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The elephant ear (colocasia esculenta), is grown for its large heart-shaped purple, green or variegated foliage, and as a popular food source. It can grow from 3-9 feet tall with leaves up to 6 feet. It does well in light shade, usually growing larger then when it's planted in full sun. It makes a showy border plant that's a valuable addition to almost any garden but can become invasive in areas south of zone 8.
Locate a place in your garden that has full sun or partial shade. It should have moist humus-rich soil. If your soil consists of a clay or sand, you can amend it by adding compost or organic matter.
Dig a hole 8-10 inches deep for large bulbs and 2-3 inches deep for small bulbs. Space them about 12-18 inches apart. Plant the bulb with its tip up and roots facing down.
Water the elephant ear after planting and give it a through soaking. Keep the soil moist during the growing season, don't let it dry out.
Fertilize elephant ears once a month with a slow release, water-soluble fertilizer. You can use a 20-20-20 fertilizer.
The bulbs can stay in the ground south of zone 8 but you should lift and store them in northern zones. A few days after the first frost, cut the foliage back to 2-4 inches. Dig up the bulbs and allow them to dry. Place them in a box filled with peat moss and store it in a crawl space or a cool basement.