Growing Elephant Ear Bulbs in Containers - Tips and Tricks for Success

March 6, 2023

Growing Elephant Ear Bulbs in containers can be an excellent way to add these unique plants to your garden. Whether you are planting them as a patio plant or using them in your home or garden, here are a few tips and tricks for success.

Typically, elephant ears grow best in soil rich with organic matter and well-drained. Containers are a great option for these plants since they can be watered more frequently than in-ground plants.

How to choose the right container?

Elephant Ear Bulbs grow best in a large container that can hold enough soil to support the plants needs. Choose a nonporous plastic, metal or glazed ceramic pot with drainage holes.

The leaves of this plant suck up lots of water and tend to dry out more quickly in containers. So it's important to water regularly and make sure there is a way to drain the potting soil.

The earliest possible time to plant elephant ears is in spring, after the threat of frost has passed. If your winters are chilly, you might want to over winter the tubers in boxes until the weather warms up.

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The best way to grow Elephant Ear Bulbs is in a container. This is because the soil temperature in a pot will be higher than in the ground, and they'll grow faster.

A good size container for elephant ear bulbs is 3 quarters filled with a well-drained potting mix. Add some water to the soil to moisten it up before you plant your bulb, then place the nub end of your bulb up and the root disc down so the top is 1 inch (2.5cm) deep.

Once planted, water your bulbs every two or three weeks until they're completely dry. Fertilise them regularly with liquid fertilizer to help them thrive.

If you have a colder climate, consider over wintering your elephant ear bulbs in a cool, dark location. There are two ways to do this: First, dig up your corms in late fall and pack them into a box that's filled with slightly damp peat moss or vermiculite.

Second, store them in a cool, unheated garage or root cellar for the winter until spring.

Elephant ears are easy to grow as long as you provide them with the right conditions and pay attention to their health. If you follow our tips on watering, fertilising and pest control, you'll be able to enjoy these beautiful plants for years to come.

Soil type

If you're planning on growing elephant ear bulbs in containers, make sure to use the right type of soil. They do best in a humusy, well-draining soil that's moist but not wet.

There are many different potting mixes on the market, but it's best to stick with those that contain sand, vermiculite and peat moss. These three ingredients create the perfect balance of drainage and moisture retention, fostering healthy plant growth.

These plants can be grown as perennials in warmer zones, or as annuals if the temperature is below freezing. They're also suitable for indoor planting, though they must be watered frequently in the winter to avoid frost damage.


Elephant ears are fast growing, so you’ll want to water them frequently to keep the soil and plant well-hydrated. During the summer, water them early in the morning to completely hydrate the soil and avoid excessive moisture loss during the day.

If you see that your plants’ leaves are looking brown or bleached, move them to a place where they won’t receive as much direct sunlight. This will give them a break from the harsh rays and make them more comfortable in their environment.

Elephant ears can be overwintered in warm climates, but in cooler areas they require lifting after a fall frost. They should be stored in a dry, sterile storage medium such as peat moss or vermiculite to prevent infection during the winter.


If you want to grow elephant ears in containers, make sure the plants are well fertilized. The best way to do this is to use a liquid fertilizer that provides the plant with the nutrients it needs to thrive.

If you're growing your elephant ear bulbs in the ground, start with a rich, moist soil that's amended with compost. You can add a few inches of organic mulch over the top to help it retain moisture in dry weather.

After planting, check the soil moisture level in your container every week to see if it needs watering. When the top inch of soil feels dry, it's time to add a bit of water.

Pest control

Elephant ears can be a pest-prone plant, so keep an eye out for aphids and other bugs. Other problems include bacterial blight, mosaic viruses and corm and root rots.

To prevent infestations, use neem-based leaf shine on the leaves and wipe them regularly to remove dust and soil. You can also cut back on watering and fertilizer during autumn and winter.

You should start planting elephant ear bulbs in containers about 6 weeks before the first frost. They can be planted one inch deep in pots with good potting soil. They usually take a while to emerge, but they will reward you with vibrant foliage in spring.


Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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