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Container Gardening: Elephant Ears - mammoth - do they do well in containers

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shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 7, 2012
7:03 AM

Post #9033126

I haven't planted Elephant Ears in many years. I decided to add them to my purchases this year. Then I look at my yard which has no tropical feel and wonder if I should put them on my covered proch. Any pictures of these beautiful plants in containers?
Kathy
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

March 7, 2012
11:05 AM

Post #9033377

I have all mine in pots.

BIG pots...

Thumbnail by Anna_Z
Click the image for an enlarged view.

shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 7, 2012
12:00 PM

Post #9033432

OH MY GOSH! How old are these? I'm sure you must bring them inside for winter - or do you? They are so tall. Are these the EE like you get at walmart? How many bulbs are in one pot?

That is amazing -
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

March 7, 2012
12:18 PM

Post #9033443

Ok, confession time...that was taken in '05...I do not have those plants anymore BECAUSE they got too big and I divided them. Now I have lots. In pots. Yes, I have a large greenhouse, so they come in. Those are alocasia, they do better than the colocasia do. Sometimes I just give up and cut the colo's back, but the alo's do just fine. I love big plants, and these fit the bill. I bought the originals as bulbs at the garden center. Well, the first 2, now I just divide the pups off when the whole conglomeration gets too big for 20 inch pot and re-pot the new ones up.
ssgardener
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 7, 2012
2:39 PM

Post #9033645

Anna, thank you for the inspirational photos!

Is there a reason the alocasia do better than the colocasias for you? Is it because of your climate?
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 7, 2012
3:12 PM

Post #9033676

That's fine that its from 2005. I love it. I wonder which I'm getting from Walmart...? So are these from one growing season or are these over wintered in the greenhouse and not cut back? I'm trying to get an idea of what I may have - or need to get.

Do you have bulbs to trade? I'm not sure what I will end up with from the walmart "Mammoth" 11/13 bulbs for $3.

Kathy
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

March 7, 2012
4:32 PM

Post #9033776

Greenhouse climate is greenhouse climate...I have one 20 inch pot of colocasia that look wonderful...and several other ones that look like cwap. LOL I try to spray about every 10 days or so (which reminds me, I MUST do that in a couple...:>)

I have alo's that have gotten way huge, and you know they lose the leaves from the bottom up, so after they get about so tall, they have this leafless long stem. When the plants get that big I take a serrated knive, cut the leaf part off, leaving enough of the stem that you can stick it pretty far in a large pot (so it doesn't fall over). Then take the stem part and lay it lenghtwise in a long planter, cover about half the stem with soil. It will take about 6 months or so, but you will have many more alo's to pot up. I just take the aforementioned serrated butcher knife, saw them apart leaving some of the brown stem and pot up. Wish you lived closer, I have at least 6 I potted up and tossed about that many when I cut it all up during the winter. I sure don't want or need that many, but they were nice starts and I hated to kill them all off. I have one that I need to do soon, it looks pretty skanky with that long stem.

I think I have a pic I'll post if I can find it that I tried to make a mark on it to see where I'd cut it and where the nubbies are showing that will become new plants.

Thumbnail by Anna_Z   Thumbnail by Anna_Z
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Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

March 7, 2012
4:34 PM

Post #9033781

Ok, in the photo above, of the whole plant, I will probably cut it about 6 inches below the white on the stem, just above where the brown is. In the 2nd pic I tried to mark with black where the new plant will start.


In this photo you can see all the new plants that started from that stem I did last year. This was the one I divided a couple of months ago. It was like butchering a hog to cut all that up. LOL.

This message was edited Mar 7, 2012 7:36 PM

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jasminesmom

jasminesmom
Saugerties, NY
(Zone 5a)

March 12, 2012
7:03 AM

Post #9039219

This is a Colocasia that I bought at Walmarts 2011, and I over wintered the bulb and just potted it up for this summer..
Christine

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shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 12, 2012
7:14 AM

Post #9039244

Thanks - now I see what a walmart bulb will do. I wasn't sure. Did it get larger than that during the season or was it that size at the end of summer...also is the bulb much larger now that you've over wintered it?
Kathy

jasminesmom

jasminesmom
Saugerties, NY
(Zone 5a)

March 12, 2012
11:58 AM

Post #9039693

The plant did double in size buy end of summer, the mother bulb also doubled in size, I tried to over winter the pups but they rotted, but at least I got to save the big one.
Christine
Eglantyne
Gardiner, ME
(Zone 5a)

March 12, 2012
1:21 PM

Post #9039793

Kathy,
I haven't grown these a lot myself but I did buy the bulbs at either WalMart or Home Depot and as I remember they grew around 4ft in one season here in Maine zone 5a.The matter of fact I was eying some bulbs at WalMart just 2 days ago and kept thinking ..should I...shouldn't I ...I didn't see any other bulbs I NEEDED :-) so I didn't want to get into a long line.But I'll probably buy one or 2 for accent ( pot )
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 13, 2012
8:24 AM

Post #9040937

I potted up 2 EE in one nice pot that I can move around as I redecorate outside. I put them in a spare bedroom that stays very warm and gets late day to evening sun. I also put 6 or so in a large round pot so they could get an early start.

