How to Preserve Elephant Ear Leaves


Elephant ear plants are large tropical plants that are grown from root structures called tubers. Elephant ear leaves can reach lengths of 6 feet and are green and full of texture. Elephant ears can be preserved by sticking them between the pages of a book, but there is another way to dry and preserve them that will produce a more lasting result.

Step 1

Cut off the leaves during the middle of the day when the leaves contain less water and nutrients. Keep the leaves that look healthy and are not shriveled or discolored on the front or back.

Step 2

Lay the elephant leaf in a shallow baking pan, a cookie pan with raised sides or a large cardboard box lid. Because elephant leaves can be quite large, a large plastic container designed to go under a bed may be the perfect choice.

Step 3

Cover the leaf with a ½-to-1-inch mix of one part borax (a laundry agent) and one part cornmeal. Clean, salt-free fine sand also is acceptable as a leaf cover.

Step 4

Brush away the drying agent gently after 10 to 14 days. The leaf should be dry.

Step 5

Spray the leaf with a clear varnish or lacquer to give it a shiny permanent finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Clippers
  • Container
  • Borax
  • Cornmeal
  • Sand
  • Varnish or Lacquer


  • University of Florida Extension: Drying and Preserving Plant Materials
Keywords: preserve elephant ear leaves, dry elephant ear leaves, large leaves

About this Author

Melissa Lewis graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has written over 20 episodes for the radio drama entitled "A Work in Progress." She also writes for several online outlets, including Gardenguides, Travels and Examiner, and is currently finalizing a movie script to be filmed in 2010.