Elephant Ear Plant Drooping – Why & How to Save(13 Reasons)

If you are searching for elephant ear plant drooping but before that let me tell you these are tropical plants with giant leaves that remind me of elephant ears. I know it’s hard to manage those large leaves and sometimes they start to wilt, so that’s why I have given a full solution on limping, drooping of Alocasia or elephant ear plant. Why is my elephant ears plant drooping?

Elephant Ear Plant Drooping
Sabina Bajracharya, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Elephant Ear Plant Drooping : The Most Common reason for elephant ear plant drooping is due to overwatering, underwatering or plant damaged by wind. Elephant ear droopy because it needs support when leaves become so large, they wilt sideways. To fix this issue I would recommend providing watering elephant ear plant in a controlled manner, or giving it enough water. Sometimes solve it by providing support. 

the problem called elephant ear leaves drooping is not new and it happen with many plant with large leaves that’s why i was able to mentioned all the reasons with solution on leaves wilting.

The plant is such an amazing leafy grower that it needs a lot of everything to grow that is why many of the area in tropical climate area it grows perfect in ground near river or where the ponds exist. The leaves of it are so large and that makes us grow it and experience it with our own eyes how it has such an amazing growth. Let’s now move to explaining the solution in detail.

Why is my elephant ears plant drooping?

The Most Obvious reason for elephant ear plant drooping is because of overwatering, underwatering or getting damaged by the external factors. They often required wooden or metal thick stick to stay straight otherwise the leaves become so large which makes it wilt sideways. To fix this droopy elephant ear plant I recommend providing water in a controlled manner, or giving it enough water. Sometimes problems automatically resolved by by providing additional support. 

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I know it looks bad when your green leafy plant starts to wilt, its disappoints us to see them not growing that we want it to grow. I always find this in my elephant ear plant but solve it by determining the exact solution.

Whenever my plant show any signs like yellowing or wilting, I most probably work on their solution. for solution to elephant ear plant drooping i have given  8 reason why elephant ear plant drooping, check and i hope you it will help you to fix the issue.

1. Leaf becoming Heavy

It can happen to anybody if you excellently took care of your elephant ear plant then your plant leaves may have become so large that it can start to droop because they seem heavy. This is due to use of fertilizers, good location and climate can and well draining and fertile soil makes your plant grow to its maximum limit. Sometimes we gardeners like us care about plants just like we do for our children. That’s why being in good care they reach good lengths. But now what?

To fix this problem, you can use wooden stakes or a rod to position it vertically so that it can help the leaves and support them so they don’t droop or limp. It would definitely solve the issues and your plant can again be growing to greater lengths.  Bigger leaves always result in elephant ear plant broken stem or sometimes the wind may lead to this issue. 

Another way to solve this is by not giving too much fertilizer to your elephant plant. Still you need to safeguard your plant from heavy winds so getting a fence screen or trunk protector could save them from this.  

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2. Watering Issues

Most of the time the limping of leaves happens due to wrong watering, excess watering that makes the elephant ear plant drooping. The problem would result in soggy soil or dry conditions. Below I have discussed both problems.

  • Overwatering

This is a watering issue called overwatering where people often water too much that makes the elephant ear plant feel stuck with the flood of water. Clogged soil blocks the supply of water to other parts of the plants, roots aren’t able to absorb nutrients from soil which leads to this drooping issue. If roots can’t give water and nutrients to the stem or leaves then the foliage will die soon, before signs like drooping, brown spots, yellowing and rotting would make the plant lose its life bit by bit each passing day. That’s why it is very important to determine the problem. Overwatering is also a reason for root rot because it can invite fungal infection that would damage your plant in a big way that is life threatening to them.

To fix this problem, You can control how many times you water elephant ear plants. Knowing when to water and cutting additional pouring that you did before coming to this article. So the thumb rule is always check the soil before watering and see the wetness in topsoil for 2 inches by inserting your finger on the soil. You may feel the wetness or dryness based on the water.

3. Underwatering

When plants receive too little to no water it can easily wilt that is why our elephant ear plant drooping. They grow in moist to wet soils and often require a good amount of indirect light to grow. They also need more water to produce such large leaves and if they don’t find enough water the leaves feel thirsty and with more waiting they start to limp or droop. 

The problem can be fixed with watering your elephant ear plant whenever they feel dry. This problem mostly occurs on sunny days and they need more water that time means more frequent watering is required.

If the underwatering problem isn’t solved it can invite pests that can be harmful to its growth and it may die if not corrected. 

4. Water Quality

Have you heard about the swimming pool joke where people used to refer to chlorine that is present in water. Same way the tap water which has fluoride or salt may degrade the quality of your water that you pour to the plant. In Result the elephant ear plant drooping, or leaves might become brown or edges, tips may turn yellow. If you correct the over and under watering problem then this might be the issue of your elephant ear plant problem.

To fix this problem, you can use filtered water, rainwater or water that is stored in an aluminum jug or simply kept overnight can be  given to the plant the next day because the chemicals are reduced with time when water is stored in an open container.  

5. Soil Issues

As you know these plants require good and rich soil to grow mainly, and if soils lack some important nutrients then it can impact the overall growth. Soil that has low in nutrients, and never given additional fertilizer may result in elephant ear plant leaves drooping. You can solve the problem by pouring the appropriate nutrition that is required by our ear plant.  

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6. More fertilizer Needs

When you grow a large elephant ear plant leaves they definitely want more crucial enhancers that may increase their growth. They are heavy feeders no doubt and but giving them fertilizer in the right way is also an important factor.

