This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

April 22, 2014

How to care for Elephant Ears in Phoenix, Arizona

It's April 22nd and the Elephant Ears are looking their best. It was a mild winter, so they have been growing strong since February, and will look good until it just gets way too hot, beginning in June. In July and August, even with deep shade, they will sunburn a bit. I try not to look at them too much then.

Anyway, since they are growing strong now, there are a few things that I need to do. First of all, I need to trim away any leaves that have become unsightly. It's just like trimming a palm tree, cut off the bottom leaves and leave only the best-looking top leaves. You can see the cut on the stalk in the photo.

I have also given them plenty of plant food, both dry and mixed with water. The dry plant food are the Dollar Store spikes. Sometimes I use the big ones that say that they are for tomatoes, sometimes just the houseplant ones. Food is what these plants need, and plenty of it, so be generous!

You can tell by the leaf shape that these plants love water. Any leaf that comes to a point like that is designed to shed excess water, so be generous with the water. But be careful! This is Phoenix, where hard water spots can ruin the look of a plant like this, so don't water the leaves. Pour the water at the base, and around the plant.

It's 1:30 in the afternoon, and this is an east-facing wall, so the rest of the day all of this will be in shade. If you don't have a location like this, Elephants Ears won't work. They will start to grow, get overheated and sunburned, and die. So look for afternoon shade. These are doing great.
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