Asked on Apr 09, 2019

How do I save my black elephant ear plant?

I'm really new to caring for plants and I think I may have put my new plant in shock. I bought him at a greenhouse and left him in my warm car for a few hours. Then took him in my cold apartment for a few days where I noticed he started to droop. Finally I put him outside on the patio where one of his three stalks bent in half. Now all three of his leaves are dying or dead. If the bottom of the plant is still good can I save him? I need step by step help please.

  5 answers
  • Alice Alice on Apr 09, 2019

    Elephant ears may droop because there is a problem. Cut dead plant foliage to the ground during the winter or throughout the year as necessary, if your area does not have a killing frost. The elephant ears may grow as evergreens through the winter, especially in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 and warmer, or during warmer-than-normal winters.

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Apr 09, 2019

    SUN OR SHADE: Elephant ears can be planted in sun or shade. If you put them in a hot, sunny location, make sure they get a little shade during the middle of the day.ZONE: Elephant ears are tropical plants. In zones 9-11 they can be grown outdoors year-round. In cooler areas (zones 3-8) the bulbs are planted in the spring and usually grown as annuals. To find your USDA Hardiness Zone, check the map here.WHEN TO PLANT: Elephant ears are planted in spring after any danger of frost has passed. The tubers will not grow until the soil is warm, so don't plant the tubers until the soil temperature is 65ºF. To get a jump on the season, elephant ears can be planted indoors, 4 to 6 weeks before you plan to put them outside. Plant the tubers in pots and grow them a warm, sunny window. Wait until the soil is warm and there's no danger of frost. Loosen the soil 8" deep. Dig a hole about 5" deep. Set the tuber in the hole, pointy side up. The the top of the tuber should be 1” below the soil surface. Cover the tuber with soil and water thoroughly.PLANTING TIPSIn warm, frost-free climates (zones 9-11), elephant ears can be grown outdoors year-round. In cooler areas (zones 3-8) they are usually grown as annuals. When planted in spring, they become big, impressive plants within just a few months, so be sure to give them plenty of room.Plant elephant ears in rich, well drained soil. Improving the soil with compost or topsoil will add nutrients and improve the soil's water-holding capacity.For elephant ears to reach their full size, they need consistent moisture throughout the summer. They also benefit from an application of liquid fertilizer every 2-3 weeks.Elephant ears will not survive freezing temperatures and are winter hardy only in zones 9-11. In colder areas, you can either treat elephant ears as annuals and discard them at the end of the growing season, or you can store the tubers indoors and replant them next year.If you want to store alocasia or colocasia tubers from one year to the next, they should be dug up in the fall before temperatures drop below 40°F. Dig carefully, starting about a foot from the center of the plant. Lift the plant out of the ground (or out of the pot) and move it to a warm, dry place where it will be protected from frost. Once the root ball is dry, cut back the stems and use your hands to pull away the soil. Allow the tuber to continue to dry. When dry, wrap each tuber separately in paper and store in a warm, dark, dry place at 50-60ºF.

    Upright elephant ears (Alocasia) can be brought indoors and grown as houseplants. Keep the plants in bright, indirect light and keep the soil consistently moist, not wet.Good drainage so roots do not rot.To see a video about digging, splitting and storing elephant ear bulbs click HERE.

  • Lorraine Lorraine on Apr 09, 2019

    Hopefully you kept the receipt, and can return it if it died. But it’s a tuber. So hopefully you can revive it. From what I’ve read you might just need to water it. The love water. Just make sure the soil drains well! Pintrest has excellent articles on how to care for them. They do not like too much sun, inderect or shady areas are best.

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  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Apr 11, 2019

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Apr 13, 2019

    Elephant ears are water-loving plants. They need at least moist, organically rich soil, but constantly moist soil is preferable, especially in warm months. You can decrease your watering schedule for the plants in winter, when they don't need as much water as they do other times of the year.

    Indoors - When growing Colocasia inside, be sure to choose a fairly large container to pot the plant in. Colocasia can attain a good size, so you will want to be prepared. Choose a site to situate the indoor elephant ear plant that is in indirect sunlight. Colocasia can tolerate direct sun, but it will tend to sunburn although it may acclimate after a time; it will really do much better in indirect sun.

    Also, elephant ear houseplants should be elevated slightly with a layer of rocks or pebbles between the pot and the saucer. They love humidity so put water in the drainage pot. This will increase the level of humidity surrounding the indoor elephant ear plant while preventing the roots from coming into contact with the water, which may cause root rot.

    • Melinda Aubuchon Melinda Aubuchon on Aug 27, 2019

      I got an elephant ear plant the other day and it's real tall and straight up leaves well I transplanted it because it needed it and it's it's done the bulbs phone down and McDaniel live in the bottom leaves are coming they're hanging down bad and I need to know how to save it before it's too late