I have a pretty large elephant's ear, that @Stephie helped me identify some weeks ago in this question. As you can see in one of the pictures there, one of the leaves is already not looking very great. Since then it has become much worse, with the flower on that part getting all weak.

I think I did a good job so far. The plant was in a reasonably lit area, with a few hours of direct sunlight every day. I've moved it in a more prominent spot right in front of a window for now, but I want to make sure I'm doing the right thing.

  • The air in my appartment is pretty dry, I keep temperatures between 17ºC at night and 20.5ºC by day.
  • I water the plant once a week, a little over a liter each time.
  • It's potted in ground that doesn't hold a lot of moist.

Am I doing something wrong? Here are the pictures:

very yellow leaf sad flower

Note, it's on an oven right now, but that's just temporary as this is the sunniest spot that I have available.


2 Answers 2


I just double-checked with my local "Elephant's-Ear-Pro" (aka my Mom):

One litre of water a week might be too much, try "forgetting" to water occasionally. The plant deals well with drought.

Rule of thumb: The less you fuss, the better they will thrive. The plant has a reputation as "perfect for the sloppy gardener" ;-)

Occasional wilting of a leaf or two ist fine, let it dry up totally, then gently remove from the base. The flower might be just "done" or had too much water. If you really, really worry and want to be sure, check the roots for mold and rotten parts, prune & replant if necessary.

  • 1
    I'll just leave it for a while then. Thank your mom for me! Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 9:49
  • Take it out of sunlight, they're not keen on it, they need bright daylight rather than sun.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 23:56

That's NOT an Elephant Ear. . . . It's a Haemanthus albiflos more commonly known as a Blood lily or a Paintbrush lily. They like WELL DRAINED soil and do best in a rock garden. Depending of the species it will want full sun or part shade. An Elephant Ear bears extremely large leaves ( up to 3 feet long and almost as wide ). The leaves bear a resemblance to an actual Elephant's ear, hence the name. I have entered a picture of an Elephant Ear in the response.

The Blood lily (or Paintbrush lily), which you have, is a completely different species from an Elephant Ear, and comes from the southern regions of Africa.

Hope this helps!

enter image description here

  • 2
    Elephant ear is a common name in some parts of the world for Haemanthus - it's also a common name for the Colocasia you've shown here. Which demonstrates neatly why common names are a pain in the proverbial - no one ever knows what anyone else is talking about ....
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jun 19, 2016 at 0:35

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