HELP, MY ELEPHANT EARS ARE DYING!

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Hello, everyone.

My favorite plants (elephant ears) are dying. I am just plain at wit's end.

The new leaves come out and a few weeks later, they yellow and need to be cut away. This process of yellowing and being cut away happens faster than the rate at which the new leaves are being produced. In a few weeks, there will be nothing but roots left. I have applied ironite lightly 2 weeks ago, then a bit more a week ago. It didn't work. The plants are sitting in a well-drained bed with full sun from sunrise to about 3PM. Any suggestions?

Thanks.
Sylvain.

Thumbnail by lourspolaire
Everglades, FL(Zone 10a)

Hello Sylvain,
I lived in your area until recently and I found NEGLECT the EE's and they do their best.
I am far from an expert but your EE's look like a water variety that we have in a pond.
I can send you the normal ol' dirt variety if you would like some.

PS- Manure is my secret to success.

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Thanks, Cyberageous.
Barring anything else and following your learned recommendation, I'm going to try neglect as a treatment because nothing else works.

I don't have any decomposed manure and what Home Depot and Lowe's have is mostly sawdust. My friend used to keep me well supplied in chicken droppings while I lived in Montreal. The neighbours didn't really appreciate but the garden loved it. No such luck here.

Take good care.
Sylvain.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Fully prepared to fend any challenges to the title, and with my typical delusions of grandeur and ego inflated megalomania, I declare myself THE elephant ear expert. Some of my elephant ears grow to be about 8 ft high with leaves that spread up to about 4 ft from stem to tip. I grow several different genera (Colocasia, Alocasia, and Xanthosoma) and named cultivars within those genera. I've even immortalized the standard elephant ears in paintings -- one I did a few years ago that sold for over $3000 at a charity auction and was featured on posters and T-shirts. As a result of that and other EE leaf painting charitable donations, I am now known around town as "that guy that paints elephant ears." Among my many religious practices (which include sitting in Zazen meditation, worshipping every known and unknown deity (the all encompassing religion of Unitarian Universalism which translates as "hedging my bets"), and occasionally going out in the field dressed in ceremonial garb and throwing rocks at the moon), I ascribe to the Hawaiian native people's worship of the Taro god as the source of all creation. (see web links and additional info below).

So, having established my right to serve as seer and oracle for all things elephant ear related, I proffer the following wisdom and advice:

As Cyber pointed out, you do not have the "standard" elephant ear, Colocasia esculenta, but one of the members of another genus, Alocasia, with similar shaped "elephant ear" leaves. From what I can discern from your photo, you probably have A. macrorrhizas (one of the "upright" elephant ears):

http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/53227/index.html

(As far as I know, no one has yet rediscovered the infamous "down low" elephant ear, which is known to lurk in secret places and indulge in nefarious sexual practices.)

Among the Alocasias, I grow A. wentii, 'Amazonica,' and 'Hilo Beauty' (but now I am just bragging).

From what you describe as the growing conditions for your plant, the first clear message that appears in my crystal ball is that you have your plant in TOO MUCH SUN! Your ears are yellowing due to sunburn!!

At Corky's Lakeland round up not too long ago, I greedily snatched up a pot of Xanthosoma maffata aurea 'Golden Delicious' (aka 'Lime Zinger) that was offered up for grabs by the Lakeland Parks Dept. spokesperson that provided a very interesting talk at the round up. There were enough individual 'Lime Zinger' plants in the pot that I was able to divide them up and plant them in three different growing conditions for various degrees of light to see where the plant would do best -- deep shade, part sun, full sun. Those in deep shade are still large, lush, a bright neon chartreuse green, and fully leaved out. The others suffered from too much light and the leaves yellowed and died, just as you have described your plant as doing. I've since moved all the Xanthosomas to deep shade with an apology to them for subjecting them to my wantonly callous medical research.

Incoming direct transmission of orders from the Taro God, with whom I, George W, Pat Robertson, and other great minds communicate hourly:

"Move your plant to an area that approximates deep shade with diffused light and no more than an occasional beam of direct sunlight."

