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How to: Kill Elephant Ears

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by Tex on April 25, 2006 02:18 PM
Given I know many people are trying to let these plants thrive I find them a nuisance and I am trying to seek out the best method for eliminating them. I am posting a link to a picture so you can see the size of the elephant ears I am dealing with. I would say they are well-established, but again I am a novice, so what do I really know.

Regardless, I am looking for the easiest method to completely destroy all of the ears as well as eliminate future seeds from sprouting.

I look forward to hearing your responses.

A picture of my Elephant Ears

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Not much of a green thumb, but I try.
by porter57 on April 25, 2006 02:59 PM
man those are beautiful
but up here we gotta dig em up or lose em
same way with banana plants
i dont really know for sure but im thinkin you will have to dig up the entire area and get every trace of thier bulbs out of there.
and from what i understand,some of thier bulbs judging from the size of your plants will be huge. im not much on chemicals because they dont discriminate between what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of. i wonder if there might be a comercial source willing to come and dig them out to harvest the bulbs?
larger bulbs sell for over $10 here in st louis.
good luck to you ,man looks like a big chore to me!!!!
by Tex on April 26, 2006 07:23 AM
Thank you for your response Porter57, if you like them so much you can have them :-D Here in Florida, Elephant Ears are just another weed. Some people like them, but I personally think they are a waste of perfectly good planting space. Also, if I don't cut them back often there multiply quicker then rabbits. The other big problem with them here is the fact they are a haven for snakes, and we're going to be adding a new puppy to the family shortly.

In response to your comments...

Well I am not opposed to blanketing the area with something, everything there that is green can be killed as it is only Elephant Ears and a few weeds that I haven't bothered to take out.

I am trying to avoid having to dig it all up as like you said it would be a big chore. Although if the only option is to spend a Saturday out there digging them up then that is what I will do.

If someone has a chemical method to recommend I would appreciate it. However I am going to be using this area for an herb garden when all is said and done (basically I don't want anything that will have lasting effects on the ground).

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Not much of a green thumb, but I try.
by Av8trx on April 26, 2006 08:41 AM
I had elephant ears last year and just cut them down and ripped them out best I could - I haven't seen a trace of them again this year- so I am keeping my fingers crossed. They wouldn't bother me if the plant wasn't at the entrance to the back yard gate - major pain! Jungle like really - [Frown]

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Katie - Zone 6a
by Jiffymouse on April 26, 2006 11:30 AM
one thing i've learned, is if you pull them out when the ground is soft, (after a rain) you can usually pull up the plant, bulb, and all. i "killed" quite a few at my daughters that way.
by Tex on April 27, 2006 07:16 AM
It looks like I will be up to a weekend of good ol' manual labor in the soon to be garden. I will water the area before attempting to pull them up in order to hopefully pull up the majority of the root system. I really appreciate the responses, I will be back on here when I start to plant new things (since I am sure I will mess them up somehow :-))

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Not much of a green thumb, but I try.
by Longy on April 27, 2006 09:36 AM
Removing them roots and all will really help to turn over the soil and make it ready for your herb garden too. Herbs need a minimum of 6 hrs sun to thrive. Will that area receive that amount of direct sunlight?

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The secret is the soil.
by Tex on April 28, 2006 07:07 AM
Well I went ahead and started the process. I removed all the large elephant ears and will now have to move on to getting all of the little weeds out. Never before have I seen so many earthworms and snails in my life (I think earthworms are supposed to be good, but I am not sure about snails, I am still a newbie at the gardening thing).

Longy I appreciate your concern, that area gets about 6 hours of sunlight almost to the minute with how the fence and porch are positioned around it.

I am debating about what to do with all of the rock I have in this area. I am thinking of taking it all out then putting down a layer of that black gardening cloth (not sure if that is what it is called, helps with weeds and lets moisture go through) then cutting holes in it where I will have the herbs growing. Once that is done then I will look into possibly mulching or putting the rock back in. Any suggestions?

Click here to see the progress

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Not much of a green thumb, but I try.
by Jiffymouse on April 28, 2006 02:16 PM
if you are going to work the area, then, yes, pull out the rocks. it will make planting easier. it is looking good! [thumb]
by SpringFever on April 28, 2006 02:40 PM
Wow wish they grew here .. those were big!i could make a fence with them so I didn'see my neighbor...

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