MyRee
Brigham City, UT
(Zone 5b)

March 30, 2012
7:35 AM

Post #9063012

I also bought 6 from Lowe's. I have potted them in 1 gallon pots to get them started before I move them to large pots. My question, how much misting or water do they need to get started, or should I not water al all? This has been my question with my canna's and dahlia's also. The soil looks awfully dry to me. I just am a worrywart I guess.

By the way ------------ Love your plants!

This message was edited Mar 30, 2012 7:37 AM

jasminesmom

jasminesmom
Saugerties, NY
(Zone 5a)

March 31, 2012
5:21 AM

Post #9064025

I always water mine in well when first potted up and then I keep the soil moist but not wet. Most of the time I dont mist. Good Luck they are so rewarding to grow..
Christine

morganc

morganc
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 31, 2012
3:43 PM

Post #9064634

MyRee - I do not know about the EE's, but Cannas and Dahlias can rot if you over water. Dahlias in a pot should have at least 1/2 garden soil instead of all potting soil. This will tend to hold the moisture in as well...so be careful not to drown. :-)

Love all these EE's...gonna have to get some this year.
MyRee
Brigham City, UT
(Zone 5b)

March 31, 2012
6:24 PM

Post #9064827

Thanks so much. I think mine are all on the dry side. I will see if the soil on the EE's need to have water added.
greenwood46
Milwaukee, WI

April 3, 2012
4:08 PM

Post #9068538

I'd love to know the directions on how to plant these bulbs. Are
they planted completely into the soil or do you plant the bulb only
half way? How many bulbs can you group together? Is there is
a top/bottom to this bulb? How can one tell?

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

May 9, 2012
7:18 AM

Post #9117012

I am also new to elephant ears in containers.
I bought plants from Wellspring,someone on the other site said hers get quite big by July.
I have Teacup
Mojito and a Black.
Just waiting for better weather to get started.

morganc

morganc
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 9, 2012
10:20 AM

Post #9117279

Does anyone know how long it takes for an EE bulb to germinate?

We planted one about a week and a half ago and still no sign above dirt!!

jasminesmom

jasminesmom
Saugerties, NY
(Zone 5a)

May 10, 2012
7:42 AM

Post #9118417

They can take any where for 4-6 weeks, they are growing there root system that we dont get to see, but once you see the first sign of growth they take off like crazy. I swear they grow inches over night ..
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

May 10, 2012
7:45 AM

Post #9118424

After they get growing give them 1 Tablespoon of urea per gallon of water once a week...the nitrogen will make them grow gangbusters. If there is a farmer's seed and chemical business nearby, you should be able to get some granular urea there. I just put 5 T. in a little water in a 5 gallon bucket, stir until the granules dissolve, and then water. I also use MG too once a week, or whenever I do everything else.

Edit to say...after I read that I realized I didn't say that after you dissolve the 5 T. in the small amount of water, full the bucket up, THEN water the plants. Sheesh...must be losing what is left in my brain. :>)

This message was edited May 10, 2012 12:30 PM

morganc

morganc
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 10, 2012
9:29 AM

Post #9118541

4 to 6 weeks...wow. Good thing I asked, in another week I was about to dig it up and check. OK, so we'll wait. Thanks jasminesmom.

Anna_Z - good to know about the nitrogen...since we are growing them for the leaves...makes sense. Thank you. Are they acid lover's do you know?

SheriBeer
Fairfield, OH

April 24, 2014
8:01 PM

Post #9820884

I just bought my first colocasia bulb. Can I just use potting soil in the pot or do i have to buy special,dirt. I don't have compost available. Also is the bulb ready to plant or do I have to do something special with it before I plant it like let it freeze or something?

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
Middle TN
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 25, 2014
2:32 AM

Post #9820966

Hi Sheri -- I use potting MIX or potting soil with some peat moss added to it, and, no, don't freeze the bulb.

