I bought 20 elephant ear bulbs a few years ago from our local Sam’s Club. I planted them, and they grew.
Those legs belong to 5’4″ me. They grew taller then our house! We love them. So being the only family in the neighborhood with HUGE elephant ears was not enough. After all, elephant ears are only around during hot weather, so what about the other 4 months?
Take a deep breath because we have SOLVED THE PROBLEM! Mortar.
You can have elephant ears year round in your yard by mounding up some sand so the ear is supported when flipped on its face. I found damp sand works best, and please, pat the sand down hard. Lay down a sheet of plastic, dump the sand on it, and begin. Cut yourself an ear leaving about 6″ or so of the stem. Pick a nice ear, get that sand mounded to custom fit your elephant ear, and place it face side down on the sand. Mix mortar (NOT CEMENT) so it is kind of like peanut butter or greek yoghurt. Pile the mortar on the back side of the leaf being careful to avoid getting it on the sand, and making sure it is at least 2″ thick on the edges. Do a little gentle slapping on the mortar like you are burping a baby to get rid of air and make sure all your mortar is one. The stem will stick out. This will allow water to drain out so you don’t become a mosquito farmer. If you want to make it a bird bath, you can plug the stem hole or just cut the stem off before putting the mortar on. I’d plug the hole if it was left up to me. I am not a fan of mosquitoes. Let it dry and cure for 2 days. If it is going to rain, cover it with plastic.
2 days later, up it on its back and take the now dead leaf off. You will see loads of veins, and the ruffles of the leaf. Pretty cool! You are not done yet….
This is what they look like painted black, then by mixing metallic powder pigment (available at Michael’s) with Polyacrylic and brushing it on, you get this beauty. This is the same leaf as the one above it.
Now you can have elephant ears year round!
One more tip, wear rubber gloves to work with mortar.