Colocasia esculenta, “Black Magic”, also known as “black elephant ears plant”. This is a gorgeous plant with large green leaves. It is grown all around the world. In some places, it is used for food but it also makes an excellent ornamental plant.

This is a very easy to grow plant and it tends to survive for a long time. This is a perfect plant for those who want to add some tropical flare to their home and garden. It is enough to have one container with Black Elephant Ear plant to achieve a tropical effect in your home.

Basic Plant Information

Black Elephant Ears Plant can be grown in containers or outdoors. However, this plant requires warm climate so many people in Northern hemisphere choose to grow it in containers. Keep this in mind if you want to have this plant in your home.

This plant thrives in rich soil with plenty of light and warm temperatures. If you grow it in a container properly, it will grow quickly and fill out even a large container. Potted plants can reach a height of 3 to 6 feet.

One of the most striking things about the plant are dark leaves that are black and purple in color. They are positioned on the top of ebony red stems. The leaves are large and prominent so this is how the plant got its name.

If you live in area with hot summers, you may try to grow Black Elephant Ears plant outdoors. If you mwish to go this route keep in mind to plant it somewhere where it can get partial shade, especially in the afternoon. If you make it thrive it will soon develop its striking, giant leaves.

These huge dark leaves are exactly the main reason why people choose to grow these plants. Flowers are not the primary motive for growing Black Elephant Ears so this plant is ideal for those who prefer plants with gorgeous foliage.

Growing Black Elephant Ears Plant Outdoors

If you live in a warm climate you can try growing Black Elephant Ears plant outdoors. This wasn’t a popular option in the past because this plant wasn’t considered attractive enough. Luckily, modern landscaping trends are changing and the beauty of striking foliage is finally being recognized. It made for a rapid popularity of this plant among those who want to have a beautiful yet striking garden. Black Elephant Ears plant is particularly popular in those gardens where people have a preference for wide-leafed plants and a tropical atmosphere.

If you choose to go this route, make sure that your garden is warm enough but that it also has some partial shade for Black Elephant Ears. Also, keep in mind that you may use this plant a shrub where it will add some nice looks to your garden during the summer.

All varieties of these plants that are hardy green with black splotches or dark purple can live through the USDA hardiness zone 8 winters. You can typically use them in sunny northern gardens without a problem.

They are great for shaded borders in your garden. You may combine them with other warm-loving plants to create very effective bedding arrangements. They will bring that amazing tropical flare to your garden year after year.

It is also a great thing to plant different varieties together. Good choices are Black Magic, Black Coral, Colocasia Mojito and Colocasia Illustris. Their leaves and stems will combine well into a very striking look.

How to Plant Black Elephant Ears in Northern Climates

Keep in mind that you can make your Black Elephant Ear plant thrive in northern climates, but the weather needs to be warm enough. It should be planted in the ground in mid-spring so aim for mid April.

In late fall, at first frost, make sure to dig tubers out of the ground and overwinter them in a special bed made of wood shavings or dry peat. You may use plastic storage boxes for this purpose. Keep tubers in a cool place but make sure that temperatures in the room  never go below 45 degrees F. In the following April, plant them in the ground once again to make your Black Elephant Ears plant thrive in your garden.

Photo credit: Scot Nelson Taro (Colocasia esculenta): Dasheen mosaic via photopin (license)

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