LandscapingOutdoor Living SpaceOutdoor Rooms June 28, 2023

Elephant Ears in the Garden 2023

This seems like a great week to talk about gardens/gardening/landscapes given the rain and now heat and humidity. Three of my very favorite plants for the summer garden are elephant ears, caladiums, and hardy begonia All do well in shade – of which I have a lot – and provide foliage and color well into the fall.

Elephant ears are easy to grow from tubers and require little care except an occasional dose of fertilizer and moist conditions. The large leaves add a lush tropical feel to any space and are particularly good in large pots on a patio or porch. They come in several different sizes and colors and I try a new one almost every year.

Best of all they can be ‘wintered over” either by taking the tubers up, wrapping in newspaper and storing in a dry, cool place. I did this last year with great success. In certain zones you can also leave them in the ground or in a pot and blanket them with mulch.

They come in a variety of sizes and colors.  I love the black ears and am looking forward to trying a variegated variety next year.  Also up for consideration is “Thailand Giant” whose leaves can measure a whopping 5′ long and 4’ wide!

Finally – buying potted, fulling growing elephant ears in a nursery is very expensive.  Instead, look for tubers and plant them yourself.  It takes a bit of patience because they really do need warm temperatures but once they get started you can just set back and enjoy.  Locally I have had great luck finding good tubers at Old Town Ace Hardware.

Hope you’ll come tomorrow for Part 2 when I’ll talk about another favorite – caladiums.


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