Before you select an elephant ear plant to grow indoors, pay attention to how tall you can expect it to grow because there’s quite a range, depending on the species and variety. For example, my enormous ‘Calidora’ alocasia travels outside for the summer and is lugged back in when fall temperatures become chilly. This sturdy plant gets 8 feet tall so it definitely needs plenty of space.
If you don’t want an elephant ear plant that’s close to the size of an actual elephant, choose a dwarf or short variety. A three-foot-tall elephant ear that sports big, bold leaves will still make a statement. Popular indoor choices include:
‘Black Velvet’ (Alocasia reginula) is a tiny (12 to 18 inches tall) charmer with sturdy, heart-shaped leaves. Aptly named, the elegant leaves look black, with white veins and edges, and have a velvety texture.
‘Frydek’ (Alocasia hybrid) has eye-catching white veins on its black, shield-shaped leaves. The leaf color starts out bright green and changes to black by the time the plant reaches its mature height of 1 to 3 feet.
‘New Guinea Shield’ (Alocasia wentii) produces shield-shaped leaves that get about a foot long. The plant will reach 3 feet tall and wide, so give it some space, then sit back and admire the shiny bronze-green leaves as they point upward, showing their purplish undersides.
If you get into collecting these big beauties, look for ‘Dawn’, a rarer selection that has stunning variegated leaves (shown below) and gets 3-5 feet tall.
Published on January 11, 2023