ELEPHANT EAR PLANT - WHY IS IT NOT MAKING LEAVES?

Asked October 27, 2018, 8:34 PM EDT

I have been growing my elephant leaf plant for just under 10 months, and it has been thriving, I live in Sydney Australia so the climate seems to be just right for this plant (it is very tropical)
However, in the last few days my plant has not produced a leaf, but what looks like 2 stems have come out of one of the stems? i am a little concerned as i have never seen this before?it usually will produce a leaf, but this time it has produced 2 stem like things without a leaf. What is it exactly? will the plant continue to grow? i cant imagine that they will form a leaf? can someone please shed some light?
I adore this plant and would hate for it to stop growing and thriving.

Outside United States houseplants

3 Responses

Thank you for your question. You obviously have a healthy plant. I suspect that your plant is growing flowers, and what you're seeing are the flower stalks. As this Extension article (https://www.uaex.edu/yard-garden/in-the-garden/reference-desk/bulbs/elephant-ear.aspx) indicates:

"Elephant ears have the ability to bloom like other members of the aroid family. If you find an open flower, you’ll see that it consists of two main parts. A spathe, or modified leaf, covers the spadix or stalk—similar to a peace lily bloom. The spadix is actually a cluster of tiny flowers, with the male flowers on top, female flowers on the bottom and a string of sterile flowers in between. They actually have the ability to set seeds, but rarely do we see that in a growing season in Arkansas, since it takes months for the orange seeds to mature. The flowers are pollinated by beetles. Cutting off the spent flowers won’t hurt, unless you get one really early in the season and you want to try to get seeds."

So, just relax and enjoy it growth and, hopefully, ability to produce new plants! If nothing as happened in a couple of months, write back and we can re-assess. Good luck!

Hi Kristena,

Thankyou for your reply, and I think you hit the nail on the head with your reply.

In the 4 days that i posted the question the plant has continued to grow and has since made 2 new leaves and 4 extra leaf-less stems with stems inside them, However the one large stalk that did concern me initially, has indeed started to open up and is revealing what looks to be a flower, just as you stated.

Can i keep you updated with images of the plant as it grows?

Thank you



Sure! I just compiled a PowerPoint for a class I'm teaching on houseplants, and I'd like to watch it grow!