The Best Time to Plant Elephant Ears


Elephant ears (Colocasia spp.) are frost-tender, moisture loving plants that can be planted as tubers or as plants growing in containers. Colocasia esculenta, hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10, is a commonly grown variety of elephant ears. Featuring boldly veined leaves up to 2 feet long, this variety usually grows 3 to 6 feet tall and wide.

These perennial plants become dormant in winter. The leaves and stems die down and the plants overwinter as tubers in the soil. In spring, the tubers sprout new shoots and roots, and the plants reappear. In USDA zone 7 and colder zones, elephant ears rarely survive winter outdoors.


  • Elephant ears are poisonous when eaten raw, and in some areas of the United States the plants are invasive.

Planting Tubers

The best time for planting elephant ear tubers depends on the USDA zone and the winter weather conditions. Elephant ear tubers survive winter best in slightly dry conditions. In USDA zones 8 and higher, if winter conditions are dry it's usually safe to plant the tubers at any time during winter. If the soil is usually wet at this time of year, wait until spring.

In USDA zone 7 and colder zones, plant elephant ear tubers after the final local average frost date in spring.

Planting in Containers

Most frost-free times of year are suitable for planting elephant ears in containers but spring planting gives the best results in cool and cold areas. These plants grow spring through fall, and in USDA zones 8 and warmer zones they can be planted outside at any time of year. In USDA zone 7 and colder areas, planting elephant ears in spring after the final local average frost date provides the longest growing season. Another benefit of spring planting is that in many cool and cold zones spring is often a rainy time of year, and elephant ears benefit from the moist air and soil.


  • Dig up elephant ear tubers in fall after the first frost and store them in a frost-free place indoors, ready for replanting the following spring.

Planting Spots

Plant elephant ear tubers and plants in containers with moist to wet soil in partially shaded spots that receive about four to six hours of direct sunlight per day. The plants grow best when they receive protection from strong winds, so put them in a sheltered area.


  • Elephant ears grows well in up to12 inches of water.

Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • How to Plant Elephant Ear Bulbs

    Elephant ears are large, lush green leaves that resemble actual elephant ears in both size and shape. These tropical fall bloomers stand...

  • When to Plant Elephant Ear Bulbs in Zone 7?

    Elephant Ear plants, also referred to as Arrowhead plants, ... Proper Planting Time for Elephant's Ear Plants; How to Care for Elephant...

  • Planting Elephant Ear Bulbs

    Watch as a flower expert and professional gardener demonstrates how to plant and care for fall-blooming Elephant Ear bulbs in this free...

  • How to Care for an Elephant Ear Plant

    There's an elephant ear plant for everyone, with nearly an endless number of varieties to choose from. Elephant ears are herbaceous perennials...

  • How to Grow Elephant's Ear

    How to Plant Elephant Ear Bulbs; Proper Planting Time for Elephant's Ear Plants; Print this article; Things You'll Need. Shovel ; Compost;...

  • Plants That Look Like Elephant Ears

    The Best Place to Plant Elephant Ears; Comments. Samantha Jul 28, 2011. what are you doing? could help eric/. Related Ads. View...

  • Are Elephant Ear Plants Perennial?

    Add elephant ears -- those large-leaved plants grown from roots the size of softballs, or larger -- to create a tropical flair...

  • How to Grow Elephant Ear Plants in Texas

    Elephant ears (Colocasia esculenta), or Taro, are plants native to the highland tropical parts of the world. The bulbs, or corms, are...

Related Searches

Read Article

How to Make a Vertical Clay Pot Garden

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!