Elephant Ears – What Happens In Winter

Q: I often see big elephant ear plants being used in commercial landscapes. What happens to the plants in winter? Do they give them away?

A: Local landscaper Ed Castro says most companies simply compost the plants. It would be too much trouble for them to keep them during winter. Due to scheduling problems, it would also be very difficult to arrange a way to get the plants before they hit the compost bin. Fast crew schedules, multiple stops during the day, and labor costs conspire to make it impossible to give the plants to gardeners. If you happen to see a crew at work, don’t hesitate to ask for discarded plants. Just don’t expect them to call you when they arrive at a site scheduled for a fall makeover.