What to Plant with Elephant Ears: All the Possible Companions


Second, the combination of elephant ears and these foliage plants is smart, striking, and somewhat cute. Elephant ears can provide a sort of shelter or shade to the smaller foliage plants. Moreover, with proper placement, the elephant ears can become interesting (and attractive) background to these foliage plants.

When you decide to have this kind of combination, don’t forget to provide them with enough water and also fertilizer. Elephant ears typically grow from a big rooter plants or bulb, but it’s also possible to grow it from sed. Once you plant it, you will have to wait for several weeks to see the first leaves (on the bulb). It’s even better to start indoor (you can start planting in March) and then relocate it outdoor in early June or late May, when it’s already warm enough.

Other Possible Matching Companions

Here are some of the best options when you are wondering what to plant with elephant ears.


Ferns are typically dainty. It’s best for elephant ear because of the striking contrast. The bold and big leaves would provide interesting contrast to the small and seemingly delicate flowers. Consider placing them close to one another so the visual contrast would be apparent.

It’s also a good idea to match up the bold or contrast colors of the ferns with the lush green of the elephant ears. It’s even possible to match up dark elephant ears with green ferns. The best way to manage the layout is to plant them close together, contrasting not only their size, but also their colors or textures.


They are herbaceous (foliage) plants with various hues of leaves. The colors may vary, from yellow or green to rust brown, purple, or even burgundy red. Since their leaves are small, they can also provide nice contrastive effect to the elephant ear; just like the ferns.

You can also pair coleus with caladiums, but make sure that they have matching colors – mimicking one another’s color would be the best strategy. If you have elephant ear in solid color, choose multicolored coleus, or vice versa. If you have elephant ear with pink and white speckles, pair it with coleus having solid light green or even purple color.


They can bring beautiful color splash when placed around elephant ears. It’s perfect if you can go with tuberous or wax begonia types to compliment the arrangement. Consider use ever blooming begonias that can ‘echo’ the color within elephant ear leaves.

For instance, think about red or pink begonia around leaves (of elephant ear) with pink or red veins. You can also consider pairing green elephant ear with many flowering begonias surrounding the plant. The small size and the petal colors are superb to deliver appealing contrast.


Your elephant ear doesn’t have to be lonely as it can be paired up quite well with other plants. The next time you are confused about what to plant with elephant ears, now you know the answers.

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