring

Best Time of Year

  • Late spring to early summer, during active growth.


  • Keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged.
  • Use a transparent cover to maintain humidity until roots form.

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4. By Tuber Method (for Colocasia)

Propagating Elephant Ear Plant 8

How to Do It

  1. Digging: Dig up the parent plant carefully to expose the tubers.
  2. Division: Separate individual tubers with a clean, sharp knife.
  3. Drying: Allow the cut surfaces to dry for a few hours to reduce the risk of rot.
  4. Replanting: Plant each tuber in its own pot or space in the garden.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: High success rate, quick maturity
  • Cons: Disruptive to the parent plant

Best Time of Year

  • Late winter to early spring, during dormancy or just coming out of it.


  • Each tuber should have at least one “eye” or growth point.
  • Plant the tubers with the eyes facing upward for optimal growth.

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Propagating Elephant Ear – FAQs

Q: How long does it take for propagated elephant ear plants to establish?

A: The time it takes for propagation to establish varies, but it can take several weeks to months. Patience is essential, and proper care is crucial for a successful establishment.

Q: What care do newly propagated elephant ear plants need?

A: Provide bright, indirect light, consistent moisture (not waterlogged), and warmth. Protect them from direct sunlight until they are well-established. Regularly monitor growth and adjust care as needed.

Q: Can I propagate elephant ear plants year-round?

A: While some methods can be attempted year-round, the ideal time for propagation is during the growing season (spring to early summer) for stem cuttings and offsets and during dormancy (late winter to early spring) for corms and division.

Q: What should I do if my propagated elephant ear plant isn’t growing?

A: If your propagated plant isn’t growing, review your care routine. Ensure it has the right light, moisture, and temperature conditions. Be patient, as some plants may take longer to establish than others. If issues persist, consider adjusting care accordingly or seeking advice from a gardening expert.

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