Elephant Ear Bulbs - Planted in Pots and Beds 2018


There's this house in Nat's parent's neighborhood that has a really well-manicured landscape out front.  And that's due to the owner (I think?) of the house that seems to be tending to the yard, plants and landscape almost constantly.  The reality of it is that we mostly go by Nat's parent's house on weekends so it might just *seem* like he's constantly in his yard because that's how he likes to spend his weekends.  Either way, he does an incredible job. 

He has topiary'd evergreens (junipers, I think?) and he also has quite a bit of what appear to be tropicals outside.  But, upon closer inspection, I think A LOT of what I've thought to be tropicals are giant elephant ears.  And, so those have been on my mind and when I was at Menards earlier this Spring, I came across a couple of different varieties and - of course - snapped them up.

I posted late in March the "Black Magic" bulb that I started in a pot inside.  That has moved outside and after a little bit over a week of hardening off (I put it outside for an increasing-amount of time everyday and brought it in overnight), appears to be moving along quite nicely.  The Dahlias (from that post) are huge, but the Elephant Ear is starting to catch up. 

The other variety that I picked up are these here in this post.  The photo at the top is one of the bulbs.  The photo below is of the bag that shows the specific variety - Colocasia.  Here's the listing from my trusty resource:  Missouri Botanical Garden


There were 9 bulbs in this package, but unfortunately I think I've lost two of them as they were soft and mushy.  I didn't toss them, but instead took them all the way back to the rear of our lot and found a spot inside of our leaf mulch from the past year or so and buried them there.  If they grow...great.  If not, they'll continue to decompose along with all the rest of the waste back there. 

The other seven?  I planted a couple directly in the ground.  And the balance in pots - one in each of my wine barrels (that are full of other annuals) and one in various other pots.  They seem to take a long time to get going, so I'm hoping that the warm weather we've experience the past week will boost them along. 

One other note...these things are hard to figure out in terms of which way is up.  Most other bulbs are clear where the roots are and where the bloom will emerge.  A couple of these, I had to continue to search for answers.   This BHG post has some interesting advice:
Elephant ear bulbs will spend about three weeks growing roots before you'll notice any activity above ground. The end with the concentric circles is the top. If you're ever in doubt about which end is up, plant a bulb on its side and it'll send the green up and the roots down.
After I read that, I went out and dug up a couple of them to ensure they were planted properly - ending up turning more than one on it's side because I couldn't be sure which was up and which was down. 

It will be a few weeks before I see some growth, but I can't wait until they turn into their 'showy' self and provide us with a lovely Summer view on the patio. 

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