Plant Parenthood: Elephant ears and bird’s nests, oh my!

Since Dad passed away, and I started taking care of his plants, my gardening vocabulary has increased significantly. I’ve learned about spider plants and aglaonema moonlight bay, about the palms and the bougainvillea.

But I have to admit, my two favorites are the elephant ears and the bird’s nest fern. I love their large, bold leaves, and how just one or two pots of each can make such a dramatic statement.

Right now I have about four pots of elephant ears, and they always make me think of fancy hotel gardens and pools, or lovely beach resorts. Unfortunately, caterpillars ate through the leaves of my biggest elephant ears plant, and so I am trying to figure out how to keep them off the others.

The bird’s nest fern is gorgeous, but it looked quite sad when I first took a look at it. Its leaves were dry, and some of them looked like they’d been torn in half. But we started watering it, and soon we noticed tiny little balls. Over the next few weeks we saw these balls unfurl slowly into leaves, and I finally found the courage to prune the damaged leaves.

I haven’t figured out yet how to propagate this, but in the meantime it’s growing beautifully!

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