Elephant Ear Divisions

As you may have noticed, some of my Elephant Ear plants are getting pretty large. A couple of weeks ago I took a division from one and potted it up. It was an experiment since I had never done that before, and I don't think I wrote about it here.


It seems to have worked fine, as the division is growing happily, and there were no ill effects on the parent plant either, so it's time to take some more divisions!


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Here's a closer look at the "pups" that I'll be taking off:


I'm after the two on the left and the one on the right -- not the big one in the middle.

I'll use my knife and just cut down into the soil, slicing off the little plant:


It's a bit tough, and feels kinda like slicing into a buried apple, or potato. I cut as large as section of soil as I can too, to get as many roots as possible.

This one looks pretty good:


You can see where the connection to the main plant was severed:


This one has plenty of roots, so will do great:


I did the same for the two plants on the left, but I'm a little concerned because there's not too much room for cutting between them and the parent plant...


As you can see, I may not have gotten enough of the stem of the one plant:


It does have some roots, but it may not be enough. Since this is somewhat experimental, I'll pot it up anyway and see what happens.

The other plant of this pair is a little better:


I'll remove all but one of the leaves on both of these to reduce water loss due to transpiration. Here they are all potted up:


Once they start growing new leaves, I'll know that the division was successful and I got enough roots. I kind of expect the smallest one to die, but will be pleasantly surprised if it doesn't.

Speaking of Elephant Ears, here's another update on the plant I dug up and kept in a bag in the garage all winter. The older photos are included for comparison:

Original:


9 days later:


8 days after that:


As you can see, it's starting to really grow quickly!


That's nice progress for just a couple of weeks, and the leaves are getting nice and big already!

Why didn't I start growing these plants years ago? They're really quite easy to grow and very satisfying!

I think I'll have to take one of these big plants out of their large pots and plant it in the ground. Either that or remove it from the pot, divide it in half, then replant. Both of those options are going to require a lot of work though. Maybe I'll feel really ambitious someday soon...

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Anonymous –   – (January 31, 2015 at 8:27 AM)  

These photos are great ! - Learned so much! Thank for posting

Anonymous –   – (June 1, 2015 at 9:22 AM)  

thanks for the commentary and photos. It helped me a lot !

Chuck Schultz  – (September 1, 2015 at 8:10 AM)  

How do you split a tubor. I word like to have two plants after winter storage?

Alan  – (September 1, 2015 at 8:43 AM)  

Chuck: the tubers will have obvious "offsets" -- smaller versions that will break off. Sometimes these are quite small (marble sized) but each one will grow. If you don't see any now then you'll want to wait until after planting next year to divide -- multiple plants will most likely form and you can dig the smaller ones out and replant. It's easier than it sounds!

Unknown  – (February 17, 2016 at 6:04 PM)  

Great information, thank you all. I have a giant elephant ear in a pot, zone 7 CA; which comes indoors every winter. It is throwing out roots or tutors from an elongated stem; so I need to know
where to cut them for thinking, pruning and for future plants. the tutors are 8 inches long!! and I have at least 10 of them! Help.

Laura Bixby  – (February 17, 2016 at 6:06 PM)  

Help with transplanting my giant elephant ears. It has tutors growing out of the stem outside the pot.
It is very hardy, huge and seems to be smothering
in the pot. Thanks! lbx

Alan  – (February 18, 2016 at 7:05 AM)  

Laura: Those are called stolons, and I've found that the new plants grow from the bumps along it. Each piece that is at least a couple of inches long and has one of those bumps or "knobs" will produce a new plant. Break the stolons off, bury them slightly, and a new plant will soon emerge. (It's hard to do wrong)

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