The elephant ears for sale here at Plant Delights Nursery differ from the mundane, green box-store types. We offer many new and hard-to-find colocasia selections with unique...
Read More About Colocasia
...colorful leaves and stems. Whether you are looking for a chartreuse, red, or black elephant ear, we have what you want...even variegated elephant ears. We are particularly excited to offer the new Royal Hawaiian® series of colocasia for sale from Hawaiian elephant ear breeder, Dr. John Cho. Although Colocasia esculenta is the main species grown in gardens, we also offer other hard to find exotic species of elephant ear plants including Colocasia gigantea, Colocasia fallax, and Colocasia affinis.
Elephant ears are heavy feeders, so if your plant isn't growing enough, you either need more heat or more nutrition. Although suitable for soggy conditions, the cold-hardiness of colocasia is increased in soil that is not soggy during the winter.
Elephant ear tubers eventually work their way upward through the soil, so every few years, re-bury your elephant ears at least 6" deep to ensure winter hardiness. Where elephant ears remain in the ground over winter, they will be quite late to re-emerge in late spring or early summer, unless covered with 3-6" of mulch in early fall. A few of the newer colocasia cultivars do not form large tubers and, if dug in winter, cannot be stored dry due to a lack of adequate food reserves. These small-tubered elephant ears are best over-wintered in containers in a cool basement or garage that remains 15-20 degrees above freezing.
Elephant ears will not take a notion to grow vigorously until the summer temperatures escalate into the upper 80's...just like real elephants, elephant ears like it hot. Like many semi-tropical plants that have some cold hardiness, elephant ears should be well established prior to the onset of cold weather. If you buy colocasia for your garden, then it is better to do so earlier in the year rather than later. Try pairing your elephant ears with other bold tropicals like canna, musa, hedychium, bog plants like hymenocallis or sarracenia or with complementary plants like ornamental grasses, echinacea, crinum, or iris.
Plant Delights Nursery has one of the largest collections of new, unusual, and rare elephant ears on the market today. If you are looking to buy elephant ears, please check out our list of colocasia for sale below!
Since 1988, Plant Delights Nursery has been the choice of serious gardeners and plant collectors looking for the best and rarest perennial plants. We are pleased to have received the Perennial Plant Association Retail Award in 2011, the American Horticulture Society Commercial Award in 2002, and to have been selected as one of the Best Mail Order Plant Sources - Garden Design Magazine 2010. Welcome to our family of plant lovers!
Colocasia affinis 'Jenningsii' is a charming but little-known dwarf elephant ear, loved for its picture-perfect, velvety charcoal leaf face with central charcoal veining and a giant silver blotch in the center of each leaf. Most material sold as this is actually Colocasia antiquorum 'Illustris' (no central silver pattern and green veins). This 18" tall, light shade and moisture-loving species has proven to be a superb garden plant. Throughout the summer, the dense clumps are also adorned with small flowers of the yellow spathes and spadix persuasion. Colocasia 'Jenningsii' goes dormant just before the fall freeze and resprouts in late June, so don't panic! Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Several years ago, we received a shipment of Colocasia from India of which most were inferior to plants we already grew. After several years of trials, one plant stood out that we are now able to share. Colocasia 'Blackwater' is similar to Colocasia 'Fontanesii' with glossy, jet black stems rising to 6' tall. The stems are topped with glossy, dark olive-green leaves that are much darker and narrower, with a longer leaf tip than Colocasia 'Fontanesii'. It spreads rapidly via black snake-like rhizomes that lay on top of the ground. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Colocasia 'Coffee Cups' was discovered in the wild by Indonesian botanist, Gregory Hambali and brought to the US by aroid expert, Alan Galloway. Colocasia 'Coffee Cups' makes a stunning 6' tall clump of Colocasia 'Fontanesii'-like leaves (glossy olive green) with a dark purple-black stem. The unique feature is the dramatic leaf cupping, even more dramatic than Colocasia 'Big Dipper'. As the leaf fills with water, the stem gives enough for the leaf to dump out its catch before refilling...fascinating. Obviously, it performs best in freshly ground soil. Colocasia 'Coffee Cups' sends out above-ground runners...but only in the fall. Most of the plants previously sold in the US under this name are actually Colocasia 'Big Dipper'. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
