Bring the tropics indoors with a feature plant that really likes to listen! Okay, technically, it doesn’t have ears, but the leaves of this tropical species do closely resemble elephant ears. Their resemblance is so uncanny, that they are commonly known by this name. Elephant ears (Alocasia spp.) are available in variety of sizes, colours and textures. The larger leaf form are popularly used indoors to hide those ‘not so nice’ looking corners of the room, whereas the smaller varieties are great for adding a little variety to benches, tables or used as low understory plantings. With the wide variety currently available and their easy care nature, you are sure to find a variety that will be music to your ears

How to grow elephant ears in a pot

  1. Choose a pot at least twice the size of the original pot. Position in a well-lit indoors, but away from direct sunlight. 
  2. Partially fill your chosen planter with quality potting mix, such as Yates Specialty Potting Mix Indoor Plants & Ferns.
  3. Remove the plant from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any encircled or tangled roots.  
  4. Position in pot and backfill with potting mix, gently firming down. Water in well. 
  5. Protect your plants from fungus gnats by applying a layer of Yates Gnat Barrier to the top of the potting mix.
  6. Water occasionally, allowing the plant to near dry out between waterings. 
  7. Feed fortnightly from spring to autumn with Yates Thrive Indoor Plants & Ferns Liquid Plant Food or use Yates Thrive Plant Food Spikes Plants & Ferns which feeds for up to 2 months. 

How to grow elephant ears in a garden

  1. Choose a well-drained, partly shaded spot in the garden and prepare the planting area well by digging in Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root ball. Remove the plant from the container, gently tease the roots. 
  3. Position in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down. Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes.
  4. Mulch lightly with an organic mulch, such as bark chips, sugar cane or pea straw and water in well. 
  5. Water once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions to keep the soil lightly moist.  
  6. Feed regularly from spring to autumn with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser.

Growing tips

  • Keep the leaves clean by wiping with a damp cloth.

  • Elephants ears can be easily propagated through division. When the clumps are overcrowded (usually after a couple of years), carefully remove from the pot or ground and using a clean sharp knife, separate them into manageable clumps. 

  • Remove dead stems from the base of the plant to encourage a clean well groomed appearance.  

  • When grown indoors In winter, keep the soil on the dry side as they don’t like having too much water near their base during their dormant period. 

  • Our favourite Elephant ears include: 
    - African Beauty (Azebrina) – Large green, glossy leaves with zebra-like striped stems. 
    - Polly amazonica (Alowii) – These little gems are popular on their own in a lovely pot where their deep green leaves with the deep and intricate white veins just pop!

Project guides & articles

Rubber Plant

Perfect plants for beginner indoor gardeners as they’re super tough, have large glossy leaves and grow quickly into an impressive indoor specimen.

ZZ Plant

There's an exciting newcomer on the indoor plant scene - a very hardy and attractive - looking plant called ZZ plant

Umbrella Tree

Umbrella Tree (Schefflera actinophylla 'Amate Soleil') is a cultivar that can be grown indoors in a pot.


Looking for a plant with style? One that is easy to care for & comes in a variety of colour shades? If the answer is yes, then the Syngonium.