Elephant ears are an iconic plant for the tropics and subtropics, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be grown as a houseplant. The secret to keeping them happy indoors is sunlight—a full day’s worth! These guys need at least six hours of sunlight every single day to stay healthy.
When you first get your elephant ear plant home, feel free to give it a few days in a shady spot to acclimate. But after that, make sure it gets direct light for the majority of the day. If you don’t have a great spot in your house or apartment, consider looking into an LED grow light. These lights can be used in place of natural sunlight when you don’t have a great spot, and they’re much more affordable than they used to be!
This one may seem obvious, but make sure your elephant ear has room to grow! They can quickly outgrow their pots, so if you start seeing roots poking out of the drainage holes, it’s time to transplant.
Elephant ears need a lot of sun, especially when they’re young. When planting elephant ears, your goal is to provide full sun exposure for your plant, including at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. The more sun your elephant ear gets, the better it will grow and produce leaves.
If elephant ears don’t get enough sun while they are still young and growing their first leaves, they’ll start to look stressed and weak. If this happens, you can try to give them more light by setting up grow lights or moving them to a brighter area.
Must Know Things About Elephant Ear
Elephant’s ear grows best in part shade or filtered sun. Prolonged direct sunlight can scorch its leaves, marring them for the duration of the season. Plant elephant’s ear in a location where it receives morning sunlight and afternoon shade. A great plant for a shaded porch or patio, it thrives when planted in large containers. Well-drained, moist soil that is high in organic matter is ideal for elephant’s ear.
Often started from rhizomes or tuberous roots, elephant’s ear can be planted indoors in large nursery pots 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost in spring and moved outdoors as soon as the nighttime temperatures are above 50°F. In cool climates, start plants indoors or purchase transplants at the nursery to maximize the enjoyment of this warm-temperature-loving plant.
Many elephant’s ear plants grow best when their roots are not disturbed after they begin to grow. Sink the potted plant into the ground so the rim of the pot is level with the surrounding grade. Water and fertilize outdoor elephant’s ear regularly. Indoor plants grow best when soil is allowed to dry out slightly before watering. Also, fertilize indoor plants with a houseplant fertilizer in spring and summer and cease fertilizing in fall and winter.
How Much Sun Does an Elephant Ear Plant Need?
Elephant Ear plants thrive best in areas that receive complete or partial shade. The requirement for sunlight, however, entirely depends on the area where you’ve planted it, the overall weather condition, and the kind of water supply.
In several cool and moist areas, the full sun doesn’t tend to be as harsh or hot as compared to the dry areas. That is why; a significant amount of filtered sun is preferable for these plants while they are both indoors and outdoors.
Note that the growth of Elephant Ear plants may be significantly affected if they do not get ample sunlight. In these instances, their leaves will take a yellowish or pale orange hue.
So, if you find the leaves of your Elephant Ear plants taking up a similar shade, consider moving them to a more well-lit area or any other area where they receive ample sunlight.
Here, you should also ensure that plant gets adequate and not excessive sunlight as excessive sunlight is likely to burn the leaves of the plant. You can always tweak your garden by moving the plant in a position where they get both shade and sunlight.
Elephant ears are a beautiful addition to any garden, but they need special care. If you don’t provide the right amount of sunlight, these tropical plants won’t grow! But don’t worry—we’re here to help.
Just like an elephant, these plants do best with a light-to-medium touch. After all, elephants have a light touch with everything… except maybe squashing bugs.
Your elephant ear needs at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, but they can also handle full sun conditions! When given enough warmth and light, these plants can even bloom!