My Pet Elephant*

This summer I did a good deal of gardening. I came across a large inexpensive planter and was inspired to grow an elephant ear bulb for the first time.  I was intrigued by the idea that I could make a small investment (I think I paid around $7.00) and get a long lasting “pet” of a plant.  My elephant started as a softball sized root ball and I put it in the center and planted Caladium around it.

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Here is the planter after one month.

The planter lived on this ugly cement slab in my backyard on the south east side of the house.  It required daily watering and regular feeding to get the leaves to measure up to 20 inches long and shoulder height (I regret I did not get a photo of it when it was large) but it was a cheerful companion in the garden and did a nice job of adding some lushness and covering up an ugly recycling hopper.

I understood that after a hard frost I could bring in the root ball and plant it again next year.  I watched a couple YouTube videos to get some instructions.  This was the most useful.

Here are some photos of what I found on October 21st in Michigan so I went to dig up my Elephant.

I wanted to overwinter the Caladiums however many were missing and the ones I found were slimy.  If you look closely you will be able to see the multiple off shoots that grew from the one bulb that gives me hope that I will have a lot of plant growth next year.

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So my Elephant is going to hang out in this box in the basement for the winter.  I am going to check on it frequently to make sure it is not too moist or too dry etc and then leave it alone.  Fingers crossed.

Wish me luck.

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