My, What Big Ears You Have


Tropical of form, gigantic of structure, and immense of leaf span, these plants are affectionately known as elephant ears. They provide the perfect backdrop for a pool or water feature, with their waxy and wavy leaves rising high into the sky and dwarfing all else around them. This is the first year I’ve successfully managed to grow them. Last year I tried starting them from a few sad corms that never quite took off, but this time I used plants that had already sprouted. I transplanted them into enormous pots to allow for ample root growth (and there is much; rumors of busted-out clay pots are easily believable). The results are spectacular, even if these photos offer but a glimpse of their glory.

At least three feet in length and width, the leaves are an accurate approximation of their whimsical namesake. Lending the patio a tropical aspect, they also have a personality that changes upon circumstances I have yet to figure out. At times the foliage stands up straight – erect and pointing to the sky – a rigid stance that gives a strong vertical flavor to the proceedings. At other points it relaxes, arching gracefully in soft curves, delicately bobbing in the breeze. I need to make further observation and tests to see if I can figure out what is going on. Both pots are relatively close to other plants, which may explain the phenomenon. Many plants will grow away from other encroaching plants, resulting in the rigid, vertical form I’ve seen this one occasionally take. It may also indicate a watering issue. Aside from the more obvious signs of wilting, some plants will change form when lacking or wanting water. Whatever the case, it’s a beautiful mystery that will play out over the rest of the season. I will keep my eyes on the ears.

Back to Blog
Back to Blog