Elephant ear plants are native to Hawaii, but they may also be found in warm climates in other parts of the United States. The tropical plants are sometimes called dasheen, taro or malanga, but all species belong to the Araceae family. There are dozens of varieties that can be grown both indoors and outdoors.
Elephant Ear Plants with Color
Not all elephant ear plants have completely green foliage. Alocasia boa elicits a true tropical ambiance with its captivating blue tones and leaves that grow in an arrow-like shape. Imperial taro can be grown as an annual. Its lush leaves are a purple to black in hue with green veins. It is an ideal, winter-hardy specimen for planting zone 7. Alocasia micholitziana 'Frydek' produces striking white veins on its emerald green leaves, which typically reach up to 18 inches in length. It is tolerant of many growing conditions.
Extreme of Sizes for Elephant Ear Plants
Alocasia robusta is the largest elephant ear plant, growing up to 30 feet tall. To grow properly, it requires high humidity and bright, indirect light. On the smaller end, Alocasia Silver Okinawa Variegata typically reaches 2 to 3 feet in height. It is also one of the easiest elephant ear plants to grow. It can withstand a range of growing conditions from drought to extensive exposure to rain--without the risk of becoming diseased.
Elephant Ear Plants for Containers
Black Magic and Green Giant make excellent specimens for containers within a garden. Both plants grow to be about 3 to 5 feet tall. The leaves of the Black Magic plant are a burgundy to black color, while Green Giant plants produce green foliage, as the name implies.