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Old 06-05-2010, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,497 posts, read 45,474,954 times
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Last year I planted my first elephant ears in N.C. but they were potted and very showy. Of course I marked them in the garden.

Weeks went by this spring and nothing showed up. I figured they rotted or moles got to them and I was just ready to put someting else in their place when I noticed a few puny leaves of the elephant ears.

So are mine just stunted or extremely slow? I realize the potted ones were nursery grown but you would think by June 1 I would have more than a few little leaves. Do you think they will eventually be as big as they were originally?

And when I looked for elephant ears bulbs in the nursery in May they were impossible to find and I was told they had already sold out, which made me all the more confused about why mine hadn't peeked thru yet. I'm in 7b.

My previous elephant ears experience was in Atlanta and I don't recall that they were so late to show up.
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:17 PM
 
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I'm waiting somewhat with baited breath to see what others say about your elephant ears. Mine never came up either so about 2 weeks ago I dug what was there up. I'm wondering now if I was a bit too hasty...
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Albemarle, NC
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Most of mine died this winter. Others report the same thing. Too cold and too wet for the tubers and they rotted. I have one clump that I planted in March finally coming up now, but nothing from the ones that were here last year. They should be up by now for us. Hardiness zone is rated reliably to return in zones 8-11.
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:42 PM
 
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We're in Oregon. We have long, wet, cold winters. I always dig mine up and put them in paper bags at the end of their season (for us, that's mid to late summer) and then I plant them again when the ground begins to warm up again the next spring. I've also just kept them in containers, and then move the pots into the garage when they're done doing their thing... them move them out in the spring.
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Albemarle, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
We're in Oregon. We have long, wet, cold winters. I always dig mine up and put them in paper bags at the end of their season (for us, that's mid to late summer) and then I plant them again when the ground begins to warm up again the next spring. I've also just kept them in containers, and then move the pots into the garage when they're done doing their thing... them move them out in the spring.
For most of the country, that's how these plants are overwintered. Normally, for much of NC and states south of us, we can leave them in the ground with no problems. This year, we had extended cold and lots of rain. Not a good combination for what is considered a tropical.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:07 AM
 
Location: NC, USA
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While I was in W. Africa they were everywhere and larger than the average bath towel. It is a member of the Yam family and is raised as a food crop.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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We have wet winters here in west Tenn and if left in the ground they will rot. I dig mine up, dry them good, and overwinter them in a cool dry spot in the back of my closet.
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Old 06-09-2010, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
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Elephant ears love the heat and won't wake up until ground temperatures are sufficiently warm. Most people who have them in northern climates report that they are slow to awaken, usually in late spring or early summer depending on how warm it is. Around here they wake up earlier.
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:02 PM
Gue
 
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I bought 3 elephant ears bulbs in Walmart this Spring for $3 each.

They sure are slow here too! I dug one up & replanted it about a quarter inch from the top because I see some shoots but thought it was taking too long. Now I have shoots breaking through the ground on 2 out of 3 bulbs & if I have nothing on the 3rd bulb I'll be digging it up Saturday to check it out...
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Albemarle, NC
7,730 posts, read 12,919,740 times
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Mine are finally starting to grow. The leaves are about 6" long from tip to stem. It's been really warm here lately. And we've gotten a bit of rain. Only one clump survived so far. I think I lost the ones in shadier spots.

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