Black magic elephant ears (colocasia esculenta black magic) are a stunning cultivar of the elephant ear plant. It is a member of the arum family, as is the calla lily. Its large, deep purple leaves resemble an elephant's ears. It can be grown outdoors as a bedding or accent plant, or it can be grown in a container as a striking specimen plant.
Black magic elephant ears are tuberous and grow from the ground, rather than a trunk. They can easily reach 6 feet tall under the right conditions. The leaves of the black magic are notable both for their color and their size. The leaves are a deep-purple color that is almost black, and they can grow up to 24 inches long. black magic elephant ears are tolerant of wet conditions and can even be grown in shallow ponds up to 6 inches deep. They occasionally produce flowers, but the flowers may be hidden in the dense foliage. The flowers are a pale yellow and resemble calla lilies.
Grow black magic elephant ears in full sun to partial shade, though keep in mind the leaves develop their deepest purple coloration under full sun. Plant them in a rich soil with enough organic matter to keep the soil moist to wet. Water black magic regularly, and do not allow the soil to dry out. Fertilize these plants regularly during the growing season with an organic, balanced fertilizer. Black magic is a vigorous grower and a heavy feeder and will appreciate the extra nutrition.
Black magic elephant ears are hardy in Zones 8 through 10. In the winter, treat them the same as cannas, if they are growing in a cooler climate--dig them up after the first frost in the fall. Overwinter the corms in a cool area. Re-plant the tubers in the spring, after the danger of frost is past. Black magic is a perennial in warmer areas, but it grows so fast that it can be treated as an annual in colder climates.
These plants grow from corms and will spread easily on their own. Dig up any of the small side-shoots from the main plant to create a new stand, or to share a black magic starter with a friend. Re-plant these side-shoots in a moist medium. Start new plants from the side-shoots in the late spring, before the weather becomes hot. Direct summer sun can scorch the young transplants.
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