Plant Care Upright Elephant Ears

Upright Elephant Ears

4.5 out of 5 (42 experiences)

Upright Elephant Ears has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves
Upright Elephant Ears has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower

About Upright Elephant Ears

Alocasia macrorrhizos (otherwise known as the giant taro plant) is a staple crop of the Pacific Islands. The leaves of this plant can reach gigantic proportions, growing up to six feet in length! Not to be confused with the taro root, the giant taro is used primarily for medicinal purposes. 🤒

Across the Pacific, giant taro is used to treat a variety of conditions ranging from influenza to ringworm and even snake bites. Don’t be tempted to snack on yours though, since giant taro contains calcium oxalate crystals (called raphides) that can cause itching to the skin and mouth. 🤭

Taxonomy

Alocasia macrorrhizos
Alocasia
Araceae
Alismatales

Also known as

Giant Taro, Giant Taro and Alocasia macrorrhiza

How to care for Upright Elephant Ears

💦 Water

How often to water your Upright Elephant Ears

Water needs for Upright Elephant Ears
0.5 cups
every 9

Upright Elephant Ears needs 0.5 cups of water every 9 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Upright Elephant Ears

Water 0.5 cups every
9

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

5"
☀️ Light

Finding light for Giant Taro in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Upright Elephant Ears: 3ft from a window
3ft or less from
a window

Upright Elephant Ears may have difficulty thriving, and will drop leaves 🍃, without ample sunlight.

Place it less than 3 feet from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Upright Elephant Ears in your home 🏡.

🪴 Nutrients

How to fertilize Upright Elephant Ears

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Upright Elephant Ears: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Upright Elephant Ears after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Browse #GiantTaro
💡 FAQs
⭐ Difficulty Level

Upright Elephant Ears is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!

Benefits of Growing Giant Taro →

Common Giant Taro Problems →


💦 Water Needs

Upright Elephant Ears prefers for the soil to dry out between waterings and should be watered regularly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Giant Taro Water Frequency →

Giant Taro Root Rot →


☀️ Sunlight Needs

Upright Elephant Ears may have difficulty thriving and will drop leaves 🍃 without ample sunlight. Place it less than 3 feet from a window to maximize the potential for growth. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.

Giant Taro Light Requirements →

Giant Taro Direct Sunlight Needs & Tolerance →


🐶 🐈 👶 Toxicity

Upright Elephant Ears is not safe to consume. If you, a family member, or a pet has ingested any amount of plant material contact Poison Control, US (800) 222-1222, or your veterinarian. If you have children, cats, or dogs in the home, we suggest keeping this plant out of reach.

Giant Taro Toxicity to Humans →


💨 Humidity

Upright Elephant Ears prefers dry environments. Providing extra humidity or misting your plant allows water to linger on leaves, which can create the perfect environment for harmful types of fungi.

Giant Taro Humidity Needs →


🪴 Soil

Upright Elephant Ears is very sensitive to dry soil, so choose a potting soil that retains moisture. A good soil will still drain well and contain lots of organic matter such as coco coir or sphagnum moss.

Best Soil Mix for Giant Taro →

When and How to Successfully Repot Giant Taro →


💩 Fertilizer

Upright Elephant Ears is a fast growing plant and may deplete the nutrients in its soil over time. Replenish them with a gentle organic fertilizer or compost every 1-2 months depending on your location and season. Fertilize more often during the growing season and in warmer and brighter climates.

How Much and When to Fertilize Giant Taro →


❄️ Dormancy

It’s common for Upright Elephant Ears to go dormant in the wintertime and you may notice their growth slow down. Waterings should be spaced out more during this time.


🌎 Native Region

Upright Elephant Ears is native to tropical and subtropical Asia and Eastern Australia.


🌸 Flowers

Yes, you may see your Upright Elephant Ears bloom with the right amount of sunlight and water.

Giant Taro Flowers →


⬆️ ⬇️ Growth Pattern

Upright Elephant Ears is a clumping plant, meaning new growth will emerge from the soil around the parent plant.

How and When to Prune Giant Taro →


🌦️ Growing Outdoors

USDA Hardiness Zone
Upright Elephant Ears can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10a-12a. Find your local hardiness zone here.

Giant Taro Temperature Tolerance →


🌱 Propagation

Upright Elephant Ears can be propagated by division into new individual plants.

  • Check to see if there is more than one plant. In some cases they may still be beneath the soil surface. If you feel confident, you may remove the soil to check for baby plantlets below!
  • If there are multiple plants growing, unpot the plant and gently tug the plants apart, being careful not to disturb too many of the roots. They may be connected by large root segments which you may need to break to free the plantlet.
  • Pot up the new plant in well-draining soil
  • Repot the parent plant back into its original pot

How to Propagate Giant Taro →


🍂 Yellow Leaves

Yellow leaves aren’t always a reason to panic, and can be a normal part of a plant’s life cycle. Unless brand new leaves are turning yellow or all the leaves change color at once, it’s likely just your plant shedding old leaves.

Overwatering and root rot are the most likely cause of problems in Upright Elephant Ears, since they are sensitive to wet soil. The leaves may also appear to be curling or drooping. Less often, yellow leaves are caused by underwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or pests.

Replace soggy soil with fresh, dry soil and download Greg to make sure your plant never gets overwatered again!


