Should Elephant Ears Be Planted in the Shade or in the Sun?

Elephant ears are tropical plants.
Elephant ears are tropical plants. (Image: elephant ears image by robert mobley from

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Grown in Shade

Elephant ears are native to tropical areas, where they grow on the forest floor, notes the Emily Compost website. As a result, these plants do well in partial to full shade. When planted in these shade conditions, elephant ears grow up to 9 feet tall, with leaves several feet in length.

Grown in Sun

Elephant ears are fairly adaptive and will grow in full sun, especially in climates where the sun is temperate. Elephant ears grown in full sun tend to be more compact than when grown in the shade. The leaves will be a deeper, more vibrant color.

Bottom Line

Elephant ears do best in full or partial shade, but they can adapt to any light condition, even full sun as long as it's in an area that doesn't get intense sunlight. Keep in mind the differences in appearance when grown in the sun or shade when choosing companion plants.


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