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Everything about the Elephant Ear plant

Elephant ear

Common Name: Elephant ear, coco yam, taro

Latin Name: Colocasia, Alocasia

Family: Araceae

Plant Time: Spring

Mature Size: 3-6 ft. tall and wide

Sun Preference: Full sunlight

Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained, acidic soil

Bloom Time: late spring - early fall

Flower Color: Yellowish-white

Native Area: Asia, Africa, Australia, South America and Central America

Toxicity: Toxic to humans & pets

Growth Rate: 18 inches/ day

Wildlife Value: -

Table of Contents

Elephant ears – also known as Colocasia or taro – are beautiful tropical plants native to Asia, Africa, South, and Central America.

Because of their large heart-shaped leaves, many people use them to decorate their tropical gardens. The best time for planting is early spring; since they prefer warm temperatures, you should always take them indoors before the first frost.

Other popular varieties of Elephant Ear plant (Alocasia genus and Xanthosomaa genus varieties):

  • Black Magic
  • Blue Hawaii
  • Coffee Cups
  • Illustris
  • Lime Zinger
  • Mojito


There are a few very important things you should keep in mind when caring for an Elephant Ear plant.

First of all, this plant really likes sunlight, but you should grow it in partial shade. As far as the soil goes, slightly acidic (6.6 – 7.0), and almost wet conditions are preferred – it loves bogs, marshes, and swamps.

If you are growing it in a container, always keep its soil moist – so daily watering is basically a must.

Temperature is also very important –> The Elephant Ear plant thrives at 60° to 85°F. If you want to keep it alive for years, always bring it indoors before the first frost.

Common Pests

  • Aphids
  • mites (spider mites)


The best way of propagating Elephant Ear plants is by division (preferably in the fall). But it also depends on the species of the plant: The Colocasia esculenta grows from corms, while the Alocasia and the Xanthosama propagate from rhizomes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to propagate Elephant Ears?

You can propagate Elephant Ear plants by division, using corms or rhizomes.

How to winterize elephant ears?

After the first frost, cut the stems (to 6 in. tall), put the tubers in a bag and cover it with soil, and keep it in a dark, cool place for the winter.

Why are my elephant ears turning yellow?

Cold temperatures will turn your Elephant Ears yellow. Keep in mind, that they prefer 60° to 85°F.

How much water do elephant ears need?

You need to keep its soil moist all the time, so watering it daily is the way to go if you are keeping it in a container.