Black Magic Elephant Ears

Garden shed with Black Magic Elephant ears

I love Black Magic Elephant ears (Colocasia esculenta) which grow beautifully at the end of my air conditioner drain pipe. Elephant ears (Colocasia) love to be in moist soil or even in the margins of a pond. They like a little bit of sun but they thrive in more shade and are perennials in zone 7 b -10. Most Colocasia or Elephant Ears do well in large pots or in the ground so long as the soil is not hard and dry.

I have hard, red Virginia clay and my other Elephant ears do not grow as fast or as large in the spot I have them. So this spring I will move them to a bed or maybe a large pot with better soil so they can grow bigger.

colocasia esculenta, colocasia, Black Magic Elephant ears

Container gardening with Elephant ears (Colocasia)

I started out 3 1/2 years ago with a pot from Lowe’s on the markdown rack wilted and dying.  For $3 I just had to buy it. Any gardener out there knows that we must rescue any plant in distress! I had the perfect spot for it at the end of the pipe extension from my air conditioner. This is the perfect spot because during the hot summer months the air condition/heat pump is running and producing a lot of water. I put rocks at the end of the drain pipe and dug out a trench and added a bit of sand to the red clay and planted my new elephant ears. Within the month they perked right back up and after 3 years the plants have sent off runners and grew 10 fold!

Colocasia esculenta, Black Magic elephant ears

In the fall, before the frost comes in November

They are so beautiful and last year (3rd year having them) the leaves were huge! They receive a couple hours of noon day sun but most of the day they are in a filtered shade from the Oaks and the house. The original clump (at least I think it is) has reached about 4 1/2 feet tall. Next to the hand pump fountain the area looks so pretty and inviting!

For those of you in the colder zones, you can grow Elephant ears as well and over winter them in a cool dry place preferably in a paper bag with some peat moss. The bulbs of the colocasia (Elephant ears) get larger each year and divide off into smaller bulbs to plant in your garden or give as gifts. My Black Magic grow by runners which I cut off and put in a new pot to grow more!my black elephant ears, gardening

The leaves of the Elephant ear also makes great molds for stepping stones and bird baths. I, however, have not had the heart to cut off any to use.

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

I have more pictures and details over at Hometalk: http://www.hometalk.com/3987786/why-waste-the-condensation-from-your-central-a-c-unit

2015 copyrighted material by C Renee Fuller and the Garden Frog Boutique

4 thoughts on “Black Magic Elephant Ears

  1. I live in the suburbs of Richmond too and cannot get an elephant ear to come back, I left the ones last year in a pot and it looks like they rotted so I threw them out. The were not over watered or anything like that. Your plant is beautiful.

    • Thank you. Was it the regular green elephant ears?
      Sometimes they do rot in the ground and last winter was a bad year. I would try a green one again but do not buy from Walmart. I have never had luck with anything from there. Let me know how it goes!

  2. I purchased a black magic elephant ear from my local home and garden in the spring. I planted it in a pot and doors first and then transferred it outside once it was warm enough. I now have 3 to 4 nice size GREEN leaves. Doesn’t this variety of elephant ear produce a dark purple/black foliage ?

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