Herself's Houston Garden

Conservation through cultivation

African mask aka Elephant’s Ear ( Alocasia amazonica )

Alocasia amazonica aka African Mask aka Elephant\'s Ear

Alocasia amazonica aka African Mask aka Elephant\'s Ear

This is one of the cooler alocasias and the one I had the most difficult time finding. It can reach 2′ in height and will have a spread of a foot or two. It is really out of its range here in north Houston, only being rated to zone 9 for hardiness. Central and south Houston should have no trouble with this plant.

Plant in full to part shade. Some claim full sun kills it, others that it thrives in full sun. Mine’s in mostly shade. Tend to err on more water rather than less with this plant especially when we get our summer dry spell. It does not like to be dry. It is also prone to rotting if we have a cool/cold wet spell.

It does bloom occasionally, if its really happy and can send up pups. It should fill out rather quickly once it is settled in to your garden and form a dense clump.

It will die back once temperatures fall into the 40’s. They will rot if damp and cold.

This is a finicky plant and a challenge for most of us unless you are lucky. But it is cool enough to be worth the trouble.

Keep an eye out for spider mites.

This plant is native to south east Asia.

Some critter kept trying to make off with this plant, I had to stake it into the ground.

This plant died a sudden death late June. I am not sure if it is the heat or lack of rain that did it in?

I have it planted in a bog garden now, just in case it resurrects itself. It didn’t the cold and wet turned the bulb to mush over the winter.

I’d plant this in a planter and put the planter in a pond if I were to try it again.