Alocasia ‘Portodora Shield’

Elephant Ear
Large, tropical, ruffled green leaves are upheld. Suckers. Develops a short trunk in time. If grown outdoors in frosty colder areas plant will defoliate in winter. Moist well drained soil.
height 5–9ft
width 3–5ft
tolerates Heat, Moist Soil, Pots
Moderate – High
In nature these plants grow along waterways or in flooding areas, so they want to be deeply saturated when you water them in your home or garden. They prefer to remain wet for several days, even standing in water, before they begin to dry out. They can even be grown in a pot that is within a water element, as long as it is not fully submerged and has excellent drainage.

These plants will survive considerable drought. They do this by defoliating and retaining energy stored in their tuberous roots and stems. Once water returns they leaf out and resume growth.
exposure Full Shade – Part Shade
In or Out
drainage In Ground: Planting Mix, In Pots: Potting Soil
fertilizing All Purpose
origin Hybrid
8, 9, 12, 13, 16–24, H2

Sunset Zones Map


Growing Notes

Elephant ears provide a wide, tropical element in landscapes. Not all are hardy even in our mildest California climates see the hardiness information on your plant for more information.
Older leaves can be pruned off when they begin to shrivel and dry up.
Elephant ears are physically delicate and leaves show small tears and rips when they are located near high traffic areas.

Special Interest

While some make a tasty snack when *cooked* (yes, Colocasia esculenta is the taro you see in Asian and Pacific cuisines!), not all species are edible, and in fact some are poisonous, so best not to dish up your elephant ear.

More Info

This plant is also easy to grow in humid rooms indoors. Try and avoid areas near heating vents, radiators, or AC, which can cause brown tipping on the leaves and lead to pests. Elephant ears are plants known for something called guttation, which means pushing extra water from the leaf tips. This is a quirky feature of the plant world, and one that can be problematic if your plant is over hardwood flooring. Keep your eye out for guttation, which will usually occur in the days after watering.
These plants grow from the center/top; as the older leaves move toward the bottom, they will turn brown and shrivel up. This is the normal growth of the plant and should not be a concern. Cut off the older leaves as they start to brown, or leave them as the plant would grow in nature.
The leaves are very delicate and susceptible to physical damage at even the lightest touch, so make sure they are somewhere they will not be bumped and be extra careful moving them. Cats love love love to play with these, and will quickly shred the delicate leaves.
These plants will often sucker from the base. It will not hurt the plant to remove these pups, and it will keep the plant from getting too wide. If the pups have small roots, they are easily propagated when you remove them.
Elephant ears naturally defoliate when it is too cold or dry, so if yours loses its leaves it is not a lost cause. The leaves may come back when the plant is returned to its optimal growth conditions.