University of Maryland Extension

Featured Plants - Elephant Ears

Debbie Ricigliano
Photo by Debbie Ricigliano


Elephant ears can be your garden’s backdrop or its bold center of attention. It is in the genus Colocasia which contains about 25 species of tropical plants grown in colder climates during the summer for their interesting foliage. Elephant ears add texture and height with a tropical flair. Leaves range from emerald green and black to brown and chartreuse gold. Colored veins run through the leaves of some varieties. Elephant ears tubers should be planted 2”–4” deep in well-drained soil after danger of frost has past.  Site in full to partial sun. They like moisture.  Fertilize a few times during the growing season. After first frost, cut back foliage, carefully dig up tubers, remove the soil and dry.  Store in a container allowing air circulation in a frost-free, dry location. 

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