How To Stake Elephant Ear Plant (Alocasia) - Shiny Plant

How To Stake Elephant Ear Plant (Alocasia)

It is common practice to provide support for elephant ear plants grown in outside gardens by staking them, but staking is also a smart idea for many houseplants grown indoors. Elephant ear plants often acquire frail, lanky stems due to the constrained area and rich potting mix of an indoor container.

This is because elephant ear plants grow extremely fast in these conditions. Under these conditions, it is quite likely that it will be essential to stake up your elephant ear plants.

There are many reasons to stake up indoor houseplants, and one of them is rapid growth. The elephant ear plant is an example of a plant that is naturally top-heavy and so has to be supported with stakes. In this article, you will find a step-by-step guide to stake elephant ear plants.

When to stake up

Stake Elephant Ear Plants

It is preferable to position the stake while the plant is still relatively young and is still actively hunting for support. This is true regardless of the kind of stake that you are employing. In point of fact, you may plant the specimen while simultaneously positioning the stake or support within the container it will be grown in.

This approach eliminates the risk of causing harm to the plant’s roots, which is a potential risk when driving stakes or supports into the roots of an established and mature elephant ear plant.

Keep in mind that the majority of elephant ear plants that are staked for climbing will need periodic pruning. Check the individual elephant ear plant profiles to see whether or not your plant needs to be pruned.

How to Stake in the pots

Where you have to grow your elephant ear plants. I mean is it in a pot or outside on the ground? 

If you have grown your plant outside in the garden or yard then it is ok. In-ground elephant ear stems or branches get stronger every year.

But, if you are growing your elephant ear plant in a pot and it is needing staking. Then you have to report it before staking. 

Let me clarify. 

Your elephant ear leaves too heavy or it is overgrown and it is hanging. Repotting or transplanting your plant into a larger pot will give them space to strengthen its root system so that its roots do not come out of the pot and grow happily. Staking helps to support elephant ear plants so that they do not get bend or hung and lose their shape.

Position of the stake

It is recommended that the stake be positioned near one of the pot’s edges rather than positioned in the middle of the pot itself. Instead of allowing the plant to grow uncontrolled, this will offer the plant more area to expand and make it simpler to exhibit the plant with a “good” side.

How to repot indoor elephant ear plant

As we discussed, repotting is important before staking. So, let’s see step by step how to re-pot elephant ear plants from small to larger pots. 

Take a medium or large pot in comparison to your existing pot. Fill 2 inches of the large pot with pebbles or small stones. This will ensure that your plant gets good drainage. Also, the pot must have adequate drainage holes to drain out excess water from the pot. 

Bad drainage can cause lots of diseases in the plant which can stunt or kill its growth.

On the top of the pebble spread 4 inches of soil mix. You can use potting mix soil (mixed with good nutrients).

Take out the root clump of the elephant ear plant from the small pot. Put it into a new pot, place root clumps near the pot’s edge (not in the center), and fill all the space around with the soil.

Press the soil using your finger downwards to settle the soil to the bottom. This will ensure that the soil does not have extra space.

How to stake elephant ear plant with Moss Pole

Credit: the spruce

After repotting it’s time to stake the elephant ear plant. There are many methods to stake elephant ear plants such as wire, a long-thick wooden stick, and a cage around the base (common in vegetables). 

But, staking an elephant ear plant with a moss pole is the best method. I have done this with my plant and it works absolutely fine. 

Indeed, other methods will also work but they are not effective because elephant ear plants keep growing big leaves. Your stake support should be strong to keep it straight. 

So, I recommend you should invest in a moss pole to stake your elephant ear plant. 

As we discuss, using a Moss Pole to stake an elephant ear plant is an ideal alternative. I will discuss only these methods step by step.

I’m assuming that you have a Moss Pole in your hand and you are ready to do the work. You can also use a DIY mole pole.

  • Plant the moss pole in the corner of the pot, away from the base of the elephant ear plant. Many people make the mistake of planting a stake in the center of the pot or too close to the base of the plant.
  • Use a strong rope or thread to tie the stem of the hanging leaves with the moss pole. 
  • The reason for using a moss pole is to avoid sliding thread or rope from the stake. If you try to use a simple wooden stick, either you have to tie the stem too tight to the stalk or it will slide down.
  • Moss pole has a rough surface that will resist tied rope from sliding and also its thickness provides strong support. 
  • Tie the leaves stem loosely with the use of the rope. Do not tie them too tightly as the leaves move toward light and keep expanding. Tie the stems loosely so that the leaves hang a bit that get upright. So that they can receive good indirect light.
Credit: The Spruce
  • You have to tie every hanging leaf with a different rope. Do not try to tie two or three big leaves with one rope. However, if the plant produced small leaves you can tie these young leaves with one rope (delicately).
  • This will take from a half hour to an hour, depending on how large and how many elephant ear plants you have.
  • After staking your elephant ear plant will look stunning. Upright leaves and bright-shiny leaves will spread happiness in the surrounding.
  • For a good start, water the soil to make it moist. Water thoroughly, till water starts draining from the drainage hole. Place the pot in the indirect light. You can place them where they get indirect sunlight or underneath a lamp. 
  • Your elephant ear plant will get established in the new pot in 1 to 2 weeks and start growing again (if it’s growing season).

Why are Elephant ear stems bending?

According to The Practical Planter, Your Elephant’s ear stems bends mainly for five reasons.

  • Its leaves getting too heavier- Elephant ear plant leaves get so huge and heavy that they begin to droop or bend simply because they are too heavy to stand upright. If your elephant ear plant looks healthy with large green leaves, then its big leaf size is the issue. But, don’t worry, you can easily stake an elephant ear plant from the above steps in the post.
  • Lack of watering– You might water elephant ear plants properly or miss some of the watering seasons. When elephant ear plants do not get adequate water they start drooping and look less healthy than usual.
  • Poort soil: Many times elephant ear stems bend because of poor soil conditions. They need rich-well drained soil which retains moisture for a longer period of time. If you start soil that gets dried quickly it will cause issues. You can use a thick layer of mulch above the soil to retain moisture or water for a longer period. Also, feed them some fertilizer for long-lasting growth.
  • Improper light: Sometimes elephant ear plants do not grow best or start drooping because of wrong sunlight conditions. Ideally, Alocasia needs indirect sunlight for at least 6-8 hours. Avoid placing your alocasia in direct sunlight because it can burn its leaves. Another sign of poor light, is its leaves turning yellow. If this happens place the pot in indirect light (Near the windowsill) to recover.
  • Cool Temperatures: Elephant ear plants also don’t do well in cold conditions because they are tropical plants. In the winter it’s better to bring your elephant ear plant indoors. To protect from the chill wind. Alocasia is comfortable in temperatures between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. You can read my article on how to care for elephant ear plants for more tips.

Should you Stake Alocasia?

Yes, you should stake your Alocasia plant. Alocasia is another name for the elephant ear plant, so the steps are similar as I explained.

How to keep elephant ears upright?

To keep the elephant ear plants upright, you have to stake them properly. Hust follows the steps in the post.

Do elephant ears need to be staked?

Yes, elephant ears plants need to be staked when grown in the pot. Staking helps to keep their large heavy leaves spring.

Final thoughts

Staking elephant ear plants is not difficult. You may struggle if you are a new gardener, but it is fun doing it. I hope you found this article helpful. Comment the name of the elephant ear plant variety you’re growing. (I love to know)

You can bookmark the article for future reference. Share it in your gardening community to help other gardeners’ friends. Thank you for visiting my site.

Happy Gardening 🙂 

Read another article Plants that look similar to elephant ear plants.