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How Often Do You Water Elephant Ears?

Elephant ears, also known as Colocasia is a large-leaved indoor plant that is mostly used for décor purposes. It took its name from having a similar appearance to an elephant’s ears. Its origin is from Southeast Asia, China. 

The bright side about this plant is being fast-growing and comes in a few shades (mostly green), green or white variegated, and purple-black. Besides, its large leaves can grow up to 9.8 feet tall, 4.9 feet long, and 3.2 feet wide. 

Elephant ears are known to be one of the lowest maintaining plants because you can put the least effort and still can make the plant glow. They can grow in sun and partial shade despite being a tropical plant.

Another cool thing about elephant ears is their help in medical use. They treat insect stings, all you have to do is rub in the area for a couple of minutes to keep swelling from happening.

How Often Do You Water Elephant Ears?

Throughout the growing season, it would be ideal to water elephant ears once a week. How often should you water depends on the season, you cannot expect to use the same amount of water during summer and winter times.

On hot sunny days, the plant may require watering 2 times a week. You don’t have to water if the soil is wet and soft or if the plant was outdoors and regularly was exposed to rainfall.

Indoor plants like elephant ears are slightly distinct from other houseplants that do desire a lot of watering. If I give you a piece of advice, it would be to let the soil dry a little bit before watering rather than watering too regularly. Elephant ears are tropical plants, they can go along really well with dryness.

How Much Do You Water Elephant Ears?

Watering 2-3 inches deep will be enough for elephant ears. If you’re in doubt about whether to water or not, please don’t, it is a tropical plant, they are used to less watering, otherwise overwatering will be a problem.

During winter, the plant goes through the dormant phase and it doesn’t need much watering. It will absorb the water from moisture. Remember, keep the humidity above average.

In the first week only, you need to water the elephant ears every day, when it’s established a little bit, the soil will feel dampened.

Fun fact: In case you overwater elephant ears, it is considered as crying because the excess water starts to drip from the tip of the leaf.

Signs of Overwatering/Underwatering Elephant Ears & How to Fix?


Your elephant ear plant will suffer if overwatering happens, that’s pretty obvious. The plant does consume a healthy quantity of water, but too much of it will stress your plant out.

When the soil becomes saturated, the water becomes clogged, and there is insufficient airflow over the plant. Your plant isn’t able to effectively absorb water because the roots do not have enough air circulation.

You have overwatered if you see either tiny yellow spots close to the roots or black, dark brown, or yellow spots on the leaves.

Another sign of overwatering is root rotting, which is noticeable by a rotten odor emanating from the roots.

How to fix: let the plant dry out for 2 inches deep before watering, change your regular schedule of watering, and if you encounter. 


One of the obvious signs of underwatering is when leaves turn yellowish or fall off. It seems like somebody has missed some watering session, but no worries, as I said previously, it’s a tropical plant that recuperates over time with good care.

How to fix: create a watering diary, this way you won’t miss the schedule and prevent random unnecessary watering.

Elephant Ears Watering Tips

  • Touching the soil before watering can prevent overwatering, if it’s not completely dry, postpone watering.
  • Soak or wet thoroughly the soil.
  • Water early in the morning rather than at night, so the soil can hydrate itself before the temperature raises in the following hours of the day and the sun dries the soil out.
  • If you prefer the elephant ears in a gardening pot, it is preferred to water more often.
  • Fertilization should happen once a month with water-soluble 20-20-20. What can we do, this beautiful plant needs more feeding.
  • Saturate the solid surface around the elephant ears.
  • Watering should be from the bottom/base, don’t let the water go through leaves.

Elephant Ears Maintenance

  • Ambient: Large space and a large gardening pot are preferable, so the root will have more space to spread.
  • Temperature: The ideal temperature for elephant ears is ideal between 60-80°F.
  • Humidity: Humidity plays a significant role and to create that environment, plant the elephant ears on the gardening saucer or alternatively use a mister.
  • Soil: always keep the soil moistened, but don’t saturate, try to find the perfect balance.
  • Wipe the leaves: at least once a week get a damp cloth and gently wipe the leaves. Collected dirt and dust won’t give elephant ears a nice healthy look, besides it will attract bacteria and pests.   

How to Revive the Overwatered Elephant Ears

The first step you have to is by starting to cut the dead leaves, they are already dead, and it would be impossible to revive them. Now it’s time to grow leaves. 

Decrease the frequency of watering and change the location maybe the sunlight or the soil is the problem. In two months you should see results.

A Brief Summary

According to me, the elephant ears plant is one of the easiest plants to grow, but it requires a large space indoors and outdoor planting is a great option.  

Elephant ears is a tropical plant and overwatering can lead to the death of the plant, so on normal occasions water the plant once a week. In peak summer you may need to water twice a day and if the plant is exposed to rainfall frequently, do not water at all. 

Further Reading

Here I’m about to bless you regarding planting. Check out our article about how many green beans to expect per plant or how many fruits will you get from the cauliflower as well as how many cabbages per plant you will from this healthy vegetable.

Natalia Michalska

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