How to Store Elephant Ear Bulbs


Elephant ear, or Colocasia, is a wetland perennial that grows natively in tropical climates. Elephant ear that is grown in the south will generally require partial shade, while plants grown the north can tolerate full sun. Two other species are also called elephant ear--Alocasia and Xanthosoma. These plants are grown and treated the same as the Colocasia variety. All three plants cannot tolerate cold weather and a hard frost will thoroughly kill the plant, if the bulbs are left outdoors to over-winter.

Step 1

Cut back any remaining brown to yellow foliage after the first light frost. Remove the above-ground plant material with the scissors.

Step 2

Remove the bulb(s) from the soil using the shovel. Take care to dig well away from the bulb itself. Use the foliage to determine the center of the bulb. Place the point of the shovelhead well away from the center of the bulb.

Step 3

Wipe the bulb of any excess dirt. Do not wash. Place the bulb in an area away from direct sunlight and that can maintain a temperature from 60 degrees F to 70 degrees F. Keep the bulbs well ventilated to remove any excess moisture. Cure the bulb for approximately 1 day to 3 days, until the outside of the bulb is dry.

Step 4

Fill the storage container with approximately 3 inches of either sphagnum moss or vermiculite. Place the bulbs in the container. Cover the bulbs with the moss or vermiculite.

Step 5

Keep the stored bulbs in a frost-free area that is well-ventilated and protected from rodents.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Shovel
  • Storage container
  • Sphagnum moss or vermiculite


  • University of Minnesota Extension: Elephant Ear Care
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Storing Tender Bulbs
  • Colorado State University Extension: Bulbs for Spring Planting
Keywords: winter bulbs, storing bulbs, spring bulbs

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.