Gardening Challenge: Giant Elephant Ear

With just one plant, you can create a mini “jungle” in your garden or backyard. Up to 9 ft. tall with leaves as wide as 5 ft., Thailand Giant Elephant Ear plants can be found in many catalogs, on websites and in nurseries. Hardy in Zones 8 to 10, they survive over winter in the warmest regions, but ambitious gardeners in colder climates can dig the plant’s tubers in the fall to plant again the following spring. Some growers plant them in pots so they can bring the whole thing inside during the winter.

Giant Elephant Ear adapts to most garden soils and thrives in hot, humid climate similar to its Southeast Asia heritage. It should be planted in sun or partial shade and given plenty of water and fertilizer. Some growers suggest planting Giant Elephant Ears in bog or water gardens.

Though best known for its giant foliage, the plant also produces fragrant calla lily-like blooms.