Alocasia Odora “Elephant Ear” Plant
The Alocasia Odora, commonly known as Elephant Ear, grows enormous, lush, upright leaves that add tremendous drama in the garden with little effort. Alocasia growth can be broken out into two categories one category of Alocasia prefer moist soil (the green leaf types) and the other prefers very well-drained soil on the drier side.
The huge green to deep purple leaves bears a likeness to the ears of an elephant. Alocasia will adjust its size according to the amount of sun it receives. The more sun it receives the smaller it will be, the less sun it receives the larger it will become “to a point”. In some cultivars, the difference can be staggering.
The green leaf cultivars such as Calidora and California love water these types will grow well alongside a pond or lake. Other cultivars prefer drier soil and if kept moist will develop crown rot these varieties are Longiloba,
Site and Soil
Alocasia tolerates both sun and shade, but it performs best when planted in partially shaded garden beds. A site with full morning sunlight but afternoon shade provides a better location than a bed that receives sunlight all day.
Alocasia also requires soil that remains moist and doesn’t dry out completely. Avoid sandy soil that drains and dries quickly.
The rhizomes, or tuberous roots, require frost-free weather to grow and avoid cold damage, so they are usually planted in spring after frost danger passes. You can also start them indoors six weeks earlier in pots, then transplant the actively growing plants outdoors after frost. Plant tubers 2 to 3 inches deep in the prepared planting site or pot.
The primary care consideration is water. Depending on weather conditions, alocasia can require frequent irrigation. Water when the top 1/2 inch of soil begins to dry.
Alocasia benefits from slow-release fertilizer applied every two months during the growing season. Use a fertilizer formulated for foliage plants and apply it at the package-recommended rate. Spider mites might infest the leaves.