QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE
1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full to partial sun.
2. USDA Hardiness Zones - In-ground hardy in zones 9 to 10. In zones 1 to 8, plant in a container so you can move the plant indoors and treat as a house plant over winter, or to a protected area (somewhere that doesn’t freeze) before the first frost.
3. Planting Distance - 5 to 6 feet apart in ground or 1 plant per 16 inch or larger container.
4. Mature Height/Spread - In-ground 10 to 12 feet tall with a spread of 4 to 5 feet. 'Amazonica' can reach 2' in height and a spread of the same.
5. Bloom Time - N/A.
6. Planting Instructions - Dig a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the pot in which your plant was grown. Please note that many of our pots are biodegradable. If your plant is not in a traditional plastic pot then you may place the entire biodegradable pot in the ground; otherwise, gently remove the rootball from the pot. Partially backfill the hole with soil and place the plant into the hole. The top of the root ball should be level with the ground surrounding the hole. Refill the hole with soil, firming the soil around the plant with your fingers. Check to be sure that the plant is not planted too deeply. If it is, raise the plant carefully and refirm the soil. Water thoroughly.
GET THE MOST ENJOYMENT
Looking for a plant to make a statement in your garden? Add a stunning tropical flair to your yard or garden with the Giant Upright Elephant Ear! These dynamic plants will beg your friends and neighbors to ask you what they are. The huge 2 to 4 foot dark green oval leaves point straight upward with the plant growing to over 8 feet in height, creating a vertical artistry to your landscape or patio. It is ideal to use in a mixed planting. For dramatic effect, pot into a large container and underplant with a cascading blooming plant.
Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office. These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance. See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:
1. Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.
2. To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2 to 4-inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.
3. After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.
Water - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground. Do not allow plants in containers to dry out. In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat. You may wish to temporarily move containerized plants to an area where they are shielded from the hot summer sun (i.e., in the shade of a tree, on a porch near an overhang).
Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.
Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.
Grooming - Pruning should be done on an "as needed" basis and is very easy. New leaves grow, literally, out of the existing leaves. After a new leaf is formed from within an existing leaf, the existing leaf begins to deteriorate. Use the pruning shears to remove any dead leaves from the plant. This is also an effective method of keeping the growth/height of the leaves under control.
Feeding - Feed your plants once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in the spring.
Winterizing - In-ground hardy only in zones 9 to 10. In zones 1 to 8, plants should be grown in containers and moved to a protected area (somewhere that doesn't freeze) before the first frost in your area.
When you bring your plant indoors for the winter, select a room that is bright, preferably one with a southern exposure. Indoors, plants tend to dry out from lack of humidity. Boost the humidity level around your plant by filling a shallow tray with gravel and water then placing the pot in the tray. The water level should be slightly below the gravel so the pot is not submerged in the water. You may also use a spray bottle to mist the plant with water once a week.
All other watering and feeding indoors should be reduced significantly. Do not overwater or allow your plants to sit in water.
In the spring when temperatures begin to rise, ease the plant into a full watering schedule and move back outdoors for the summer.
CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.