A dramatic houseplant, the elephant ear plant is so called because of the shape of its large leaves that vaguely resemble elephant ears. Because the plant is tropical in its origins, keeping a high humidity level is the main requirement to successfully growing an elephant ear houseplant.
Keeping a High Humidity
Use a humidifier in the room where you have your elephant ear plant. Elephant ear plants demand a high humidity level to thrive, and a humidifier will help bring the plant's environment to an appropriate level of humidity.
Place a layer of pebbles or small rocks underneath the elephant ear pot in the water catch pan for your plant. The layer of pebbles will elevate the potted elephant ear plant so it does not take up too much water into the soil and cause root rot. Yet, by keeping water in the pan, under the potted plant, it will increase the level of humidity around your plant.
Make sure the soil your elephant ear plant is growing in is a well-draining, peat-rich variety. The peat not only drains well, but will provide your plant with its needed nutrients.
Place your elephant ear plant in indirect sunlight. Elephant ear plants do not do well in direct sunlight, because direct sunlight will cause the leaves to burn and turn brown. Keeping your elephant ear plant at least five feet from a sunlit window, with temperatures in the 65 to 75 degree Fahrenheit range, is ideal.
Fertilize your elephant ear plant with a diluted by 50 percent 20-10-10 liquid fertilizer every two weeks. During the winter months, discontinue your fertilizer program. Your elephant ear plant will need a resting period during the winter months. Watering during the winter months should be cut back, and you should allow the soil to slightly dry out between watering and discontinue fertilizing the plant.