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Why Is My Elephant Ear Plant Drooping? (5 Reasons)

Why Is My Elephant Ear Plant Drooping? (5 Reasons)

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If you recently started caring for Elephant Ear plants, you’re probably trying to do your best to keep them in great shape. And while these floras aren’t difficult to maintain, you could experience an issue that many of us have: drooping.

Mind you, drooping leaves aren’t necessarily a bad thing for these plants. However, sagging can reduce their appeal and might be a warning sign of gardening issues affecting the plant’s health.

So, are you worried about your Elephant Ear plants hanging? 

Then, read on as I discuss five reasons your Elephant Ear plants are drooping. I’ll also share some solutions to keep this hitch from happening!

5 Reasons Your Elephant Ears Are Drooping

Elephant Ear plants, also called colocasia, are so popular because of how big the leaves get, resembling the iconic ears of its animal namesake. I, for one, had so much fun raising them because of how much they stand out in my garden.

So, it’s indeed disheartening and alarming to see their once lively leaves drop and lose their vibrancy. Much more if you know you’ve been doing your best to keep them healthy!

Thankfully, sagging is a common issue in these plants you can fix with little effort. Here are five causes why you’re Elephant Ear plants are drooping and how to correct them:

1 – Getting Too Heavy

Large Leaves Of Elephant Ear Plant

Sometimes, it’s unavoidable to see your Elephant Ears droop a bit. If you care for them well enough, the leaves will keep growing—and they can get quite large!

These leaves might grow so wide and heavy that they’ll start to hang just because they’re too heavy to stay up. Although, it’s somewhat unfortunate since you probably like how the plant looks when the leaves aren’t drooping.

But here’s what you can do in this case:

I usually use stakes to help hold the Elephant Ears up when they become too heavy. Doing so will give the plants the much-needed support and alleviate the sagging issue.

Of course, you shouldn’t rule out that other issues could cause the dropping leaves. You’re going to want to ensure that nothing else is wrong first so you don’t overlook something important.

2 – Watering Issues

Wet Leaves On Elephant Ear Plant

Watering issues will sometimes make it so that your Elephant Ears will droop. It’s possible you might not have paid attention to the Elephant Ears recently and missed some watering sessions.

As tropical plants, Elephant Ears need plenty of water than other floras. On average, they’re supposed to receive two or three inches of rainfall each week to thrive.

So, you’ll need to water the plants well to keep them hydrated, especially when rain is scarce. Failure to water the Elephant Ears adequately can make them appear droopy and affect their health.

It’s necessary to keep the soil moist for these plants to thrive. They prefer consistently damp soil but not soggy, similar to their natural environment in the wild.

However, it doesn’t mean going overboard and risking the plant developing root rot. But you’ll need to be watering these plants more than many other types of plants that you might be caring for in your garden.

3 – Soil Problem

Prepping Soil For Planting

Apart from water, there are times when soil issues cause Elephant Ears to droop. Hence, you’ll want to check if you provided the best soil type for your prized flora.

The best type of soil for Elephant Ears will be organically rich and with good moisture retention. Loam, for example, would be an excellent soil choice as it has the most organic material and retains water well.

If you use a thin type of soil that dries out incredibly fast, then your Elephant Ears aren’t going to do as well. They won’t receive as many nutrients, which will be problematic.

When Elephant Ears aren’t getting the nutrients they need from the soil, they might start drooping. It’s a signal to change your plant’s location or potting soil so it can bounce back and look healthy again.

In this situation, it’s also wise to fertilize the Elephant Ears. For reference, gardeners often give Elephant Ears fertilizer once per month so that they can get enough nutrients.

4 – Improper Lighting

Elephant Ear Plant In The Shade

As with most plants, you’re going to need to pay attention to the sunlight situation when caring for Elephant Ears. You want to give these plants the right amount of light that will help them to thrive.

If your Elephant Ears are drooping currently, it’s possible they’re not getting enough sunlight. You might have them in a shady spot where there isn’t enough light getting through.

These plants do best when you place them in bright, indirect sunlight. You want to shy away from direct sunlight as it could burn the leaves due to being too harsh.

Another sign that your Elephant Ears aren’t getting enough sunlight will be yellowing leaves. If the leaves appear yellow instead of green, you probably need to give them more sun.

That said, do what you can to make the appropriate adjustments to the position of your Elephant Ears. You could try planting them in a different spot, but it’s also possible that trimming some tree branches might help them get the sunlight that they need.

5 – Cold Temperatures

Potted Elephant Ear Plant In The Sun

Cold temperatures can also be a big problem when caring for Elephant Ear plants. As tropical floras, they don’t do well in the cold and won’t survive outside during the winter months.

Elephant Ear plants enjoy daytime temperatures between 70 and 85℉. During the nighttime, they’re fine so long as the temperatures don’t dip below 60℉.

If you live in an area where it gets colder than that, then consider moving your Elephant Ears indoors. They might do better in a temperature-controlled environment where it will stay hot enough.

Even limited exposure to colder temperatures might cause the Elephant Ears to hang. If you had a cold snap recently and forgot to take your Elephant Ear plants inside, then that might be the cause of your woes.

One good habit is to watch the weather reports, especially if you’re keeping your Elephant Ears outside. If you know it’s supposed to get cold, you’ll need to take steps to protect the Elephant Ears to avoid problems.

FAQs

How often should you water Elephant Ear plants?

Elephant Ears are native to southern areas of Asia, where they receive plenty of water. So, if you move them indoors, you want to keep up with their moisture requirement.

You should water your Elephant Ears once or twice a week. Keep the potting soil moist but not enough to drown or damage the plant roots.

Do Elephant Ears like shaded or well-lit areas?

Elephant Ears will survive best under partially shaded areas where they can get bright, indirect sunlight. However, the specific amount of sun they need depends on their variety.

Lighter color varieties are the ones to prefer shaded locations. On the other hand, darker-colored Elephant Ears thrive better under full sun.

How should you strengthen your Elephant Ear plants?

Keep your Elephant Ears healthy by providing the right conditions they need. Watch the soil moisture, sunlight, water, and temperature.

Applying fertilizer is also good practice when caring for these plants. You can feed them liquid fertilizer every three weeks to keep them lush and vibrant.

Final Thoughts

You’ve learned a lot about Elephant Ear plants now, and fixing any problems you’re experiencing should be more manageable. These plants are big and fun, but you’ll still want to pay special care to them.

Remember: understanding why your precious indoor plant droop is essential to their well-being. But whether it’s from them being overly healthy, underwatering, soil problems, light issues, or cold weather, you’re now equipped to solve them.

Save this guide in your gardening notes, and watch your Elephant Ears flourish!

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Joshua

Thursday 3rd of August 2023

Hi, what about the outer leaves (let's say 4 out of 20) are drooping and yellowing, while the rest look fine?

Lisa Bridenstine

Tuesday 15th of August 2023

Hi Joshua, I have another article on elephant ear leaves turning yellow as well. This is usually caused by under or over watering, but there are a few other possibilities as well. Take a look and compare it to the conditions of your plant. Hopefully this will help you determine what might be causing the yellowing. https://thepracticalplanter.com/elephant-ear-plant-leaves-turning-yellow/

Happy Planting! Lisa

Bigg Nutrition

Monday 15th of August 2022

You have shared really good information, Thanks

K Store

Saturday 13th of August 2022

Good information was shared, thanks for this.