Growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area. With wiener dogs.

January 11, 2013

Growing Elephant Ears in the Phoenix, Arizona area

Yes, you can grow Elephant Ears in the Phoenix, Arizona area. I'm in Glendale and I have had them here for many years now. Like most of what I've planted here in The Tropical Paradise, I've just hoped for the best and waited to see how it worked. The Elephants Ears I have now all came from a friend's yard in Los Angeles in 2005. I have learned a few things in the meantime, and here they are:

• Elephant Ears love water. If you have a particularly boggy part of your yard, that's where they will thrive. They are practically a water plant. They dry out quickly, so plant them where it's wet and stays wet.

• Elephant Ears sunburn easily. Like many tropical plants here in the Phoenix, Arizona area, they love the heat, but too much direct sunlight can burn them. Plant them where they can get morning sun and afternoon shade.

• Elephant Ears love plant food. Be generous with the Miracle Grow. I use household plant spikes, Osmocote, and also do foliar feeding with a hose-end sprayer.

• Elephant Ears don't like cold. It's January 11th today and it has been very cold here. The bad news is that the leaves look pretty bad all winter, but the plants can be left in the ground and will grow back strongly when it warms up in February.

By the way, you usually won't see these in places like Home Depot. But the better nurseries carry the tubers (which are like bulbs). Show them the photo from this blog post and they'll know what you want.

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