The elephant ear plant has big leaves with cool vein patterns, making it easy to spot. People like it for both indoor and outdoor places because it looks good wherever it’s planted. It’s also easy to take care of. Its leaves stay interesting to look at during the growing season outside and all year round when kept indoors.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to grow and nurture the elephant ear plant in a South African climate.
Planting your elephant ear plant
Here’s a province-wise breakdown to get the most out of your planting experience:
Western Cape: This area has a Mediterranean climate, which is great for planting in early spring. Make sure your soil can drain water well to deal with the rainy weather before the planting season.
Eastern Cape: With its transitory climate, early to mid-spring planting works well. A spot with partial shade will shield the plant from the harsh afternoon sun.
KwaZulu-Natal: The subtropical climate here is welcoming for the elephant ear plant. Planting in early spring with ample access to morning sunlight is key.
Free State, Gauteng, and North West: These areas experience a continental climate. Ensure your soil is well-enriched and retains moisture for healthier growth.
Mpumalanga and Limpopo: The subtropical to tropical climate here is favourable. Ensure good soil drainage to prevent root rot.
Northern Cape: Since it’s very dry here, you need to water your elephant ear plant carefully and make sure the soil is rich and ready for planting to help your plant grow healthy.
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Choose your favourite variants
Discover the joy of growing elephant ear plants with our special variants:
Colocasia Esculenta White Lava: This clumping variant boasts large glossy green leaves, which, as the season matures, showcase a wide creamy white band down each leaf’s centre, eventually extending into the side veins.
Colocasia Esculenta Maui Gold: A cold-hardy perennial forming a tight clump, Maui Gold brings a tropical aura to your garden or containers. Its bright green leaves provide a stunning colour splash.
Colocasia Esculenta Black Magic: With the potential to host large heart-shaped leaves of deep purple-black hue (up to 60cm), Black Magic is a sultry choice. Leaves emerge green and darken with age, adding a touch of mystique.
Nurturing your gentle giant: Water, sun, and love
Regardless of the province, certain care instructions remain constant:
Watering: Balance is key, ensuring the soil stays moist but not waterlogged.
Fertilising: Apply a slow-release fertiliser monthly for vibrant foliage. Shop fertilisers online at Plantland.
Sunlight: Morning sun with some afternoon shade is ideal to prevent leaf scorch.
Winter care: A slumber time
Reduce watering as winter approaches, and consider relocating potted plants indoors in colder provinces like the Free State and Gauteng.
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Common issues and quick fixes
Yellowing leaves: Adjust watering if over-watering is suspected.
Leaf spots: Adequate spacing and fungicidal treatment, like Efekto Kumulus WG, can combat fungal infections.
Your green paradise awaits
The elephant ear plant transcends provincial boundaries with a bit of love and care, adding an exotic touch to South African gardens.
Visit Plantland today to explore our extensive range of plants, including the majestic elephant ear plant variants, and let the joy of gardening enrich your soul. Read our guide on shipping plants to learn about our delivery process.