Giant Elephant Ears are incredibly fast growing. These are very young specimens and given the right care and conditions can grow into truly impressive beasts to make a dramatic statement in a bright room.
Take care to keep temperatures high and these are pretty easy plants to care for.
Native to Asia and Austronesia Alocasia macrorrhizos where it's cultivated as a crop, harvested for it's starchy rhizome which is processed to remove toxins and usually used as animal fodder.
In tropical conditions they can grow to truly epic proportions, standing at a height of up to 4-5m with stems up to 2m long showing leaves as big an adult.
While they rarely reach such magnificence outside of the tropics or heated glasshouses, where the conditions allow them to grow year round and produce a thick stem from which the leaf stems emerge, they can still make for a very impressive large statement plant in your home given the right care and conditions.
They produce white flowers typical of the Araceae family (which look similar to those of a Peace Lily), though it rarely does so indoors unless conditions and care are just right.
The accepted botanical name is Alocasia macrorrhizos, but is also often referred to as Alocasia macrorrhiza. It's commonly known as Giant Elephant Ear, Giant Taro.
Images pictured in this section are for illustration only. Please see the product photo above for an accurate representation of the size of plant you will receive.
The most important aspect to the health of any house plant is finding a spot which meets it’s basic needs for light, temperature and water.
Perfecting the environment and ensuring long-term care needs are met will take your plant from surviving to thriving.
Read through these care instructions for Alocasia macrorrhizos (aka Alocasia macrorrhiza), and remember if you need help, we’re an email away.
Alocasia macrorrizos will enter winter dormancy and may kill of some or even all of its leaves if your house temperature dips low for too long. Fear not - the bulb is still alive, ready to jump back to life come the Spring. Keep the pot dry throughout winter, and only water when you see new growth appearing.
These can be planted outdoors in the UK, but the first frost will kill off all leaves. You should then cover with plenty of insulation to prevent frost damage to the tuber, or dig up and store inside until the danger of frost has passed.
When the plant is mature, it will produce pups from runners. You can leave these to grow, or very carefully cut them away from the parent plant to create a new plant.
In the UK these can usually cope with a full-sun spot, but they will require more carefull attention to watering and humidity. Giant Elephant Ears will be happy indoors from a sunny spot all the way down to light shade.
In the wild or planted outdoors Alocasia prefer continually moist soil, but we've found that planted in pots indoors they prefer to dry out a little between waterings so they can get some oxygen to their roots.
High humidity will keep the foliage at its best, but it's not an absolute necessity. If spraying, do so with warm water and make sure water doesn't pool on the leaves. Don't spray when temperatures are low.
These are very sensitive to low temperatures. While leaves won't usually die back until they get to around 6º, they will enter dormancy and may become sickly and yellow when temperatures dip continuously below around 12º. Keep at 15º or above throughout the growth season.
Alocasia can be fussy, but once you've found the right spot they're usually very easy to care for. They're not a fan of drafts or of being moved around too much, so once you find a spot it's happy in try to leave it there!
Like all Alocasia, the whole plant contains calcium oxalate crystals which are an irritant to skin and mucous membranes. Keep away from pets and children, and if you get any sap on your skin wash with soapy water to prevent irritation.