Indoor Care of Elephant Ears


Elephant ears are perennial tropical plants grown for their huge foliage. Depending upon the cultivar, elephant ear leaves can be dark green, gold or black. There are some varieties with purple, ivory, yellow or pink veins. The plants grow in various sizes: dwarf, mid-size and giant. Generally planted in a landscape in warmer regions, elephant ears can be grown in pots and kept indoors where growing conditions are better controlled.

Step 1

Place the potted elephant ear in bright light but not direct sun, which will fade the color of the foliage. Maintain room temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F.

Step 2

Water the soil to maintain even moisture. Allow the elephant ear to remain dry during winter months.

Step 3

Mist the elephant ear daily, or fill a shallow tray with pebbles, cover all but the very tops of the pebbles with water and place the pot on top. Add more water to the tray as it evaporates, but don't allow the water to touch the bottom of the pot.

Step 4

Fertilize the elephant ear once a month with a 10-10-10 forumula fertilizer, diluted to half the strength recommended on the package.

Step 5

Prune off the leaves when they die back. Discontinue watering until spring when there is new growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Misting bottle
  • Shallow tray
  • Pebbles
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears


  • Weekend Gardener: Grow Caladium Bulbs, Elephant Ear
  • ‭"‬California Master Gardener Handbook";‭ ‬Dennis R.‭ ‬Pittenger‭; ‬2002
Keywords: grow elephant ears, elephant ear houseplant, care elephant ears

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.