image by Forest & Kim Starr;commons.wikimedia.org
Pink-stemmed elephant ears plants, known botanically as alocasia aurora, are a tropical perennial plant that grows from an underground corm. Pink elephant ears have distinctive green and silvery veined foliage that is held aloft on long, arching, pink stems that deepen to burgundy red as they age. They are cold hardy in USDA zones 9b through 11 and can readily be grown in containers indoors.
Select a planting site that is in dappled or filtered shade. Indoors, grow pink elephant ears in bright indirect light. Plant in nutrient-rich, moisture retentive soil; never let the soil go dry between waterings. Depending on the season and climatic conditions, this may mean watering every few days to once a week. Use your finger as a dipstick in the soil to ensure that it is evenly moist when you reach just a half inch into the soil.
Feed your alocasia lightly once a month with a quality general purpose house plant fertilizer such a MiracleGro at about half of the recommend dose. Mulch with shredded bark, compost or cocoa hulls to add nutrients into the soil and prevent moisture loss to evaporation.
Prune off any damaged, diseased or dying leaves by cutting them off at the base of the plant with clean sharp secateurs. You can also harvest healthy leaves to display in small vases or to add an exotic element to garden floral arrangements.
Divide pink elephant ear clumps to transplant them or allow the corms to grow and naturalize around the mother plant. Though digging and dividing the corms or pups is not required for even rapid growth, the more soil space each plant has the larger it will grow. Pink elephant ears can reach nearly 5-feet tall at maturity under ideal conditions.