I need help with caladium/elephant ears???

(Tracey) Mobile, AL(Zone 8b)

My brother in law just bought a house. My husband was over there helping them move in and sent me a picture of what I thought was caladiums. They are planted in beds around 3 sides of the house. My bil said I can have as many of them as I like...so hubby went back with a shovel and brought home quite a few. -- Once here I could see that most are about 2 ft tall, so now I am wondering if they are not what I thought. -- I have provided a picture so you can see the what the leaves look like.

Another thing is.. He transported them in 5 gallon buckets, with some water in the bottom. Once home almost all the leaves were wilted and looking dry.. I put them in soil in large pots.. Will they bounce back?? I'm worried.

What should I do? Any suggestions are welcome..

This message was edited Jul 11, 2010 8:36 PM

Thumbnail by daisylovn
Burleson, TX(Zone 8a)

Well, they're not caladiums ;) They are elephant ears and yes they will bounce back, however the leaves that have wilted may not fluff back out. I would not cut them off. I would let them just stay on as long as they're not mushy or discolored stems. Keep them very wet. They like that. They will multiply like crazy so plant them where they will have plenty of room to roam.

Your plant is a Colocasia, and yes it will bounce back quickly.

noonamah, Australia

Some Caladiums grow that tall, but I agree with the others that yours are Colocasia. Looked after, your Colocasia can get a lot bigger than that.

(Tracey) Mobile, AL(Zone 8b)

Thanks everyone!!

(Tracey) Mobile, AL(Zone 8b)

I think I have too many of these in one pot. The stems are firm and the leaves of course, are withered.

I have a bed that is unused as I have not decided what I want to put in it. It receives shade from a very large maple tree in the morning, til the sun is really high around 1-2 pm.. then full sun the rest of the day.. The natural soil here if slightly acidic.

What do you think these plants will think of this bed as a new home? Will they approve or should I decide upon another area?

noonamah, Australia

As long as you give them plenty of water they should do well.

Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK(Zone 7a)

HELP ..... I have 3 large 1/2 barrels with elephant ears in them. Why do they keep getting brown around the edge of the leaves. Sometimes they are so bad they curl inward and look awful. One of them has a grainy type stuff on the leaf. Can anyone help me out with this. I water them every day, if not, every other day until the water comes out the bottom. THANKS!

Thumbnail by Crit
Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

From the picture it looks like you have a heavy spider mite infestation. Use a magnifying glass to inspect the "grainy type stuff". If you see tiny reddish dots moving around, as well as fine spider webbing, the diagnosis is confirmed. The trick then is to get rid of the mites. Insecticidal soap or Neem oil are two options if you want to avoid, or don't have access to, the chemical remedies.


This message was edited Aug 24, 2010 11:07 AM

Louisville, KY

I have been testing all sorts of chemicals for spider mite infestation on Colocasias. Neem oil and Insecticidal soap both cause leaf burn if it hot or in the sun so does seven and Malathion. The best I have used so far is Joust which has worked out the best and as far as I can tell no leaf burn from the chemicals.

Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK(Zone 7a)

Thanks folks! This particular leaf is the only one with the 'grainy' stuff....... the others just get brown around the edges

Seabrook, TX(Zone 9a)

Crit, It sounds like a combination of high temperature and they are getting too much sun and/or too little water. If these are the conditions that the plant is going through the "grainy type stuff" could be calcium oxalate crystals left by transpiration of moisture through the stoma of the leaves. Calcium oxalate is present in most aroids. To breathe and perform photosynthesis the plants open their stoma on the underside of the leaf during the day but, before they can take in carbon dioxide, moisture in the stoma needs to evaporate. In high summer heat this moisture evaporates at such a fast rate it can leave the crystals on the leaf. This is strictly from my personal observations.

But, to be on the safe side, do check for spider mites. Take a piece of white printer paper and wipe the underside of the leaf in one straight motion. Red or orange streaks on the paper is usually an indication of mites. Take the rest of the page of paper and hold it directly under the leaf. Give the leaf a few thumps then check the paper for any tiny dots that are on it. Keep watching the dots and if any move put a magnifying to them to identify mites.

Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK(Zone 7a)

Thanks all. We have been having extreme temps. 2 weeks of over 100 degrees everyday. They get plenty of water. I flood them every other day. I will check for the mites too.

Louisville, KY

I am positive of mites I have seen it a thousand times that gray dusting in the center of the leaves and veins are the mites.

Greenville, IN(Zone 6a)

bwilliams, hi :) I live a little ways from you can you tell me where to get this Joust at locally and if it's good for aphids I have had cream colored aphids (they seem to be round in shape) all over mine and green aphids on some, I've been fighting them all summer and losing leaves left and right, tried the Neem oil and Insecticidal soap and like you said it burned my leaves I'm starting to get worried because it's getting close to putting them in the house and can't get rid of them! I have a nice little collection going on and really hate to lose them! Tried dish liquid and water too with no luck, also I have mold on them and they get plenty of air guess it's mold it's fine little white spots please help I was going to start a new thread and saw this one :) They are only on my different Taros and not on my other ones. The cream colored aphids(?) ones are just starting on my Mickey Mouse.

Could the mold be the calcium oxalate crystals that stevesivek was talking about maybe? I've never had this trouble with them have been growing them for a couple of years now this is my third. Would alcohol and water work until I find some Joust I was going to use some of that and after burning my leaves I decided not too.


(Tracey) Mobile, AL(Zone 8b)

The mold sounds like mealy bugs...

Greenville, IN(Zone 6a)

Thanks but it's not mealy bugs I've had too much experience with them :)

Little white spots that appear in bunches on the underside and top of the leaves are most likely due to spider mites. Posting a good picture of an infected leaf with this "mold" you are speaking of will definitely be the tell all.

Greenville, IN(Zone 6a)

I'm sorry I don't have a camera it would make things a lot easier :)

We have had extreme temps. here too so think it may be the calcium oxalate crystals that stevesivek was talking about so I moved them to more shade I've always had them in some sun the last few years guess this year's sun was just too hot for them.

I do have aphids and tried insecticidel soap and neem oil it burned all of the leaves do you know where I can get some Joust please, like bwilliams was talking about I've tried to google with no luck or anything that won't burn my leaves so bad. I'm waiting to see if moving my Taros in more shade will take care of the so called 'mold' problem :)

I have no clue where you can find "joust" that bwilliams spoke of and I am sorry that I can not aid you with your aphid problem either. As far as determining a case of spider mites on your plant/plants you would probably need to use a magnifying glass in order to see them working away on the leaves of your plants.

Good luck and I hope Brian will soon come to your aid with an answer.


Greenville, IN(Zone 6a)

Thanks Rachel :)

I really don't think I have spider mites I've seen those before.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

Joust is/was made for mites. I'm not sure if it would address aphids? It was pretty hard to find on the web. I found one good reference at the Pesticide Action Network (PAN): http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Product.jsp?REG_NR=00312500381&DIST_NR=059807. If you scroll to the very bottom, it shows that Bayer Corp cancelled their registration in October 1999.

I have a bad case of aphids on my colocasia Mojito and Black Magic: http://allthingsplants.com/thread/view/9344/Insects-all-over-my-Colocasia-Mojito-and-Black-Magic/. I used Insecticidal Soap and YES - boy did it cause leaf burn. Next time, I will either apply it in early evening or find something else.


This message was edited Apr 22, 2012 1:36 PM

Post a Reply to this Thread

You cannot post until you , sign up and subscribe. to post.