How to Transplant Elephant Ear


With its unmissable gigantic, heart-shaped leaves that grow to widths of 3 to 5 feet and stems that can exceed 6 feet, Elephant ear (Alocasia metallica), makes a dramatic statement in the landscape. Elephant ear is a topical, moisture-loving plant that thrives in warm, humid weather. If your elephant ear plant is outgrowing its boundaries, or if you just want to spread the wealth, transplant elephant ears safely in spring or early summer.

Step 1

Choose a planting spot for the elephant ears in shade or morning sun. Allow plenty of space, and remember that the large leaves of elephant ear will shade any smaller plants below.

Step 2

Cut the foliage down to about 4 inches with garden shears. Working 10 to 12 inches from the plant so the roots won't be injured, dig the elephant ear plant and lift it from the soil. If you want to divide the elephant ear plant, separate the plant into smaller sections with your fingers. Be sure each section has a corm, which is a small bulb that will grow a new shoot. Otherwise, the entire plant can be transplanted without division.

Step 3

Dig a hole and plant the elephant ear the same depth that it was planted previously. Feed the newly-transplanted elephant ear plant an all-purpose granular fertilizer, applied according to the directions.

Step 4

Water the elephant ear thoroughly immediately after planting, and keep the soil moist at all time. To help retain moisture, spread an inch of organic material around the base of the elephant ear plant.


  • University of Minnesota: Elephant Ear Care
  • Emily Compost: Elephant Ear or Taro
  • Elephant Ears (Colocasia and Alocasia) Growing Information
Keywords: elephant ear, elephant ear plant, alocasia

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.