How to Plant Giant Elephant Bulbs

Overview

Giant elephant ears can reach up to 9 feet in height and spread up to 10 feet wide. These large, leafy beauties have heart-shaped leaves and grow in sun or partial shade. While giving your garden a tropical feel, soil for the giant elephant ears must remain consistently moist. Once established, elephant ears are fairly hardy---they may even spread from their original planting bed---and their bulbs are easy to maintain and grow.

Step 1

Take a sample of the soil in the intended planting site to your local county extension office. The giant elephant ear will grow in nearly any well-drained soil, but it does need slightly acidic soil with a pH level between 6.6 to 7.5.

Step 2

Till the planting area. Giant elephant bulbs are large, so you must till the soil to a depth of roughly 2 feet. Add any soil amendments recommended by your soil test report, and 3 inches of peat moss. Then till the soil again to a depth of 2 feet before raking it smooth.

Step 3

Dig a hole that is just a little larger than the elephant ear bulb and deep enough to allow 2 inches of soil to cover the bulb. Plant each bulb with the flat, root end facing downward. Plant neighboring bulbs 3 to 4 feet apart.

Step 4

Water the planting area so that the soil is quite moist to the depth of the bottom of the giant elephant bulb. Keep the planting area quite moist at all times. The bulb will germinate in three to eight weeks.

Step 5

Spread 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the planting area to nourish the soil and help retain moisture.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear gloves and wash your hands after handling the giant elephant ear. The oxalic acid excreted by the leaves may cause your tongue and throat to swell if you accidentally touch your mouth after touching the leaves.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Hand tiller
  • Rake

References

  • Holland Bulb Farms: Elephant Ear - Colocasia Esculenta
  • Park Seed: Giant Elephant Ear
  • University of Florida: Elephant Ear
Keywords: elephant bulb, giant elephant, plant giant elephant

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.