Types of Elephant Ears

Elephant Ears for Your Garden and Beyond

If you want to add some excitement to your garden, deck or patio, plant elephant ears! These gentle giants don't need flowers to attract attention. Their impressive height and enormous heart-shaped leaves are always in motion, swaying back and forth in the slightest breeze.

Elephant ears are tropical plants and the hotter and more humid the weather, the faster they grow. They are at their best in late summer and early fall when most other plants are starting to fade. 

There are two types of elephant ears: alocasias and colocasias. Colocasias display their leaves with tip of the heart pointing down. They prefer full sun and consistent moisture. Alocasias hold the tip of their leaves out or upward and they prefer more well drained soil and a little shade.

Read on to see some of the many exciting varieties and discover why it's so easy to get hooked on growing these tropical titans.

Alocasia macrorrhiza Odora (Upright)

With its sturdy stems and upward-facing leaves, this alocasia is ideal for containers. Grow them around your patio, beside your front door or near a water feature. You’ll enjoy watching how their broad, paddle-shaped leaves catch even the lightest breeze. Like other alocasias, they can be grown as houseplants during the winter months.


Colocasia esculenta

The huge, velvety-green leaves of the common elephant ear add a tropical look to gardens and containers. Give these sun-tolerant heat lovers plenty of moisture and a little protection from hot, midday sun. A fantastic landscape plant that pairs beautifully with caladium.


Colocasia esculenta Black Magic

There’s nothing ho-hum about this plant. It’s always the center of attention. The dusky, blue-black leaves look fabulous with red and orange flowers, and just as great with pale yellows, pinks and white. Plant colocasia bulbs in spring and the plants will be 3 to 5 feet tall by late summer.


Colocasia esculenta Black Stem

This plant’s dramatic, burgundy-black stems are as exciting as its arrow-shaped, teal blue leaves. In a warm climate with plenty of moisture, it can grow up to 7 feet tall in just a couple months. In cooler zones, Black Stem will grow best in a container that’s located in a warm, sheltered location. Easy to grow and always attracts lots of attention.


Colocasia esculenta Diamond Head

Diamond Head's broad, blue-black leaves have a smooth surface and a lustrous sheen that reflects the light. For best color, grow it in full sun. Mature plants can reach 3 to 4 feet tall, with leaves up to 2 feet wide.


Colocasia esculenta Hawaiian Punch

An exciting new introduction from Hawaii. The glossy, lime green leaves have dark red veining on the back side and matching stems. Hawaiian Punch grows just 3 feet tall, so is more compact than other types and perfect for containers or a small space.


Colocasia esculenta Mojito

Mojito's variegated foliage will mesmerize you with its unusual patterns of blue-black dashes and splashes. No two leaves are alike. Like other elephant ears, Mojito needs warm soil and plenty of moisture. Grow this 2 to 3-foot tall plant in a large container to bring a tropical look to your patio.


Colocasia esculenta Tea Cup

These elephant ears have glossy, blue-grey leaves with burgundy ribs and stems. The tips of the leaves point up toward the sky, creating a cupped area at the base that collects water. When full, the leaves turn downward and pour out the water.

Elephant ears are available for planting from March through early June. To see our selection, click HERE.



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