Elephant ear plants are tropical perennials that are grown for their large, heart-shaped leaves. They are native to Africa, Asia, and Australia and thrive in warm, humid climates.
Elephant ear plants are generally easy to care for and are not demanding regarding water or light.
However, elephant ear leaves may drip water for a variety of reasons, and this can be cause for concern.
Here you will find everything you need to know about why your elephant ear plant is dripping water and if it is normal behavior.
Why Do Elephant Ear Plants Drip Water?
There are several reasons why elephant ear leaves may start to drip water.
The two most frequent reasons are transpiration and guttation.
Although they are both perfectly normal processes, they can be a cause for concern if the water dripping is excessive.
Transpiration is the process of water vapor escaping from the leaves of a plant. It is how plants regulate their internal temperature and prevent themselves from overheating.
Transpiration also helps to keep the plant’s leaves moist and prevents them from drying out.
Transpiration is a necessary process for all plants, but it can be especially pronounced in tropical plants like elephant ear plants.
This is because they come from hot, humid climates where transpiration is a constant process.
In cooler climates, transpiration rates are lower, and the water lost through this process is quickly replaced by water from the roots.
Elephant ear plants grown in cooler climates will still transpire, but the water lost will be replaced more quickly.
Can Transpiration Be Bad for Elephant Ear Plants?
Transpiration is a necessary process for all plants, but it can sometimes be excessive.
If a plant loses more water than it is taking in, it will eventually start to wilt, and the leaves will turn brown and crispy.
Excessive transpiration can be caused by several factors, including:
- Hot, dry weather
- High winds
- Low humidity
- Roots that are too dry
If you think your elephant ear plant is transpiring too much, try to increase the humidity around it.
This can be done by misting the leaves with water or placing the pot on a tray of pebbles and water.
You should also ensure that the plant is getting enough water and that the roots are not allowed to dry.
If the problem persists, you may need to move your elephant ear plant to a more humid location.
Guttation is the process of water droplets being secreted from the tips or edges of a plant’s leaves.
It is a normal process when the plant’s roots take in more water than the leaves can transpire.
The excess water is secreted through tiny pores in the leaves, and it often appears as beads of water on the tips or edges of the leaves.
Guttation is most common in young plants or during periods of rapid growth.
It is most common in the morning when transpiration rates are at their lowest. This is especially true if the previous night was warm and humid.
It can also be more pronounced in plants grown in very humid conditions or watered too frequently.
Can Guttation Be Bad for Elephant Ear Plants?
Guttation is a normal process that occurs when a plant’s roots take in more water than the leaves can transpire.
However, it can be a cause for concern if the water droplets are excessive or if they happen frequently.
Excessive guttation can lead to the plant’s leaves turning yellow or brown.
It can also promote the growth of fungal diseases, such as powdery mildew.
If you think your elephant ear plant is suffering from guttation, try to water it less frequently.
Ensure the pot has drainage holes so the excess water can drain away.
You should also increase the air circulation around the plant to help prevent the growth of fungal diseases.
If the problem persists, you may need to move your elephant ear plant to a drier location.
How to Tell the Difference Between Guttation and Dew
It can be difficult to tell the difference between guttation and dew, as they appear as water droplets on the plant leaves.
However, there are some key differences between the two.
Dew is water that condenses from the atmosphere onto the leaves of a plant.
It typically occurs in the morning or evening, when the air is cool, and the plant leaves are cooler than the surrounding air.
Dew often forms a uniform layer of water on the leaves, whereas guttation droplets are usually smaller and more isolated.
Dew will also disappear during the day as the air and plant leaves warm up, whereas guttation droplets will remain on the leaves until they are absorbed or evaporate.
How to Tell If Your Elephant Ear Plant Dripping Water Is Normal
If you notice water droplets on the leaves of your elephant ear plant, it is likely due to transpiration or guttation.
Both of these processes are normal and necessary for your indoor plant to function.
Transpiration is the process of water vapor escaping from the plant through tiny pores in the leaves. This vapor is then replaced by water from the soil, which is drawn up through the plant’s roots.
Guttation is the process of water being secreted from the tips or edges of leaves, and it usually occurs when there is excessive moisture in the soil.
While a bit of water on the leaves is normal if you notice that your plant is dripping large amounts of water, it is likely an indication that something is wrong.
There are several potential causes of an elephant ear plant dripping water:
One of the most common reasons an elephant ear plant drips water is overwatering. When the soil is too wet, it can cause the plant to transpire excessively, leading to water droplets on the leaves.
