Mayan Garden Club Tip of the Month: June 2018

    Elephant Ears & Taro — Easy to Grow

 

Elephant Ears are 5’- 6’ tall plants with 3’ shield-like leaves. They are used often in tropical gardens and as background for flowers and other bright foliage plants and are easy to grow if planted in the right area.

They can also be used in wetland areas for septic tanks with much success.

The plants are propagated easiest by division of the large tubers. The location should have morning sun but no afternoon sun if possible in areas where the summers are hot. Long, direct sun can cause the leaves to yellow and brown. With adequate water very large plants can be grown in full sun, but they’ll need a lot of water when getting established.

A monthly application of balanced fertilizer in the beginning will help them grow and spread. Set tubers in a bed that has adequate drainage but is very fertile and retains water. Wet feet do not bother them if it is not always that way. For that reason they may be planted in septic drainage areas directly in the water and as that fertilizes them while they filter it with their roots.

While they are growing, remove tattered and torn leaves to keep them looking healthy and soon other leaves will sprout. A machete works well for that pruning,

Once growing, you will have an abundance of beautiful green, purple, or variegated depending on the variety, which you can enjoy and share with neighbors.

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