Do not let the condensation from a/c unit go to waste!

Black Magic Elephant ears (Colocasia) love moist areas

Black Magic Elephant ears (Colocasia) love moist areas

Even in zone 7 Elephant Ears are slow to come up but by mid July they should be huge. I love that they are a perennial here and they can be left to grow and be beautiful.There is little care to these magnificent additions to your garden and they even work great in a pot to add color and height amongst other shade /part sun loving plants.I think I have had these for 2 years now and I got them off the markdown rack . I found that Black Magic elephant ears or Colocasia thrive from the runoff from my a/c drain. It has spread by runners and just keeps spreading in an area that has been barren for many years. I have also added Colocasia to a large terra cotta pot with a hosta, coleous, sweet potato vine, and impatiens and it is absolutely beautiful! If you are in zone 5 or lower then you need to dig these up every fall after the first heavy frost. Make sure the bulbs are stored in a cool, dry place.

We have a good friend who has been doing A/C work for 20 something years and so I went with him with this question-“why do they put the drain for the a/c right next to the house?” He said to me “it is the easiest thing to do”. HMMMM
so I asked him “can I put an extension on it and run it away from the house?” I told him that I do not feel it is good for the foundation to have it there and besides I said it is a waste of water! He told me as long as the extension runs away from the house and lets the water drain, there should be no problem.

I added the 45 degree fittings to extend out from the house making sure that it slopes down

I added the 45 degree fittings to extend out from the house making sure that it slopes down

With that great news I ran to Lowe’s and purchases the same size pvc pipe and fittings (already had glue and cleaner) and went to work extending my drain about 5 foot away from the house. Wow, so much water comes out! I also cleaned out the line with my air compressor and found some pretty disgusting globs coming out…and so now I try and remember to clean it once a year. I also dug out a ‘ditch’ where the drain pipe came out and filled with pebbles and put larger rock on top so it does not plug up the drain hole. You will have to clean this every spring!

I love these easy to care and grow beauties.

Another plant that would do great would be Cannas. However, in zone 7 they can become huge and have to be dug up and thinned every couple years (but that is okay because more to share!)

Gardening for me is all about working with nature and enjoying all the creatures that visit. I do not kill snakes or destroy spider webs. I plant with the birds, bees, and butterflies in mind. Not all plants will have flowers but for me color, texture, and heights are just as important for me when designing.

Enjoy nature and Happy gardening!

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