Elephant ears are actually a group of plants scientifically known as Alocasia, Colocasia, and Xanthosoma. They all have bold foliage and can add a tropical look to any garden. Most prefer full sun and well-drained soil, as well as plenty of water and fertilizer.
It's important to note that one type of elephant ear, commonly called wild taro and known scientifically as Colocasia esculenta, is invasive in Florida and should not be planted. So be sure to look for specific cultivars that aren’t invasive. Some popular ones include ‘Hilo Beauty’ and ‘Lime Zinger’.
No matter what cultivar you select, never plant elephant ears in or near a natural waterway; many spread rampantly and become a problem.
Also on Gardening in a Minute
- Alocasia (group)--Missouri Botanical Garden
- Alocasia macrorrhiza--Floridata.com
- Black Velvet Alocasia--University of Arkanasa Cooperative Extension Service
- Cool Colocasias: Elephant Ears for the Garden--Plant Delights Nursery (NC)
- Elena is New Addition to Tropical Landscape--Mississippi State University Extension Service
- Elephant Ear 'Illustris' or 'Black Magic'--Clemson (SC) Cooperative Extension
- Hilo Beauty Elephant Ear--University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service
- Xanthosoma 'Lime Zinger'--Missouri Botanical Garden