How to prune elephant ear plant?

The elephant ear is sparsely trimmed

Image – Wikimedia/David J. Stang

Is the elephant ear trimmed? This is a question that can arise, especially when we see that our factory is getting very big, and even more so if we have it inside. And the answer is yes, but you have to keep in mind that the pruning that will be done to this plant has nothing to do with what would be done to a tree, for example, since they are two types of plant beings different. .

So let’s see how to carve an elephant earwith what tools, and when is the best time to do it.

When should elephant ear be pruned?

Elephant ear is a rarely pruned plant

Image – Flickr/Henryr10

Let’s start talking about it, because if we can plant the elephant ear at a time when we shouldn’t, it could end up being damaged. And for this, it is necessary to understand that the elephant ear is a plant of tropical origin, which when grown in a region with a temperate climate, it grows in spring, summer and perhaps a little in the fall whether it has mild or warm temperatures.

For plants, the simple fact of growing implies a great circulation of sap through the conductive vessels (their “veins”): from the roots to the leaves, and vice versa. For it, never prune an elephant ear -or any other plant- in the middle of the growing season, because it would lose a lot of sap; And not only that, but bugs could be attracted to the smell of sores, which could cause a lot of trouble.

So when do you prune? Our protagonist is very sensitive to low temperatures; in fact, this is one of the reasons why it is grown more as a houseplant than an outdoor plant. But it is also, if we cut it in autumn or winter, we risk that it suffers a lot, because the fresh air would enter inside, thus cooling the cells and causing them to become damaged, or worse, die.

So it is best to prune it in the spring, as soon as it settles; that is, as soon as we begin to see that the maximum temperatures increase and the minimum temperatures remain equal to or greater than 15-18 ºC.

What tools to use?

Plant secateurs

It won’t take much for us to carve our elephant ear, just the following:

  • Some rubber gloves (like those used for washing dishes): It is a plant whose sap is toxic, and if it comes into contact with a wound, even a very small one, it can cause irritation and redness.
  • Some anvil pruners: these must be clean, and for this we can clean them with water and dishwashing liquid, like the Fairy. Then we will dry them well. You can buy them here if you don’t have any.

How to prune the elephant ear?

The elephant ear is pruned in the spring

Image – Wikimedia/Fanghong

To carve the elephant ear, you must first know something very important: this plant is a weed, and therefore, if you cut a stem in half, what will happen is that it will diebecause it does not have the ability to produce shoots from the remaining half.

Therefore, pruning should consist only of elimination of dry leaves, and if you want also those that are yellowishbecause these will not regain their green color.

The scissors will be placed as close as possible to the “trunk” (it is actually a false trunk), and a clean cut will be made. Sometimes, if the leaves are already very dry, it will be possible to remove them by hand, pulling them gently but firmly; but come on, if you prefer, you can cut them with scissors and thus prevent the false trunk from being damaged as it would happen if the blade were pulled sharply.

Can something be done so that the elephant ear does not grow so much?

Elephant ear is a large-leaved plant

Related article:

How to take care of Elephant Ear?

Elephant ear can reach a height of 5 meters and develop leaves up to 1 meter long. Its false trunk remains however always thin, measuring at most 20 centimeters thick. But these dimensions are only achieved when planted in the ground, and as long as it is hot and it rains frequently. That’s to say, if you are going to have it in a pot, it will never measure 5 meters because the lack of space will prevent it from growing as much.

Therefore, you do not have to worry too much about it, because it is very easy to keep it in a container throughout its life. The roots it has aren’t very strong either, so they can’t break the pot. Now I recommend planting it in a bigger one every 3 years, because if it is not transplanted at the end, the lack of space and nutrients will weaken its health.

Pruning elephant ears is very easy, so hopefully your plant will look pretty.

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