My prescription for curing your plants illness while also absolving your sins:

Since your plant is already stressed, as was Icarus with his wings of wax, from being fried by radiant heat, I would suggest potting up your plant and pampering it for a while to assist in its recovery. Put it in a large pot in humus rich soil. Mix a bag of Black Cow composted manure with Naturize potting soil and stir in any well-rotted leaf mold or other organic vegetable matter you may have. My largest Colocasia esculenta obtains its great heighth as a result of feeding upon what I think are the long ago decomposed remains of a dead dog, left in a grave by a former occupant of my property. So, if you happen to come upon some small road kill, you might mix it into the soil as an appropriate sacrifice to the Taro deity. Subjecting yourself to the stench of the carcass shall serve as sufficient pennace for your offense to Dasheen the Almighty. Leave your potted Alocasia in deep shade and water it just about daily (making sure the pot drains adequately). Do not apply any fertilizer other than what is provided in the Naturize brand potting soil. You should see an improvement in the plant's condition within a couple of weeks as new, healthy leaves begin to emerge. Once it is stablilized, you can then move it to an area of your garden that has deep shade, good black organic soil, and that stays consistenly moist or is in a spot that you can water it just about daily. If your plant is too far gone to recover and slips off into death, you must henceforth forever wear sackcloth and cover yourself in stinging nettle ashes so that all may recognize you as a penitent Taro murderer and hurl insults and invectives at you while spitting on the ground before each of your footfalls.

Jeremy, Most High Priestess of The Colocasia Cult and Crash Test Dummy (i.e., a gender bending fender bender).

Info on the Taro myth:

http://www.winkler.ch/taro/04_myth.html

http://www.kingdom.org/planters/haloa.html


Haloa is both taro and man; plant, human and god ... Haloa combines the fruit of the earth and the fruit of the heavens or spirit, because spirit is the breath of the gods. Haloa is the older brother who dies with each season, only to be reborn again eternally, and he is also the younger brother who lives but once and then dies forever. But the spirit, the breath (Ha) continues from generation to generation. Symbolically the two brothers or branches belong on the same tree of life"(Knipe 1982:29)(Leave-out C.K.).

It is interesting that throughout the history of mankind, plants have come to symbolize human spiritual development. Wakea and Kane, both gods of procreation, are mythological images for the fertilizing factor which begets the plant and brings new light to each sunrise.

Spiritual development is like a plant, like taro. It must be rooted in the earth before it can grow. Both must be constantly nourished by the living water of life; the sprout then reaches upward towards the spirit of the heavens, but only if the root is held firmly within the dark, moist earth, within the womb of our basic nature. The soul comes from the very ground upon which we live and from which we are daily reborn. The spiral and cyclic manner in which the taro grows becomes a metaphor for spiritual and psychological growth. In such a manner, the taro expresses the continuation of life, the bridge between generation and the ancestors who provide food and fruition.

Thumbnail by JaxFlaGardener
Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Reading this treatise has made my morning, Jeremy! Thanks for posting.

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Hi, Jeremy.

I bow to your mastery and quasi-infinite knowledge of EE.

I will try to find them a shady spot for them. So don't just stand there, my friend: cast out the demons that plague them and heal my babies. That's a double edge sword. If they live, I will sing your praises. Otherwise, I will don that much dreaded flowery thong and cast the spell of spells upon you. Next to that, the 7 plagues that visited Egypt eons ago will look like a tea party, debutante ball & cotillon.

Persuant to your advice, I will move them to a shadey spot (not an easy task here). and pamper them. I'll let you know what happens.

Thanks again.
Sylvain.

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

Beautiful Pic, Jeremy.

Talk about delusions of grandeur. HOHOHO

Hap

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

That's great advice; brief, concise and right to the point. Sylvain, your problem is solved.

Sheldon

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

If brevity is the soul of wit, I am obviously a dolt! But my theory of writing is: why use 10 words when there are 10,000 perfectly appropriate, precisely applicable, and previously unused words gathering mold in the dictionary.

Sylvain, just in case your EEs choose death rather than subsist in an environment irreconciable with their personal preferences, and in response, you do do that voodoo that you do so well, I shall be cloaked in my white aura and arm pits prepared with my antiperspirtidigation spray to ward off any wicked spells you may cast my way.

I once dabbled with a small group of local self-avowed witches and wiccens. In trying to come up for a name for the group, someone suggested, "The Self-Cleaning Coven." I wish I could be that clever.

Jeremy

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

I like that, Jeremy. My father was always good at that.

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Jeremy, you strike me as quite the raconteur and a fun-loving one at that. I fall within the same category.

One of these days, we should meet, mix some refreshments and tell stories. If we left a recording device on during that palabra, we'd have enough for quite the book, I'm sure.
I don't know about you but give me something to drink (anything between diet cream soda and iced black vodka), a fun environment and I'll go on until the cows come home.

Throw something sweet in the equation and I'll be worse than Larry The Cable Guy. When the sugar rush kicks in, that's when my wife's eyes start rolling because she's heard all that material oodles of time before. Her moto: Don't encourage him, please.

Sylvain.

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

Now you tell us, Sylvain.....

Gail, you have to become more out spoken. Tell us what to watch for.

Tallahassee, FL(Zone 8b)

Jeremy, that might have been the best post of yours I ever read. Cheers.

