CAROL H
CAROL H
  • Hometalker
  • Harlem, GA
Asked on Aug 9, 2012

Walter, I need Elephant Ear Advice

CAROL HNormi MannBelinda Beggs-Powell
+13

Answered

All of my EE over wintered but they are t-i-n-y. And I had purchased some of the largest varieties. I have fertilized, it helped a little but they are not what the were last year, very sad. Any idea on how to pep them up? BTW, It's the same for the ee in pots and the ones in the ground. I haven't taken a picture to post, they are so puny. I'll take some tomorrow and post the little guys.
16 answers
  • Douglas Hunt
    on Aug 9, 2012

    Are there any other aspects of their growing conditions that might explain this? A lack of water for example?

  • Walter Reeves
    on Aug 9, 2012

    Elephant ears need specific conditions to overwinter in good health. My bet is that they were kept a bit warm and used up some of their reserves.

  • CAROL H
    on Aug 9, 2012

    They have plenty of water, I have sprinklers. They have compost, fertilizer and mulch. Some are in pots and some were in the ground. We are a few degrees warmer than ATL. I have attached some pictures of the sad little guys. Any help is much appreciated :)

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  • Walter Reeves
    on Aug 10, 2012

    The situation I referred to was the warm winter....the bulbs may have used up their reserves and gotten weak. In their natural environment they don't have a winter dormant period.

  • CAROL H
    on Aug 10, 2012

    So, will I have to dug them up and store them in my house or greenhouse for the winter?

  • Walter Reeves
    on Aug 10, 2012

    They need to be kept in a place that gives them temps between 65 and 45 degrees

  • CAROL H
    on Aug 10, 2012

    Thanks, Walter! Going to have some time invested in them, since I have so many.

  • Molly Chamblee
    on Aug 11, 2012

    Carol, we had a soft winter in NC as well. My ears have only been in the same place for 2 years and they are as big as I have ever seen! I would check your dirt or look for lil white natt things that eat at the roots. I will post a photo of mine to show. They are in an area that never dries and only gets afternoon sun.

  • Molly Chamblee
    on Aug 11, 2012

    Carol, we had a soft winter in NC as well. My ears have only been in the same place for 2 years and they are as big as I have ever seen! I would check your dirt or look for lil white natt things that eat at the roots. I will post a photo of mine to show. They are in an area that never dries and only gets afternoon sun.

  • CAROL H
    on Aug 11, 2012

    Molly, thanks so much for your post. Yay! Hopefully I won't have to dig them up and store. I was looking for a larger greenhouse online last night. I'm thinking that they are not getting enough water and light. I may have to transplant into a better area. What type of elephant ears do you have? That may be a factor as well so are hardier than others.

  • Molly Chamblee
    on Aug 13, 2012

    They are old family ears passed down for half a century. They were just moved from Wilson NC where they did not get as big, but were not in as moist of a spot. I literally threw them into the lowest, wettest spot in the yard and they took off. I did not even plant them and we had a very hard winter that year. I did plant them in another spot with morning sun and little water, and they grew; but they only grew knee high. The ones with West sun and dirt that never dries are about 12 feet tall and 4' width.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Aug 13, 2012

    I think Molly provides proof in the pudding that elephant ears like moist soil.

  • CAROL H
    on Aug 13, 2012

    I think you are right, Douglas. Mine must not be getting enough water. Going to have to move them. Thanks, Molly!!

  • Belinda Beggs-Powell
    on Aug 23, 2012

    i have elephant ears that grow wild where my washer and dishwasher drain out back of my house.....i transplant them all over my yard......but they grow best back where the drain is because of all the damp dirt

  • Normi Mann
    on Aug 24, 2012

    Did you cut them down in the fall? These are evergreen and should not be cut, just clean up the underleaves in the spring. Normi, Master Gardener

  • CAROL H
    on Aug 24, 2012

    I live in GA. They are not evergreen here.

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