Domehomedee

Domehomedee
Arroyo Grande, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 29, 2014
6:54 PM

Post #9825664

Just a note: EE's don't rot as easy as Cannas and definately not as easy as a Dahlia. Some of them actually like bog conditions. Research the particular type. I have never killed an EE by over watering it, wish I could say the same about Dahlias and Cannas.
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

April 29, 2014
9:00 PM

Post #9825768

I have..."Polly".

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
Middle TN
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 30, 2014
5:07 AM

Post #9825886

I believe 'Polly' is an alocasia.

Domehomedee

Domehomedee
Arroyo Grande, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 30, 2014
8:45 AM

Post #9826047

The alocasias do better in a freeze. I leave all of mine out in winter and occasionally it freezes here. I'm still wondering if I'm going to ever see any of the colocasias again after this last winter. My upright EE's are the only ones that have come back so far.

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
Middle TN
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 30, 2014
8:48 AM

Post #9826052

We've had so much cold and wet. I don't know if any of my "ears" will show up this year. :(

Domehomedee

Domehomedee
Arroyo Grande, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 30, 2014
9:05 AM

Post #9826069

I was really surprised when they didn't come back. I have had them out there for about 3 years and they were just starting to look really good last year. Next time I buy them I will pot them in something movable and drag them into the living room with the rest of the true tropicals.
You know it was REALLY hot yesterday here, maybe our cold weather has finally finished for the year. It was a long winter.

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
Middle TN
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 30, 2014
10:09 AM

Post #9826116

Mine returned for several years but I don't think they will this year. :( I do believe I will plant any in the future in a different location.

hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 30, 2014
10:36 AM

Post #9826142

Hmmm, I've never had alocasia survive our winters in the ground so I always keep them in the pot but colocasias on the other hand usually come back but are smaller than if I dug them up - later on as the heat builds they catch up and often surpass what I brought indoors. I dug up the Illustris mother plants in the fall of 2012 but didn't realize all the little runners would come back the following year. This was August last year. No sign of them yet but the cannas and dahlias are up...




Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
Middle TN
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 30, 2014
11:48 AM

Post #9826197

I was talking about my Colocasias.
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 30, 2014
12:13 PM

Post #9826223

Sorry Cville_Gardener (Crossville? I lived in Sparta and Cookeville for a few years) I should've said I was responding to Domehomedee. According to Tony Avent (he does a lot of pushing boundaries at his nursery) - his theory of why some hardy tropicals do better in the south than CA is our long hot summers even if our winters get a lot colder.

My picture disappeared too. GRRR!

Thumbnail by hcmcdole
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Domehomedee

Domehomedee
Arroyo Grande, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 30, 2014
7:56 PM

Post #9826646

We have so little humidity here. Most of the time it's below 85, even in summer. Which is great if you are a human, but on the whole I can't grow true tropicals. The EE's we do here are what I call semi-tropical (that means they do good here, LOL). There are a lot of plants that will grow here, just not a lot that do really well here. The mild weather confuses them. My daffodils come up in winter, and this year every plant in my flower garden bloomed at the same time about a three weeks ago, that was really strange, beautiful, but strange. They are already starting to look spent.

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
Middle TN
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 1, 2014
5:51 AM

Post #9826848

Clarksville.
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

May 1, 2014
5:54 AM

Post #9826853

Ah! Too many villes in TN at times. McMinnville, Crossville, Cookeville, Smithville, Spartaville (just kidding about that one). I just remember Spencer and Crossville being on the mountains.

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
Middle TN
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 1, 2014
6:35 AM

Post #9826892

lol. Yes, a lot of those are in east TN. I'm in Middle TN.
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

May 1, 2014
10:36 AM

Post #9827090

Those places I mentioned are middle TN. Cookeville is about the mid point between Knox(ville) and Nash(ville). HA! I consider anything east of Knoxville as east TN...
Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

May 1, 2014
10:48 AM

Post #9827103

Waahhhhh...all this talk of Tennessee makes me want to hook up the boat and go back to Center Hill Lake.

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
Middle TN
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 1, 2014
2:11 PM

Post #9827252

Yeah, sort of, I suppose.
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

May 1, 2014
2:30 PM

Post #9827270

Ah, good old Center Hill Lake - used to swim there as a teenager, worked my last summer in college at Ragland Bottom Park cleaning bathrooms and emptying trash (what fun that was!)

My sister in law and her husband have a couple of houseboats on it (he lives on one of them the last few years). We went boating with them a few years ago. Here is the parking lot at Sligo Marina and the two oldest grandkids tubing.

Thumbnail by hcmcdole   Thumbnail by hcmcdole         
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Anna_Z
Monroe, WI
(Zone 4b)

May 1, 2014
3:32 PM

Post #9827320

Yes, we rented a houseboat with some friends several years ago. It was SOOOO fun.

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