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

My favorite part... :)

"my theory of writing is: why use 10 words when there are 10,000 perfectly appropriate, precisely applicable, and previously unused words gathering mold in the dictionary".

Sooooo True.

I'm gonna save that quote. ; )

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

Right on, Blue. Only I talk like that!!

Hap

Lakeland, FL

What the Heck you two? I only speak redneckeese so ya better tone it down or I will tell Larry the Cable Guy to "Get her done" What a hoot you two are. Corky

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

I think they should get their own thread, just to amuse us.

Hap

Lakeland, FL

Amen, Corky the two stooges forum perhaps? Corky

South Florida, FL(Zone 10b)

Ohh yes, yes. I vote for a forum. It should be hilarious.

Brisbane, Australia(Zone 10a)

You know - I met Jeremy the other day. He quite generously shared plants with me from the "plant haul" and showed me his extensive garden. Curiously, he was rather quiet in person. You just never know...........

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

I'lll drink to that one.

Everglades, FL(Zone 10a)

I am in for a Jeremy / lourspolaire thread! I have met Jeremy at Corky's RU- great guy!

Hey Corky! Miss ya! I think I finally and successfully got you a potted ice cream banana.

Jnana- what is that banana that is better than an ice cream banana?

News Bulletin!....I now have a bear problem..I have been making plants for Corky's next RU and man oh man! The last thing I expected is bears tearing up my stuff. Last night they tore up the chicken yard and also crushed all my kong coleus. The chickens are fine but they tore up so much to get to the feed. This "Everglades Restoration Project" by the gov is so bogus- they are starving out the wildlife and causing the wildlife to ravage farms. And what can ya do? They're hungry. In a few years when our trees are mature, with our fruit and nuts, I think they will leave our interior stuff alone. By the foot prints- I would say we have a mother and cubs trying to find food.
So I am moving my propagation area further away in the mean time!

Everglades, FL(Zone 10a)

I am already drinking to that one happy---had a crazy day.

Central FL, FL(Zone 9b)

LOL Just saying, "They're getting too much sun" would have been tres boring, no?

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh, Oh,.....

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

...And the loveliest of all was the unicorn. (from the Irish Rovers' song The Unicorn).

I wasn't always a polar bear. In my teens, I was an unicorn. Again, ask Gail.

Sylvain.

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

I'm not going THERE!!! hehehe

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Wise choice, Nancy.

Sylvain.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

To Barksy: Your impression of me was correct. In person, you will generally find me subdued and serene, even "shy" -- the descriptive word I hated when growing up, when I was uncomfortably comfortable only when slinking in the shadows at social gatherings. The proverbial Erysium inconspicuum (Shy Wallflower).

http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/77515/index.html

(BTW - I'm wondering if someone slipped in a jest undected by the DG Plant Files moderators -- the above entry has no pix nor info about the plant, so I think if may be a ficticious entry?!)

In writing, I seem to be able to let the stream of consciousness flow (or perhaps, spew?) unchecked with all the thoughts and impressions stored up over time in a reflective, introverted (and definitely convol-lulu-luted) mind.

It is especially odd that at one time, eons ago, I chose acting as a profession. However, according to some magazine articles I've read, introverts often possess, as I do, an "on/off switch" for temporarily engaging in public performances and presentations. Toward that end, I have, this late in life, despite a total lack of training in music, taken up the pursuit of singing and will be doing a rendition of "Bring Him Home" from "Les Miserables" at the UU Church of Jacksonville this Sunday as part of the Father's Day tribute. The song has graciously been lowered by our choir director to b Flat to accomodate my basso profundo style and she has scored it for violin, piano, and guitar to help drown out my "loose" interpretation of the notes. Come if you dare. 7405 Arlington Expy. 10:45 AM

Thanks, Dzilla, for your accolade. I was thinking about you today, and it occurred to me that every politician that insists that the FCAT be used as a strict delineator of academic and educational achievement should be asked to take the test and removed from office if they flunk it.

But, back to the important topic here: Tormenting Taros with Too Many Tungstens:

Sylvain, I think you might do your best magic and most effective Halao appeasement by dancing without the "much dreaded flowery thong," and choosing instead to be indelicately, but delectably, clad in Musa fruit, a la Josephine Baker. One's presentation of poi is often best enhanced by the proper placement of a large, ripe banana. I know that from personal experience.

Jeremy

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Also, I could coiffe myself in a fruit hat la Carmen Miranda. Re the placement of a large, ripe banana and for safety's sake, may we agree on plantain albeit large and ripe. As the song goes: Hey, Mr. Tally Man, tally me bananas... daylight come and we wanna go home.

