I have inherited an Elephant Ears plant. I know nothing about it. It is in a large container on my front porch facing south (Southern California) It is growing very fast, and I will soon not have enough room for it in that location. If I plant it, will it tolerate acid soil? It seems to like mostly shade. Is it safe to prune it? We really like it. Any help would be appreciated! Jean
Jean, I know they like heat & lots & LOTS of water! Don't know about acid soil, but at one time, when we lived close to some horse stables, I gathered & dried horse manure to feed them, & they loved it. I would think that would make our normally alkaline soil pretty acid. I'm in S. TX, zone 9, and they do very well in the ground here. They like heat, but not direct sun. Those I fed with horse manure, & were watered with the drainage from the A/C (in other words, constant moisture) grew to about 10 ft tall, with leaves 5' long & over 3' wide. They lived up to their name!
Thanks for the reply! My son owns horses so manure is not problem, but I will have to learn for sure about the acid soil as the only spot I have at the moment is under a large pine tree.
I don't know about the acid soil either but when I lived in Louisiana, we had a very large elephant ear at the back of our house. It didn't particularly get lots of shade but it lived well with the very wet soil and humidity.
just wondering: when you guys (sorry, where I am we have female guys too,
I'm one of them) talk about elephants ears, do you mean taro in general?
If so, there's many different varieties and cultivars, and they vary widely in size.
We here (in Hawaii) only call the taro that gets really huge elephants ear.
That one contains a relatilvely large amount of oxalic acid.
Our soil here is generally fairly acidic and it grows well here
(on the wet side of the islands)
In my case, I don't know. I was a kid but it's leaves were pure gree with no varigation and it was HUGE with leaves the size of turkey platters but when remodelling guys came in to work on the house, they chopped it to the ground and I don't remember it ever recovering. I was crushed because my pet tree frog, StickyToes, lived on that plant and I never saw him again (I am still in therapy over it! LOL!)
Taro can be variegated or not. It is quite possible that you can grow it in
Louisiana - but it is also quite possible, depending on when the construction
guys cut it down that it never recovered as you describe.
Around here (zone 11) it still likes it sunny, and needs lots of water.
If the original poster still has hers, in southern California it gets hotter than here,
I'd be careful with sunny locations, but as it also gets colder than here in winter,
make sure it is protected from cold.