Siamese Elephant Has Seven Offspring

Just kidding. I’m storing the bulbs from this year’s elephant ear plant. I dug the plant up a month or so ago and let it sit in the garage until the leaves dried.

12-07-08

You see the one in the middle? That’s the Siamese mama bulb…it’s the main bulb I planted, and the other six are the babies. The first year I planted one bulb and at the end of the season I had the same Siamese-type mother bulb and about eight side bulbs. Those funny looking knots on the lower part of the mama bulb will grow into side shoots next year when I plant the mama bulb. I’ve never tried cutting the bottom part off, I just plant the whole thing. The pink growth at the top of the bulb is part of the leaf stalk. It will eventually dry up and I’ll peel it off. They’ll get stored in a container with peat in the basement (the bulbs will die if they freeze) and replanted next spring.

Here are a few factoids about Elephant Ears a/k/a Taro

  • Easy to grow
  • Heavy feeders
  • Needs lots of water
  • Can be grown in containers
  • Parts of the plant are edible
  • Can be used as a bog plant
  • Is a perennial in non-frost zones
  • Does not transplant well once it’s actively growing
  • Multiplies freely – can be invasive in non-frost zones
  • Can be started indoors in pots and moved outdoors once frost threat has passed.

Happy Gardening!!!!

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Eagerly awaited Elephant Ear picture

I saw a Free Cycle post giving away elephant ear leaves.� It caught my attention because I’m thinking why would somebody want elephant ear leaves?� So I sent a reply saying I was curious why somebody would be giving away the leaves.� If they were trying to preserve the plant they had to dig it up and save the bulb for next year.

I got a reply to my reply saying that he thought the leaves were beautiful and that somebody could maybe use them for decoration.� He also said his neighbor told him that Central Americans ate the leaves and that the bulbs were already stored.

I sent a reply to his reply to my reply saying that I had heard that people used the leaves as molds for hypertufa projects such as elephant ear shaped fountains.� Hypertufa is a faux stone concrete made from a mix of portland cement, vermiculite, perlite, peat moss, sand and water.� There are many recipes for the proportions of the mix to produce different end results.� Hypertufa troughs to be used as planters is one of the easier projects to try.� Here’s one from the Garden Web forum.

PHOTO REMOVED PER

PHOTOGRAPHER’S REQUEST

He sent a reply to my reply to his reply . . . and so on and so on and so on.� Guess what?� This was the person who was the recipient of the biggest of the elephant ear bulbs I gave away through Free Cycle.� When I gave the bulb to him I asked that he send me a picture in September so I could see how his did.

Here is a before showing the large bulb he got …

Sprouted Elephant Ear Bulbs

… and here is after.

Elephant Ear Pic From Paul

He said mine is the biggest one in the back.

I did a quick internet search and elephant ear a/k/a taro is edible.� There are recipes that use both the leaves and the root.� Now that I think about it, I remember reading that you can go to the grocery store and buy the taro root and grow it.

Thanks, Paul, for the pictures.� It’s nice to know that my baby’s baby went to a good home.

Happy Gardening!!!�

Enormous Elephant Ear

I’ve been tied to the computer getting work done and haven’t had a chance to get my hands dirty the past few days. Today was the first day I’ve been able to come up for air but it rained all day. I don’t want to say I hate rain with it being God’s handiwork and all, but rain and cold give me the blues. It was 90+ yesterday, one of the hottest days of the year, and today it felt like 60.

Someone recently bought the corner building near us and brought in a ton of plants, everything from sod to full grown trees. It looks really, really nice. I asked the landscaper for the empty pots, and he was nice enough to save a bunch of them for me (thank you, thank you, thank you). I’m using them to divide my perennials now so that I’ll have extra plants next spring.

I dragged the landscaper over here the other morning to talk garden. I’ve promised to give him one of the elephant ear baby bulbs from this plant 09-02-08 (4)

It did okay this year, but for the last two years the leaves were twice as big as they are this year Elephant Ear_2006 This year they didn’t get close to the top of the fence, and in 2006 it grew higher than the top of the fence.

The biggest difference is that I used Miracle Grow then and just water this year, not even any compost. The elephant ear seems to like massive amounts of water. Makes sense since it can be used as a pond plant. This year the bulb went out a little later than usual which might also account for the smaller size. I’m sure if we had a longer growing season it would get bigger. In the warmer climates they can be kept outside all year around. Here we have to dig them up and store them before the bulb freezes. A pain, but you’re rewarded with baby bulbs.

There were about seven baby bulbs from last year. I only kept this one and I gave away the others to my co-FreeCyclers. I asked the guy that I gave the biggest bulb to send me a picture this month. Hope he remembers.

I can’t say enough good things about FreeCycle. I love finding a bargain, and the best bargain is no cost, free, zip, nada, gratis, bubkis…you get the idea.

Plus it’s a green thing. You keep perfectly good stuff out of the landfill., and people give away a little of everything from dishes to dish washers. I’ve given away and received lots of plants. I like to feel there’s a little me scattered all over the city. I even got dirt, but that was through Craigslist, which is also good. Love it, love it, love it.

If there comes a time when you can’t palm off your extra plants to your friends and neighbors, try giving them away through these organizations.

Happy Gardening!!!!