🧐 Troubleshooting

When troubleshooting a sad-looking houseplant, start by checking for signs of distress in its leaves, such as yellowing, browning, or drooping, which can indicate overwatering or nutrient deficiencies.

Inspect the soil moisture; too dry or too wet soil can cause problems.

Ensure the plant is getting the right amount of light, as too much or too little can stress it.

Finally, consider environmental factors like temperature and humidity, and adjust care routines accordingly to revive your plant.


Care Summary for Upright Elephant Ears

Upright Elephant Ears

Upright Elephant Ears


Greg recommends:

Water

0.5 cups every 9 days

Placement

< 3ft from a window

Nutrients

Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

What other plant parents say

Upright Elephant Ears has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 35
Upright Elephant Ears has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 24
Upright Elephant Ears has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 12
Upright Elephant Ears has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily 9
Upright Elephant Ears has a Pest magnet plant personality Pest magnet 6
Upright Elephant Ears has a Blooms easily plant personality Blooms easily 3
Upright Elephant Ears has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 2
@catnipu avatar
@@catnipu
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 77 XP
globe Tucson, AZ
04/04/2022

I love this big bitch!!!! Loves being next to window and grows such big beautiful leaves

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
@PlaneGuy avatar
@@PlaneGuy
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 110 XP
globe Castro Valley, CA
02/22/2022

Loves indoor shade. Grows big so give it space!

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Fast grower Fast grower
@Tweeter avatar
@@Tweeter
leaf-1 10 Plants
xp 238 XP
globe Appleton, WI
12/18/2021

I received my taro as a gift in 2018; it was 2 little leaves in a 3” pot. Now my taro has become TWO TREES, one of which has grown to nearly 8 feet, and rewards me with a plethora of seed pods each spring!

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
@Bigleaves avatar
@@Bigleaves
leaf-1 18 Plants
xp 1,194 XP
09/20/2021

Huge , luscious green leaves that are so aesthetic , this paticular plant grows quite quick so I recommend providing it with a big space so it can have room too grow , partial to a dark space as too much sun can scorch the leaves resulting in the leaves turning brown . Doesn’t like too much water so make sure you don’t overwater it !!!

Terry avatar
@Terry
leaf-1 42 Plants
xp 712 XP
globe Columbus, OH
09/17/2021

My husband got this for my 50th birthday

Fast grower Fast grower
@Plantbitchesunite avatar
@@Plantbitchesunite
leaf-1 3 Plants
xp 90 XP
globe League City, TX
08/28/2021

I love mine! It’s so tall and works as an inside plant.

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
Mimi avatar
@Mimi
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 74 XP
08/28/2021

Love my big baby

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Holly avatar
@Holly
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 85 XP
globe Whitstable, England
06/18/2021

I always get it where one leaf grows up quickly and then one of the original leaves die in its place. My mum has the same plant and the same thing happens to her. I’ve got 2-3 leaves at one time and the leaves are big and beautiful

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Browns easily Browns easily
@Planterino_07 avatar
@@Planterino_07
leaf-1 3 Plants
xp 51 XP
06/09/2021

PLEASE buy pest control. Please. I made the mistake of not doing that and I overwatered.

Fast grower Fast grower
Pest magnet Pest magnet
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
@jaymcnuggets avatar
@@jaymcnuggets
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 154 XP
globe New Braunfels, TX
05/23/2021

u know how alocasias be

Pest magnet Pest magnet
Browns easily Browns easily
@egotopia avatar
@@egotopia
leaf-1 66 Plants
xp 9,716 XP
globe Jacksonville, FL
05/17/2021

I pulled the bulbs in this pot out of a rotten stem on the ground and it took a long time for them to start growing, but now that they have taken off the plants are growing extremely quickly. It sits in my yard in Florida under full sun for more than 6 hours. The soil is a mix of organic ground soil and bark. It likes to stay very moist to the point of being nearly boggy. In a 15 inch plastic pot. I water it once a week.

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Blooms easily Blooms easily
Survivor Survivor
@Cjsplanties avatar
@@Cjsplanties
leaf-1 22 Plants
xp 842 XP
05/17/2021

The Giant Taro seems partial to medium-‘low’ light. The edges tend to brown easily in direct sun light and with low humidity. They don’t like the cold. Mine Tends to grow a lot of smaller leaves around the base and a few larger leaves above. The plant seems to be drought resistant in my east facing windows and only needs to be water every 10-15 days. Mine tends to be happiest when I wipe the leave down weekly! Overall easy beginner plant for someone looking for something that is ‘big’ or ‘impressive’. (Make sure you have the space as they can grow supposing quickly! )

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Survivor Survivor
Browns easily Browns easily
@Manicmagan avatar
@@Manicmagan
leaf-1 31 Plants
xp 395 XP
globe Holland, MI
05/10/2021

This guy has been producing new leaves, and even a baby that has began to split. I was so nervous to care for such a large plant inside, but he seems to love it here!

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
@SucculentJade avatar
@@SucculentJade
leaf-1 52 Plants
xp 927 XP
03/19/2021

Eek! The mites! The spider mites! They’re everywhere! I still love you though, sting ray. I’m treating them as best I can

Pest magnet Pest magnet
@Cosmic avatar
@@Cosmic
leaf-1 2 Plants
xp 108 XP
03/03/2021

They grow, get yellow, and die. And it’s sad :(
But like phoenixes, they’re reborn from the ashes.

Survivor Survivor

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