Like Spraying fertilizer on their large leaves that is wrong and you should only give it by pouring solution into the soil directly. Also do not overfeed them because it also create problems for our elephant plant. Overfeeding may burn the roots and that will cut the supply of water to other parts of plant. They may also result in elephant ear leaves drooping.

Here is the best fertilizer for Elephant ear plant :

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7. Nutrients Deficiency

Any soil that has a balance of all 3 major nutrients like Potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus is preferred as fertile soil. These N-P-K rich soils are low in some potting mix that creates problems for plants in growing properly. Using a slow release fertilizer that I mentioned above can solve the Lack of nutrients issue in elephant ear plants. Deficiency or low amounts of any of these can cause elephant ear leaves to droop.

Please read instructions given with fertilizer. Do not overuse it, and the time for using such fertilizer is in the growing season. You can give it in summer season. I hope it can help the plant to grow more and sort all problems it has.

Fertilizer 10-10-10 (N-P-K)

8. Repotting issue

Sometimes While repotting our elephant ear plant roots get damaged or the change in location gives shock to our plant.  You may find any plant, not just elephant ears, to behave like that. Plant would seem to be drooping but it will recover once you give water to them and give time to your plant. 

When they are in new soil the roots need time to sit properly and get comfortable with the location. Plan to check the climate and temperature of the new location, if you have a colder climate it may take more time to recover, else your plant will recover in 1-3 days based on plant type.

This is never an ultimate but a temporary problem for every plant. With time it will revive and grow back all the leaves.

9. Improper light

Whenever elephant ear plant grow in direct sun they often find themselves with burnt leaves. You know their favorite place to grow those large leaves in a bright location with indirect light. And your plant gets very low light. It makes the other issue related to overwatering because without much light soil that won’t dry creates soil soggy which will affect roots that lead to elephant ear plant drooping. The best solution to the droopy problem is to choose a good location for your elephant ear plant that has some sort of light enough to grow their leaves. Light that our plant can get indirectly. 

I won’t be suggesting that you place an elephant plant in the south face window because these plants mainly grow outside, if grown indoors then the south facing window can fulfill the light requirements of this plant. Just place your plant in a good indirect light and they will be happy.

USDA Hardiness Zone 9 to 11
Light Requirements Bright Indirect Light

10. Cold Temperature

For Freezing cold climate areas, your plant may seem to find it difficult to grow. That’s why sometimes elephant ear plant leaves drooping because of the impact of early frost. They get signs of upcoming freezing cold that may impact its roots, leaves in a big way and your elephant ear might die. I see mostly they survive but if they have hard time to tolerate such heavy frost then follow below steps to save your elephant ear plant:

  1. First check if they are turning brown or not. It’s one of the signs of frost.
  2. If leaves turn brown, some wilt then cut back all the leaves and stem to the bottom. 
  3. Now we need to take out the rhizomes of the elephant ear plant & dry it or you can let it be outside drying for a day or 2.
  4. Now store the rhizome inside sphagnum moss or peat moss whichever is available to you.
  5. Now provide them a temperature between 50-55 degree F. It will not stay dry and sleep.
  6. Once the frost is gone, you can plant back this rhizome into the garden or pot.
  7. Great, you have saved the elephant ear plant from Cold.


  • Temperature 

Elephant ear plant grow in warm climates, where they have temperatures ranging from 60-80 degrees F for most of the year. When they thrive below 40 degree F it makes the leaves turn brown, some leaves show spots, and the plant may also freeze. Dehydration, inner cell damage could occur and all these symptoms just because of cold temperature that leads to elephant ear leaves drooping. 

To fix this problem, you can most probably take them indoors and provide a warm temperature. Electric heater, closing windows at night. And again you can place it in a good location indoors where elephant ear plant can get indirect light.  

If you plant seems to be affected largely by the cold climate can be saved by using the method described just above this point where i talked about taking out the rhizome and storing it on peat moss so it will not die and can be replanted back in spring to save the life of our elephant ear plant. 

Temperature Range 60-80 degree F
  • low humidity

With good humidity for about more than 50% your elephant ear plant grows much healthier. But with low humidity it doesn’t have enough moisture that could cause drooping in our elephant ear plant. I would recommend a humidifier if your plant finds it hard to grow in a warm environment. 

11. Pest infestation

Pest infestation in elephant ear plant can lead to discoloration, drought and drooping conditions. Pest like mealybugs, spider mites, aphids suck the plant sap and make it weak. All the nutrients collected in stem or leaf are taken out by these pests resulting in leaves pale, browning.  Signs like spots, tears, holes are often visible on elephant ear plants if it happens with pests. You can always use pesticide to get rid of them. Natural solutions like using neem oil can work. Pest like aphids can be washed off by a thrust of water.

12. Diseases

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Elephant ear plant can be infected by bacterial as well as fungal infection that could be majorly harmful. Diseases like bacterial rot, fungal infection rotting, and other types of root and stem rot that could result in leaves to droop and wilt.

Mostly once your plant is infected it cannot reverse back but making sure you have good soil, no wet condition, and trimming all infected leaves can prevent any rot from happening to your elephant plant.

13. Root bound

If you are someone who is growing elephant ear plants in pots, then the leaves drooping might occur due to root bound pot. If roots have used all the space left in the pot and now very less soil left to provide nutrients to roots then it will lead to wilting, drooping of elephant ear plants. To fix this problem, you can buy a new pot with a larger size or directly planting it in the garden will solve the issue. Signs occur like roots are visible in the pot surface and there is no space left for more stems to grow. This problem also results in yellow leaves but can be saved once you change your pot.

Elephant Ear plant Alocasia and colocasia

Elephant ear plant care


Final words

I hope you find this article helpful on “elephant ear plant drooping”. You can also check my other articles for more elephant ear problems.

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Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark, a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences.

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