How To Plant Elephant Ear Bulbs in Pots?

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Elephant ear bulbs bear their name because of their extensive heart-shaped leaves. Its leaves bloom in different vivid colors such as lime green, dark green, and violet, which makes this plant the best option to enhance the look of your garden.

Growing elephant ear bulbs in your yard, garden, or living space surely quenches your need for a tropical view around your house.

These plants are commonly seen in any garden, yard, or lawn. However, we have your back if you do not have ample gardening space and still want to add this plant baby to your plant collection.

You will learn how to plant an elephant ear bulb in a pot or container using the instructions provided in this article.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Planting an Elephant Ear Bulb in a Pot

As you read this, the first question that must have crashed your mind is, “Is it even possible to grow an elephant bulb plant in a pot as it has broad leaves and bulky plants? The answer to your question is yes, it is possible to produce a healthy elephant ear bulb in a pot, though your concern is also valid in its place. To deal with that issue, you must carefully give weight to the container or pot by placing a large stone at the bottom.

Following is an easy and doable step-by-step guide to growing elephant ear bulbs in a pot.

Step 1. Select An Adequate Pot Size or Container For Growing Elephant Ear Plants

Select An Adequate Pot Size or Container For Growing Elephant Ear Plants
Image Source: blog.longfield-gardens

The best pot size is at least 16 (41 cm) deep and 18 (46 cm) wide. A large and deep pot provides enough space for the elephant eggplant to grow freely and happily without any requirement of repotting very frequently. Additionally, because they can retain more soil, it doesn’t dry out as quickly, and the plants may have moist soil preferable for their healthy growth. And if you do not have a very wide pot in your collection, you can use any container bigger than a nursery plant.


  • Elephant ear bulbs from the Colocasia family require an 18 in. (46 cm) wide container for better growth.
  • Whereas, a larger container, like a 36 in. (91 cm) wide pot, does well for elephant ear bulbs of Alocasia types.

Step 2. Always Put a Pair of Gloves in Your Hands Before Planting an Elephant Ear Bulb in a Container to Avoid Allergies

Always Put a Pair of Gloves in Your Hands Before Planting an Elephant Ear Bulb in a Container to Avoid Allergies
Image Source: pinterest

When elephant ear bulbs are tender, they possess oxalates that can cause allergies, such as burned or irritated skin when coming into direct contact with it. Therefore, keep your hands far from your face and eyes when planting elephant ear bulbs. Additionally, always put on gloves to stop any poisons from spreading.

Note: Keep young children and animals far away from the bulbs. Remember that the raw leaves carry these poisons once your elephant ears grow foliage.

Step 3. Select Wisely the Material of The Pot You are Using, I.E., Choose a Non-Porous Pot

Elephant ear plants’ growth relies greatly on water; you can say that this plant is a heavy drinker. Therefore, use porous material such as terracotta and wood when growing it in pots; it will be vulnerable to drying out. However, using a non-porous metal pot will slow the evaporation process. Hence, it is advised to use glazed ceramic or plastic planters or containers to grow this bulb plant.

Note: While choosing the planter, make sure it has a bottom hole. Elephant ear plants prefer wet soil, but excess water also ruins their growth. Therefore, the pots must have a bottom hole to exit excess water.

Also Read: How to Make Soil More Acidic? – 10 Methods

Step 4. Add About 3/4th of The Pot With Potting Soil Before Planting The Bulb

Add About 3/4th of The Pot With Potting Soil Before Planting The Bulb
Image Source: pinterest

Maintaining the soil fertility of a garden or yard can be a little challenging, but when you are planting your elephant ear bulb in a container, this job becomes gullible. One mistake many gardeners commit is filling their pots with soil from the garden. The soil in the garden is so packed that it pollutes your newly planted bulb with bacteria and pests.

While planting, make sure not to repeat the same. Our advice to you is to use lightweight potting soil that is a mixture of peat moss, vermiculite, and sand. This soil benefits your plant by maintaining a subtle balance between water drainage and moisture block.

Applying a slow-release fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season is another option for enhancing the soil’s nutrient quality and providing efficient nutrition to your bulb plant.

Note: Avoid using dense soils with excess clay because they lock moisture and can overwater your elephant ears plants.

Step 5. Embed the Bulb Root Downside in The Pot/Soil up to 8 Inches or (20 cm) Deep

Before planting the bulb, dig a hole up to 8 inches deep in the exact middle of the pot with the flat root end facing down, slip the bulb into the hole and gently cover it with soil.

Note: One bulb should never be planted in the same pot twice. Elephant ears demand space of roughly 6 feet (1.8 m) between them to allow for their wide spread. Your efforts will be wasted because of overcrowding, stunting their growth.

Precautions and Care to be Taken After Plantation

Precautions and Care to be Taken After Plantation
Image Source: justagric

Now that you have winded up planting your elephant ear bulb plant in a pot, you need to take care of the plant to provide it with a healthy and long life.

Elephant ear plants are perennial plants that do not demand high maintenance but taking care of their essential needs is enough for their healthy growth.

The following are a few points you must note while taking care of elephant ear plants.

1. Place The Pot at a Place Where the Plant Gets Partial Exposure to The Sun

Sunlight is essential for the growth of any and every variety of plants. The same goes for elephant ear plants. If you are placing the bulb plant on your lawn, yard, living room, or any place, ensure the sunlight reaches the plant adequately. A maximum of 3 to 6 hours of sun exposure is essential for this plant growth.

Note: If the leaves are getting brownish or bleached and your pot is in direct contact with the sun, move it immediately to a place where it does not get too much sunlight but only the amount it needs.

2. Water Till The Soil Becomes Moist, Not Mushy

True, elephant ear bulbs prefer to stay hydrated, but not to an extreme. Before watering the plant, examine the soil in the pot to see if it is moist enough or has started drying out. Only water the plant when you feel the soil is losing moisture, and never let the soil be arid in the watering gap.

Note: Elephant ear plants’ growth is impressive, and their root soil needs to be hydrated. Once their growth ceases due to lack of water, their stress shows on the color of the leaves.

3. Sprinkle Your Elephant Ears With a Balanced Fertilizer Once Every Month

Sprinkle Your Elephant Ears With a Balanced Fertilizer Once Every Month
Image Source: thespruce

Use a fertilizer with a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 ratio, which has a balanced dispersal of all essential nutrients. To help alleviate your elephant ears’ nutrition appetite, apply the fertilizer to the soil per the package’s directions. ( Read the directions given on the package before using.)

Note: 10-10-10 type fertilizer contains ten gms of each three- Nitrogen, Phosphate, and Potash. Identically, the 20-20-20 type has 20 gms of the same three essentials. Verify the needs of your plant before applying either of the two.

4. Chop off The Dead Foliage and Prevent Watering the Bulb Plant for a Few Days

You must be aware that dead foliage halts a plant’s growth. If you find any dead leaves, eliminate them from the plant before they do any harm and prevent watering for a while.

Note: If you live in a place/country where all four seasons don’t happen, you should not follow the above precautions and keep watering and feeding your elephant ear bulb plant as long as they are healthy and happy.


The dramatic heart-shaped and exotic colored leaves of the elephant ear bulb make it a must-have plant in your collection. Not having enough space will no longer come between you and your plant. We hope that through this article, you have learned how to plant elephant ear bulbs in pots and take appropriate care of this plant.

Happy Gardening.

You May Also Read: How to Save a Dying Aloe Plant?

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