This unusual elephant ear appears to be a mutation from Colocasia esculenta 'Burgundy Stem'. The 6' tall purple-black stems are topped with grey-green, matte-finished leaves that are initially held horizontal before they mature to a more vertical angle. The unique effect is that the leaves can actually hold quite a bit of water. When the leaves have too much water, they dump the excess and then return to horizontal to catch more...fascinating! This is a very vigorous cultivar producing lots of black snake-like runners atop the ground...great for propagating and loads of fun when friends get drunk. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(aka: Colocasia 2006-147) We are thrilled to offer the most incredible elephant ear yet from the breeding program of Hawaii's Dr. John Cho. Colocasia 'Black Coral' represents an amazing breeding breakthrough, forming a 3.5' tall clump of very glossy, jet black leaves with heavy corrugation. We originally tossed around the name "Exxon Valdez," since it looks like someone covered the leaves in crude oil...amazing! We have had this on trial since 2007 and I guarantee that visitors will stop in their tracks over this one. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(aka: Colocasia 'Jet Black Wonder' ) Colocasia 'Black Magic' was discovered in the wilds of the Philippines as a dark sport in an all green patch by collectors from a Queensland Australia botanical garden. They subsequently shared plants with California's Walter Pagels, who first introduced Colocasia 'Black Magic' to the US. Colocasia 'Black Magic' is a four exclamation point plant with dusty, solid purple-black 2' long spectacular leaves...especially great for designers who love purples and blacks! Colocasia 'Black Magic' makes a giant clump to 5-6' tall with a similar spread. When grown in plenty of sun in climates with warm summers, Colocasia 'Black Magic' should survive 0 degrees F. The tubers eventually rise to the soil surface, and must be reset deeper every couple of years to ensure winter survival. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Move over 'Black Magic'...another member of the family has arrived. Colocasia 'Black Runner' is a first cousin and probably a mutation of the popular Colocasia 'Black Magic'. Colocasia 'Black Runner' makes a stunning 5' tall clump with 2' long leaves that emerge more of a black-purple than Colocasia 'Black Magic'. Its leaf edges are also much more ruffled than its cousin. The biggest difference, however, is the black, snake-like runners creeping along the ground, pegging into moist soil every few inches and sending up another plant. This is a superb new introduction that will soon find its way into gardens around the world. As with most elephant ears, moist soil and high nutrition are the keys to great specimens. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(aka: Colocasia 2005-24) There's nothing blue about this 2008 John Cho hybrid, except for you if you don't get one before we sell out. The medium green, 12" long leaves are highlighted by the most dramatic purple veins we've ever seen on an elephant ear. On the leaf back, the veins are equally dramatic, only cranberry instead of purple. This small elephant ear tops out for us at only 30" tall...perfect for a smaller location. Remember, rich moist soil grows the best elephant ears. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Several years ago, we received plants from India as Colocasia antiquorum. One exceptional clone was later christened Colocasia 'Coal Miner'. In appearance, Colocasia 'Coal Miner' looks like a larger version of Colocasia 'Illustris' except for emerging 2 months earlier (late March in NC), and not spreading underground as vigorously as Colocasia 'Illustris'. The black leaf pattern is similar to Colocasia 'Illustris', but the background leaf color is quite different (dark olive vs. medium green) and the emerging new leaves have a stunning velvet patina. For us, Colocasia 'Coal Miner' tops out at 54" tall, while Colocasia 'Illustris' only reaches 40" for us. I think you will agree that Colocasia 'Coal Miner' is worth excavating a new hole. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(aka: Colocasia 2005-17) Colocasia 'Diamond Head' is another 2008 release from John Cho's breeding program that takes elephant ears to a whole new level. With this introduction, John has been able to combine the color of Colocasia 'Black Magic' with the glossy leaf surface usually seen only in alocasias. The 15" long, glossy, chocolate-black, lightly ruffled-edged leaves compose a well-behaved 4' tall clump. Remember, rich moist soil grows the best elephant ears. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Named after the rare Hawaiian flycatcher bird, this very rare, small-growing elephant ear is one of the classic old Hawaiian cultivars. Colocasia 'Elepaio' makes a small, 3' tall clump of green foliage that is heavily spotted with white paint-like flecks. This unstable chimeral variegation pattern often results in some leaves that are half green and half white. Colocasia esculenta 'Elepaio' is a true curiosity and what we call a "fun" plant for the garden. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(aka: Colocasia 2005-23) Colocasia 'Hawaiian Eye' is a 2008 John Cho introduction that makes a 4' tall non-running clump, composed of large 18" long leaves that emerge black with silver-grey veins. As the leaves of Colocasia 'Hawaiian Eye' age, they morph to grey-green, each highlighted by a dark central eye of purple radiating out into the leaf. Each leaf is further highlighted by a narrow purple border and a great backside as the veins on the reverse appear to be bright cranberry. The glossy jet black stem is a stunning contrast to both the leaves and the bright yellow flowers in late summer. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Colocasia 'Hawaiian Punch' is a 2012 release from the Royal Hawaiian Elephant Ear series from Hawaii's John Cho. For us, Colocasia 'Hawaiian Punch' has made a very compact clump to only 3' tall with glossy green leaves and bright red stems. If you're looking for an elephant ear that stays a bit smaller than most while adding great stem color, Colocasia 'Hawaiian Punch' is your plant! Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(aka: Colocasia 2005-05) Colocasia 'Hilo Bay' is a 2008 introduction from the breeding program of Hawaii's John Cho. Colocasia 'Hilo Bay' makes a unique 4' tall specimen with thick, dark chocolate stems, each ending with a 20" olive green leaf. Each thick textured and heavily corrugated leaf with upturned edges is reminiscent of the volcanic rock at Hilo Bay...very unique. This selection spreads slightly, but nothing like the older more aggressive cultivars. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
I hope you've got your beanstalk planted 'cause 'Jack's Giant' is here. We received our original plant from Jack de Vroomen of Marlboro Bulb Company, who brought this to us from Costa Rica. The tuber was much larger and shaped differently from other Colocasia esculenta forms we had grown. In our garden, the plants easily reached 7' tall, even in a very dry section, with medium green leaves similar to typical Colocasia esculenta. We are pretty sure this is a triploid form, which should increase winter hardiness. Remember, rich organic soils that are moist during the growing season result in the best growth. Despite the lack of calories, we hope you'll enjoy supersizing your garden! Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Colocasia 'Kona Coffee' represents the 2011 introduction from master breeder, Dr. John Cho of Hawaii. This is the first dwarf plant from John's work, and could best be described as a dwarf Colocasia 'Diamond Head'. The 2' tall, fast-offsetting tight clump is topped all summer with glossy brown, coffee-colored leaves. Colocasia 'Kona Coffee' makes a great container plant or addition to the garden where it can be used en masse with contrasting colors. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
This new PDN introduction is a solid gold leaf sport from Alan Galloway's Colocasia 'Limeade'. Although similar to Colocasia 'Elena' in color, Colocasia 'Lemonade' has proven to be far superior in our winter hardiness trials. Despite our record-setting summers, the massive 7' clumps looked great in full sun...as long as the soil remained moist. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
This new Alan Galloway elephant ear introduction has been diagnosed as borderline schizophrenic...some leaves are dark green with chartreuse yellow flecks, while others have large sectors of yellow in between the green. In addition to the leaves are the cool leaf petioles which are heavily striped green and yellow. Alan discovered Colocasia esculenta 'Lime Aide' while ditch-hopping in the Philippines...another reason for expanding this botanical pastime. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
We are very pleased to offer another 2012 elephant ear release from John Cho's Royal Hawaiian colocasia series. Colocasia 'Maui Gold' is the first clumping gold leaf colocasia to hit the market, forming a tight clump of stems that arch to 4', each ending in a large chartreuse golden leaf, highlighted by a small purple dot where the petiole connects. Colocasia 'Maui Gold' serves as a nice foil to the black elephant ears such as Colocasia 'Black Coral'. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
If you're looking to add another wild and crazy elephant ear to your garden, drink up. Colocasia 'Mojito' (pronounced "Mo-he-toe") is a sport of Colocasia 'Burgundy Stem' via Colocasia 'Black Marble', discovered at Florida's Agristarts. Named after the popular Cuban mixed drink, the amazing leaves are medium green with dark purple flecks throughout...just too cool! In moist, rich soils, you can expect the clump to reach 3', less in drier sites. Although winter-hardy in Zone 7b, the central tuber will often die in the low teens F, so to get larger-sized plants, mulch well in winter to save the central tuber. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)