Poi: vile stuff if ever such a concoction was meant to be eaten. I don't care if it's a one-finger poi, two fingers poi or three fingers poi. I am certain poi is a practical joke to make fun of tourists. We all have our beliefs. Dave Barry believes lobsters to be sea insects and he's living quite well, thank you very much.

Smearing poi along your baseboards will protect your dwelling against an infestation of the dreaded south american barking cockroach. Taro should really be put to better use. I had it twice and it seemed the 2nd time was even worse than the first time. It had also fermented a bit longer. My friends were smacking their lips while I was looking for a way to dispose of it gingerly without being noticed. I finally had to resign myself to swallowing it. Just writing about it, I get queasy.

I'm an introvert myself, it's jut that my switch is never in the OFF position.

'Night, all.
Sylvain

Brisbane, Australia(Zone 10a)

Wow - what entertainment, and only 15 bucks a year.

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

I'm wid U, Barksy......

re: Poi.....AURGH......(spit) lady-like, of course... I had it once, and I learned...quick learning curve. Can't believe you went back for a second time, Sylvain.

re: costumes....Will leave that alone with the unicorn

re: Shy plants.....Jeremy, I think that you should put your pic on that....RIGHT!! NOT!!!

With these observations. I return to bed....


Hap

Tallahassee, FL(Zone 8b)

Actually, Jeremy, I agree with you. Not only should they have to take the test, but THEIR paychecks should be scaled in congruence with their scores! Heh.

Should the Florida Legislature give themselves a raise? Gee, I dunno... what did they get on their FCATs?

I like the way you think!

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

About the poi, I was hoping it would become one of those acquired tastes you hear about. I remember the first time my egyptian friend Azzedine invited us for a milookhiyya dinner. Although the whole family was eating it with great delight, I couldn't stand it but I told myself there's worse in life and I ate it anyway. The "cherry on the sundae" came when I realized that to show the hostess that dinner was great, I had to have at least one (if not 2) helpings. I resigned myself to having another helping, telling myself I would survive.

Seeing how much we enjoyed the milookhiyya, we got invited again a few month later for a repeat performance. What do you know, I had 3 bowls that night to everyone's great delight. I now make the stuff myself. Does anyone know of a good egyptian/mid-eastern grocery store in the Fort Lauderdale area? We're dying to make the stuff but we need the vegetable.

Barsky, you're right: $15/yr is a great value. Feel free to throw some kind of insanity into the fray when you're ready.

Nancy, re the unicorn I can't possibly begin to fathom what you thought or envision. As Mr. Brush would say, I am reasonnably certain a misunderstandizationizing exists there. I was talking about my totem, which mutated from a unicorn when I was a teenager to a polar bear when I entered my 30s. The best part of this is that one day, as I was training government employees in a cree village in the Great White North (Chisasibee), an elder came to me and told me: "I've known you for a while now. I've been looking at you. Your totem is the polar bear." With that, he walked away. Fun thing is, I already knew but confirmation is nice.

See you all later, I hope.
Sylvain.

Everglades, FL(Zone 10a)

hello Sylain-- I love poi and had no Idea that you could it at a mid-eastern store. Try on 441 (SR 7) on the east side between Oakland park Blvd & Commercial.There is a strip mall there.

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Cyber, it greatly saddens me to tellyou that you misread my post. Should poi become the only food on the planet, I would rather die of starvation.

Sorry about that, that that'sthe sad reality of things.

Sylvain

Everglades, FL(Zone 10a)

Sylvain, I caught that ya didn't like poi- to me it's like beer, you do have to acquire the taste and now I can't cut the grass without a beer reward!

Now that we finally have a rainy season, I hope to expand on my EE's. I am going to search the net for an exotic and reward myself for just being out here.

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Hi, Cyber.

It's a rainy day in Montreal today. Not much more to do today but read E-mail and lounge around in Dave's garden. Yes, beer is a great reward after getting the grass cut. I made sure to have one each and every time the grass guy left; LOL. I haven't mowed grass in over 15 years and if I never do that again, it will still be too soon.

Take care of yourself and find someone else do the grass while you have a beer.

Sylvain.

Everglades, FL(Zone 10a)

Thanks Sylvain but I am on my own out here, no biggie- it is nice to have grass! When I came here it was sand and rock and swamp. I don't even think there is suck a thing as lawn service out here. We can't even get a newspaper delivered!

Everglades, FL(Zone 10a)

Thanks Sylvain but I am on my own out here, no biggie- it is nice to have grass! When I came here it was sand and rock and swamp. I don't even think there is suck a thing as lawn service out here. We can't even get a newspaper delivered!
Actually, I am headed out to do some ground grading right now. I wish my dingo (tractor thing-a-ma-bob) HAD A CUP HOLDER!

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