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What size container for elephant ears?

Endicott, NY(Zone 5a)

I planted 2 elephant ear bulbs in containers, and I'm wondering if I should repot them. Last year none of the elephant ears that I planted sprouted so that's why I started in containers this year. They are the ordinary green elephant ears. Is there a "standard size" container for one elephant ear bulb/plant? I'm zone 4/5 so I would have to dig them up in the fall and would rather keep them in containers if possible.

Other than planting annuals, I'm new to container gardening.


Santa Barbara, CA

Seems to me a gallon-size container ought to be large enough and allow you to dig up pot and all for winter storage. I'd start them inside and transition them outside for a bit before putting in the ground.

Because they are such a big bulb, I just used the largest plastic that I had whether it had a crack in it or not... I staggered the bulbs. I managed to get packages for half the price of normal, so ended up with eight bulbs, for $ four. Two on bottom, rotate, two mid level. One pot did fine, one pot didn't reproduce or come up again this year. The first pot even made new bulbs.

I had to dink around with them this spring as the leaves were coming up in odd places in relationship to where I remember I planted the bulbs. Every thing seems to be doing great. I think that the plastic pots I used are better than 12 inch pots.


Port Huron, MI(Zone 5b)

I start mine in pots and then transfer them outside, but they sure do take a long time to germinate.mine took at least 8 weeks.

Toadsuck, TX(Zone 7a)

How big do Elephant Ears get in 1-2 yrs?

Noblesville, IN(Zone 5a)

I planted mine in a huge pot (17) inch. They also need plenty of water and some food once they start growing. Sun and water, water and sun. :)

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

I've done the elephant ears in pots, and a tray that holds water underneath sure does help. They get really top-heavy so a big pot with rocks in the bottom is good. My elephant ears are in the ground this year and nearly 10 feet tall.

Endicott, NY(Zone 5a)

Thanks to all of you for the information. I had two big bulbs and planted each in a huge plastic pot with a saucer. I am very happy to report that the elephant ears are huge and look like something out of the tropics on my deck in Upstate NY. My DH who doesn't garden is very impressed! My deceased grandmother had elephant ears in her garden so this is a trip down memory lane for me.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

I have my elephant ears in 20 inch pots. I have access to a greenhouse, so I wintered them over last year instead of letting them die back and exhuming the bulb. They are just huge this year, the leaves must be almost 2 feet long and at least a foot across. I read on another garden site where someone said they give theirs 1 Tablespoon urea per gallon of water once a week, plus Miracle Grow yet besides. I water mine almost every day, since they are bog plants. Mine aren't 10 feet tall, obviously they will not get to be that tall since I'm in zone 4b. I am very happy at how they've grown, and I attribute most of that growth to the urea (nitrogen).

Like they have said the bigger the pot the better, you are talking about a plant that does grow fast and produce a bigger return when it has more space to produce. Putting it in a small pot will restrict it. My friend had given me some of her bulbs around here we are in zone 8 so we can leave them in the ground over winter. In one year her plant got 6+ foot tall and and 3+ feet around. She can go in business just selling them now after 3 years with dividing them. Just like they say in Texas "everything is bigger in Texas) so what if we live in North Carolina because our elephant ear's produce bigger than the state of Texas. Again the bigger the pot the better, Because elephant ears scream give me room!!! A happy bulb, make many more.

Enjoy your garden

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