Thursday, May 4, 2017

Make a Statement

Elephant Ear used as a filler in a giant pot at D.S. Cole in New Hampshire.  All together it was over 10 feet high!

There are some plants that everyone loves- the main qualifications usually being large in terms of color (think gerberas) or large in terms of size.  Colocasia and Alocasia, fondly known also as 'Elephant Ears', check the second box.  They can get BIG.  Not only are they sizeable plants, they can really make a statement in pots or the landscape, are fun as cut "flowers" if you're willing to sacrifice them, and (if you're ambitious/ crafty) you can immortalize them by casting the leaves in concrete.

As with most plants, if you want them to grow to their fullest size (or even exceed it), their conditions need to support them.  Give them space to grow!  Start with large pots, lots of good soil for roots to grow and expand (so no false bottoms or filler in your pots), and regular water and fertilizer.  With the proper care and conditions
we have seen plants nearly double their expected size!

Without futher ado, here are a few of our favorite Elephant Ears:

Colocasia 'Mojito'
The splotchy, black and green variegation of 'Mojito' makes each leaf totally unique.  It does great in full sun to part shade and is quite happy to get it's feet wet.  Don't be afraid to use Mojito in a pond planter, it will thrive!  Mature height 3-4'.

Colocasia 'Maui Gold'
Chartreuse foliage can be such an attention-grabber!  Maui Gold has a pure, glossy color that contrasts nicely with deeper tones and tropical hues but is quite refreshing in combination with white shades, too.  Full to filtered sun, will grow faster in wet conditions.  Mature height 3-4'.

Colocasia 'Black Beauty'
The green veins on each leaf pair perfectly with Black Beauty's velvety, dark color.  Don't be afraid to combine Black Beauty with a brighter Elephant Ear for more contrast and drama!  This Elephant Ear gets a little taller than some- mature height can be 4-5'.   

Colocasia 'Tea Cup'
A favorite!  Tea Cup is a garden novelty and makes for a fun conversation piece.  As it matures, the leaf edges turn upward and transform into cups!  Rain, dew, and watering from overhead allow them to catch the water.  Then, when it's too much for them to hold, they tilt forward and spill it out.   Regardless of how old you are or how many times you're seen them in action, Tea Cups are always a delight!  Mature height 4-6', sun to part shade, keep moist.

Xanthasoma 'Lime Zinger'
Lime Zinger is a Xanthasoma (related to Colocasia) and is quite the stunner!  Its chartreuse leaves are plentiful and can reach nearly 20" in length.  Mature height 3-4'.  Plant in part sun to shade as too much intense sun can burn the leaves.

Of course, there are more varieties happily growing in the greenhouse!  These just happen to be some of our current favorites.  Which one is your pick?

-Anna Mary

No comments:

Post a Comment