If you think your plant is overwatered, allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. You can also increase the amount of time between waterings.
Another potential cause of an elephant ear plant dripping water is high humidity. If the air around the plant is too moist, it can lead to excessive transpiration.
To lower the humidity around your plant, use a humidifier or place the pot on a tray of pebbles filled with water.
The temperature can also affect an elephant ear plant’s transpiration rate. If the air around the plant is too hot, it can cause the plant to lose water more quickly than it can replace it.
To keep your plant from drying out, ensure the temperature around it stays between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Root Rot
Root rot is another possible cause of an elephant ear plant dripping water. This condition is caused by overwatering, resulting in the plant’s roots rotting away.
Rotten roots cannot absorb water, which can cause the plant to transpire excessively. If you think your plant has root rot, remove it from the pot, remove the affected roots, and replant it in fresh soil.
What To Do If Your Elephant Ear Plant Is Dripping Water
In most cases, a little water on the leaves of your elephant ear plant is nothing to worry about.
However, if you notice that the plant is dripping large amounts of water, it is essential to take action.
There are several things you can do to help your plant:
1. Adjust Watering Schedule
If you think your plant is being overwatered, you should first adjust your watering schedule.
Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings and increase the amount of time between waterings.
Elephant ear plants need to be watered about once a week.
Although, during the hottest months, you might need to water your plant twice a week.
2. Increase Drainage
If you think your plant is overwatered, you can also try increasing drainage.
To do this, you can add more holes to the bottom of the pot or use a pot with better drainage.
You can also try growing your plant in a raised bed.
3. Use a Well-Draining Soil
Another way to help with drainage is to use well-draining soil.
Elephant ear plants do best in a soil rich in organic matter that drains well.
Mixing in some perlite or sand is a good way to improve drainage.
4. Reduce Humidity
If you think the humidity is too high, you can try to reduce it.
You can use a humidifier or place the pot on a tray of pebbles filled with water.
You can also try to increase air circulation by using a fan.
5. Reduce Temperature
If you think the temperature is too high, you can try to reduce it.
To do this, you can move your plant to a cooler location or use a fan to circulate the air.
You can also try misting your plant with water to help cool it down.
6. Increase Air Circulation
If you think the air around your elephant plant is too stagnant, you can try to increase air circulation.
You can use a fan or open a window to do this.
You can also try moving your plant to a location with more airflow.
7. Inspect Roots
You should inspect the roots if you think your plant has root rot.
To do this, you must remove the plant from the pot and examine the roots.
If the roots are black or mushy, they are likely affected by root rot.
If you think your plant has root rot, you should remove the affected roots and replant the plant in fresh soil.
8. Cut Back on Fertilizer
If you think your plant is being overfertilized, you should reduce fertilizer.
Overfertilization can damage the plant’s roots and cause the plant to transpire excessively.
If you think your plant is being overfertilized, you should reduce the amount of fertilizer you are using or stop fertilizing altogether.
9. Remove Dead Leaves
If you notice that your plant has dead leaves, remove them.
Dead leaves can harbor pathogens and pests, which can damage the plant.
To remove dead leaves, cut them off at the base of the plant.
10. Treat for Pests
If you notice that your plant has pests, you should treat it as soon as possible.
Pests can cause various plant problems, including leaf damage, root damage, and excessive transpiration.
You can use various methods to treat pests, including chemical pesticides, biological controls, and traps.
You can also try to remove the pests by hand.
11. Treat for Disease
If you notice that your plant has a disease, you should treat it as soon as possible.
Diseases can cause various plant problems, including root damage, leaf loss, and stunted growth.
Treating a disease early can help to prevent these problems.
Elephant ear plants are a beautiful addition to any home, but they can be a bit of a mystery when it comes to caring.
If you find your elephant ear plant dripping water, it could be due to various reasons.
The most common reasons are plant transpiration and guttation.
Plant transpiration is a normal process where the plant releases water vapor through its leaves.
Guttation is when the plant releases water droplets from the leaf tips due to high humidity or watering.
For these reasons, you don’t need to worry too much.
However, if the dripping water is accompanied by some signs of stress, such as wilting leaves, you’ll want to take a closer look at your plant’s care.
Ensure you’re not over or underwatering it, and check for any pests or diseases.
With a little investigation, you should be able to get your elephant ear plant back to good health in no time!