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The elephant’s ear plant also known as the yam or taro is scientifically known as Alocasia esculata. The soft, fleshy herbaceous plant is a native of tropical and subtropical Asia and Eastern Australia. It can grow up to a height of 50 centimetres to 100 centimetres and spreads in 100 centimetres of an area. It is widely grown as they serve as an excellent ground cover.
The Alocasia esculata is commonly known as Elephant's ear plant, yam or taro. It belongs to family Araceae, the plant family which consists of a distinct flowering shrub.
The plant is cultivated all around the world especially in the subtropical regions of Asia for using them as a ground cover.
The Alocasia esculata is a small, fleshy herbaceous plant which can grow up to the maximum height of 100 centimetres and spreads in an area of 50 to 100 centimetres.
The Alocasia esculata is a low maintenance plant that grows easily if the minimum care is provided.
The elephant's ear plant is adapted to humid and warm regions.
The Alocasia esculata is adaptable to any sort of soil. But in order to obtain best results choose soil that is aerated, moderately fertile, well-drained and rich in organic nutrients.
The soil should be mixed with peat or perlite in order to create an artificial bog or wetland that can retain moisture.
The pH of the soil can vary from 5.6 to 6.6.
It is advisable to avoid plantation in rocky soil, as they may deform the corms.
The Alocasia esculata grows well when they are planted in the region which gets bright direct sunlight.
However, it can also survive when it is exposed to partial shade.
The Alocasia esculata has moderate water requirements.
The soil should be kept moist but not wet. Subsequent gaps must be maintained during watering.
The plant has to be watered regularly when the top 3 inches of soil become dry.
Overwatering, soggy soil and wet leaves make the plant prone to a large number of fungal infections.
Pruning of part of the plant that has grown in size helps to keep the plant in a proper size.
It is advisable to prune the plant during the growing season only.
The Alocasia esculata grows well with the addition of fertilisers.
In order to aid growth, any balanced organic fertiliser that is rich in Nitrogen can be used.