Elephant ears make my summer garden shine, so I immediately said yes when Dutch Grown Bulbs asked me to collaborate with them on summer bulbs.
Dr. John Cho elephant ear varieties
As longtime readers know, I don’t do that many collaborative posts, but I wanted to share the newer elephant ears now on the market, and this is a great opportunity to do so. Dutch Grown Bulbs has several unique elephant ear varieties created by Dr. John Cho of Hawaii, who has worked on his breeding program for a very long time. If you see elephant ears with some aspect from our 50th state in their names, you can reliably know it is part of Dr. Cho’s breeding program. Dr. Cho chooses new plants that grow in large clumps and don’t run like the large Colocasia esculenta, which are invasive in many southern states like Florida.
Elephant ears are dramatic looking and easy to grow.
Elephant ears perform extremely well in Oklahoma, both in containers and planted in the ground. They also grow extremely well in ponds when their containers are weighted down with rocks. We had several elephant ears in our pond over the last three years. As you can see from the photo below, they add height and shade above the water.
Elephant ears grow well at the edge of ponds.
Elephant ears love water and fertilizer, so they love the shallow edge of our pond. The plant in the pond’s center is on top of a shelf where the fish hide underneath. Elephant ears shade the fish, thus protecting them, and the fish provide the elephant ears with natural fertilizer. I also framed my little green she shed with large elephant ears.
Planting elephant ears
When you plant elephant ears from the tubers, bury the tubers just beneath the soil. If you’re transplanting from containers, plant them at the same level they were in the container. A good dose of a natural nitrogen fertilizer like Milorganite, along with compost, will make your elephant ears grow larger individually and build larger clumps.
New elephant ear varieties
I’m excited to try some new elephant ear varieties this year, and I asked Dutch Grown Bulbs for two varieties, ‘Hilo Beauty’ and ‘Blue Hawaii.’ I love the veining in ‘Blue Hawaii.’ That’s why I used the closeup photo below as my feature photo for this post.
Because of its beautiful crinkly leaves and white midribs, I think White Lava® would be fantastic in a large container, especially with variegated ivy trailing down beneath.
Tropical plants are not perennial in Oklahoma.
Note elephant ears are not perennial in Oklahoma or further north, but they really shine during our hot summers. You can easily overwinter elephant ears in pots indoors or in a greenhouse. In my greenhouse, they often stay beautiful and green all winter which is a nice bonus. Elephant ears are grown from tubers which you can also lift and place in paper grocery bags with peat moss to keep them indoors until after our last spring freeze. I don’t plant elephant ears outdoors until nighttime temperatures are in the 50s.
Have you ever grown elephant ears in your garden? If so, I’d love to hear how they helped your garden shine.
Dutch Grown Bulbs sponsored this post, and I will receive compensation, but my opinions expressed herein are my own.