Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Why Are My Elephant Ears Turning Yellow?

Bob from South Carolina asks:
I have several large elephant ears that have leaves that are turning yellow?

There are several reasons that elephant ears (alocasias, colocasias, or philodendrons) could be turning yellow. Chlorosis (yellowing of leaves) could be old age, disease, too much sun, not enough sun, not enough nutrients, too much fertilizer, not getting enough water, or receiving too much water. You have to determine what the cause is by eliminating the stresses one by one.

With Tropical storm Beryl, hitting the coast line recently and summer rain patterns now occuring, how much are you irrigating?


Colocasia 'Mojito'
Bob's response:
Our rainfall has been normal. My wife irrigates two to three times a week in addition to the rain.

Then she's definitely overwatering. Watering often also creates a short root system and if the area of South Carolina goes into a drought, your plants' roots will be so short, the landscape won't survive. Keep landscape drier, roots will naturally grow deeper, and when a drought occurs, your plants will survive better with less water/rain. 1 inch of rain (in sand/humus soils) will go down 12 inches of sand and rich organic soils. Your wife is also defeating the purpose of any fertilizer she's putting down. When landscapes are overirrigated, you can leach out the fertilizer or any nutrients in the upper 6" - 12" of soils. Buy your wife a beautiful inexpensive rain gauge, put it up for her, and let her know that if she receives 1.5 inches + of rain a week - no need to irrigate.

Let her know nicely...

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:35 AM

    How much sun is too much sun for my elephant ear?