Elephant ear plants are so popular because of how big the leaves get. They’re so much fun to raise because of how much they stand out in your garden.
These large plants are also referred to as Colocasia and taro plants, but the name elephant ears really seem to suit them. The leaves do grow large enough to somewhat resemble the iconic ears that elephants possess.
If you recently started caring for elephant ear plants in your garden, then you’re probably trying to do your best to keep them in great shape. They aren’t necessarily super hard to take care of, but some people do encounter issues with the plants drooping.
Why do elephant ear plants droop and what can you do to keep this from happening? Read on to get all of the information about elephant ear plants so that you can have a good experience.
1 – Getting Too Heavy
Sometimes it’s going to be mostly unavoidable to see your elephant ears droop a bit. If you do a good job of taking care of them, then the leaves are going to keep growing and they’ll get rather large.
These leaves might grow so large and heavy that they will start to droop just because they’re too heavy to stay up. This is somewhat unfortunate since you probably like the way things look when the leaves aren’t drooping.
Thankfully, there is something that you can do to help the plant out and keep it looking as presentable as possible. Many people use stakes to help hold the elephant ears up when they have become way too heavy.
Doing so is going to give the plants some much-needed support, and the drooping issue won’t really be a thing any longer. It’s definitely worthwhile to consider doing this if you think that the drooping is because of the leaves getting so big and heavy.
Of course, you shouldn’t rule out that other issues could be the cause of the drooping. You’re going to want to make sure that nothing else is wrong first so that you don’t overlook something important.
2 – Watering Issues
Watering issues will sometimes make it so that your elephant ears will droop. It’s possible that you might not have paid attention to the elephant ears recently and missed some watering sessions.
Elephant ears need a lot of water when compared to other plants. On average, they’re supposed to receive two or three inches of rainfall each week to thrive.
When it’s not raining, you’re going to need to water the plants well to keep them hydrated. Failure to water the elephant ears adequately can lead to them looking droopy and less healthy than normal.
For these plants to thrive, it’s going to be necessary to try to keep the soil fairly moist. This doesn’t mean that you need to go overboard, but you will be watering these plants more than many other types of plants that you might be caring for in your garden.
3 – Soil Issues
There are times when soil issues might be the cause of the elephant ears drooping. The best type of soil for elephant ears will be organically rich, and you’re going to need it to have good moisture retention as 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. It’s also possible that using soil that lacks nutrients will be problematic.
When elephant ears aren’t getting the nutrients that they need, it’s possible that they might start drooping. It could be a signal that you need to change something so that the plant can look healthy once more.
In this situation, it might be wise to give the elephant ears some fertilizer. Many people choose to give elephant ears fertilizer once per month so that they can get enough nutrients.
Failure to give the plant enough food will make it look less impressive, and you might notice it starts drooping more and more. It shouldn’t be hard to do, but you will need to think about fertilizing the elephant ears while also keeping them in nutrient-rich soil.
4 – Improper Lighting
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, then it’s possible that 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 because it could wind up burning 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 are starting to look a bit yellow instead of being green as normal, then you probably need to give them more sun.
Do what you can to make some 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 to get the sunlight that they need.
5 – Cold Temperatures
Cold temperatures can also be a big problem when you’re taking care of elephant ear plants. These plants simply don’t do well in the cold, and they’re not capable of surviving outside during the winter months.
Elephant ear plants enjoy daytime temperatures between 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. During the nighttime, they’re fine so long as the temperatures don’t dip below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you live in an area where it gets cooler than that, then you might need to 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 droop a bit. 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.
Try to keep an eye on the weather reports if you’re keeping your elephant ears outside. If you know that it’s supposed to get cold, then you’ll need to take steps to protect the elephant ears to avoid problems.
Leaving these plants in the cold will likely just kill them. You want to enjoy your elephant ears for a long time to come, and this means that you have to be proactive and attentive.
You’ve learned a lot about elephant ear plants now, and it should be easier to fix any problems that you’re experiencing. These plants are big and fun, but you’re going to need to pay attention to them.
They do require a lot of water to thrive, and you’re also going to need to feed them the right amount of nutrients. Taking the sunlight requirements into consideration will also be important when you want the plants to look healthy.
Sometimes these plants will droop naturally due to getting too big, but it should be fairly obvious when that’s the case. You can help to support the plant by staking it up so that it won’t be able to droop.
You’ll be able to take the right actions to protect your plant now, and you likely won’t be left shaking your head if you notice the elephant ears drooping a bit. Just watch out for temperature issues and you should do just fine.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.