Winterize elephant ear plants by cutting away the dead foliage, pruning the stems, adding mulch and installing a layer of chicken wire to keep the mulch in place. You need pruning shears, gloves, mulch and chicken wire.
- Put on the gloves
Before winterizing your elephant ear plants, put on the gloves. This protects you from the sap. Avoid getting the sap on your skin or eyes.
- Remove the dead foliage
After the first frost, remove any dead or damaged foliage. Prune away these limbs at the ground level.
- Prune the stems
Cut back the stems of the plant. You want only the lower 6 inches of the plant to remain after pruning.
- Add mulch
Add a 6-inch layer of mulch around and over the plant. Straw and leaves works best. Add more mulch as necessary to keep the layer at 6 inches deep.
- Add chicken wire
To keep the mulch in place throughout the winter, lay chicken wire over the mulch. Avoid staking the chicken wire too closely to the plant, as this can injure the roots. Instead, stake the chicken wire 16 inches from the center of the plant.
- Remove the mulch
Only remove the mulch after the last frost in the spring.