Saving My Ears

Elephant ears are mostly water.

Mojito Elephant Ears Colocasia

So if they freeze, they turn to mush.

I let the frost kill the leaves, then I cut off the droopy parts.

I dig them up and haul them inside my already crowded workshop.

There are too many plants in there to get much work done,

but it’s a great place to go think and breathe.

Black Beauty came inside in its pot.

My Mojitos are in a box.

The Frydeks are in a bucket.

And YES, I did bring in those trouble causing Coffee Cups.

They are reclining in my lawn cart.

Flower has more heart than sense.

I must not end this post without a photo of the cutest ears of all.

Bunny ears.

Barley and Charlotte, New Zealand Lop Rabbits

FLOWER

 

Coffee Cups Cause Trouble Again

I featured this particular elephant ear last year.

At that time it was planted beside one of the fish ponds.

I was thrilled with its placement until its cupped leaves filled up with

caterpillar poop from the oaks above.

Thus the post entitled “Coffee Cups Caterpillar Crapper.

https://floweralley.org/2017/08/19/coffee-cups-caterpillar-crapper/

Later in the season, the leaves filled up with tiny acorns, then falling leaves.

I considered the oak tree above to be the issue,

so this year I moved it to the front of the house.

Today’s heavy rains from hurricane Michael filled the cups with water.

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The plant fell over onto its Mojito elephant ear neighbor,

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which flopped over onto the giant Frydek elephant ear cluster.

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We had ourselves an elephant ear avalanche.

Colocasia leaves are supposed to tip and dump water,

not hold it until the whole plant flops over.

This domino disaster has ruined my prized  Mojito.

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Where can this plant go where it won’t cause any more trouble?

Hmmmmmm?

Coffee Cup Colocasia compost.

FLOWER

Cover Your Ears

Well actually, by now it is really cover your tubers.

Elephant ear leaves got bitten off by the first freeze.

Now, it is time to protect the mama tuber and her baby sidekicks(pups).

I sometimes dig some up to store inside my workshop, but since it is all ready full I am risking losing some of my Colocasia collection.

I did bring in some baby Coffee Cup /Colocasia escuelenta shoots earlier.

I only have one bunch of Mojitos now, so I covered them really well.

Be sure to not only mulch around the stems, but also between the stems.

There have been years when I did not mulch at all.

What usually happens is the big mama turns to pink mush, but some of the deeper baby tubers survive. These take years to get as big as they were previously.

Don’t forget your bananas. They should be in a ring of mulch also.

Cover your ears. Here comes winter.

FLOWER

 

Creepy Coffee Cups

Just when you think you know a plant, it morphs on you.

The Coffee Cups/West Indian Kale/Colocasia escuelenta was unhappy.

I moved it.  It loved the new spot beside the small pond.  More sun, more water…

I loved it there too, until the leaves turned into “Coffee Cup Caterpillar Crappers.”

Then the Yellow Jackets started using the leaves as their levy. They hold water you see.

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Then came the creepers. Long skinny purple arms reaching out in all directions.

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One even grew down into the fish pond.

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Since when do elephant ears have runners?

Oh well.

I love them for their swirly venation

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and their purple stems and ribsIMG_4885

and how water beads up on the leaves

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and how the curled up new leaves look like closed umbrellasIMG_4887

and the heart-shape of the leaves

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and that the baby leaves have a blue hue.

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I just love this plant, despite all its quirks.

I am glad, because it looks like I will have many more.

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FLOWER

Coffee Cups Caterpillar Crapper

This is NOT how I intended this to turn out.

I have been very pleased with the new placement of Colocasia escuelenta/ Coffee cups/ West Indian Kale near the small fish pond.

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I intended to write a post about moving plants until you and the plant are both happy.

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Well, now there is a third party involved.

The oak tree above is full of munching little caterpillars.

If you look up, you see naked limbs.

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If you look down, you see feces.  Now the water in the cups has the color of coffee. Yuck!

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So thus the name of the post, in honor of Thomas Crapper of Chelsea. The owner of an early lavatory manufacturer in London.

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My OCD self keeps flushing the leaves with water.  No pun intended.

FLOW