How to prune elephant ear plant. Pop each berry with your fingers to extract the dozens of tiny seeds inside each one. Use a clean rag to wipe down the blades of a pair of sharp pruning shears with rubbing alcohol or a 10 percent bleach solution. Wipe the blades of the pruning shears with the solution soaked rag after cutting each stalk to prevent the possible spread of disease. Planting elephant ear bulbs indoors approximately eight weeks prior to the last frost date is also acceptable.
Plant elephant ear bulbs 2 4 feet apart. Plant the tubers about 2 to 3 inches deep blunt end down. In sustained cold weather leaves turn yellow from the top down and stems turn yellow. Work over a bowl to easily catch any tiny seeds.
If growing in pots use a rich organic potting soil and plant them at the same depth. Observe your cold damaged elephant ear plant for several days to a week after a winter freeze to let all the symptoms of the damage show on the plant. Harden off elephant ear plants for about a week prior to placing them outdoors. Cover with 4 inches of soil.
Depending on the climate this can happen anytime from late summer to midwinter. Plant so the growing tip is up. Sever the stalk close to the base of the plant taking care to make a clean cut and not tear or rip the stem apart. You dont have to extract them all.
Aim for 10 times the number of seeds as plants you would like to grow to maturity. Dig a hole so that the top of the bulb is 4 inches deeper than the soil line. You can plant elephant ear bulbs or whole plants with the tubers attached depending on how you buy them or if you are planting divided tubers saved from the previous year see below. Elephant ear can remain evergreen in warm climates down to 29 degrees fahrenheit.
To grow elephant ear plants plant the bulbs in the spring during april or may in an area that receives indirect sunlight and has moist soil with good drainage. Tubers may be started inside 6 8 weeks before all danger of frost has passed. Dig a hole that is around 1 2 inches deep place the bulb with the flat side down and cover it completely with soil.