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Michael Hannigan
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Experience:  25+ Years in the field
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I live in Charlotte NC. For 2 years now we have enjoyed a

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I live in Charlotte NC. For 2 years now we have enjoyed a grouping of elephant ears that are magnificent. Big leaves, plant reaching up to 5 ' and better.

The first frost killed the leaves. I cut the stalks down to the ground. What else can I do to ensure hey will come back strong? Should I dig them up and store on the garage? or just cover them with topsoil and wait till next spring.
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Since they have already been exposed to frost, your best bet is to cover them and let them.stay where they are. Digging them up to store them will do.more harm than good since it will effect their root system which is likely to still be quite healthy and not exposed to frost. One extra measure you can take that is little known - put a layer of mulch over the area. When the mulch is moist, the bacteria in it will cause it to compost and actually heat the topsoil, preventing it from freezing again. You've probably seen mulch smoldering or even on fire when stored in large quantities. This composting is what causes large quantities of mulch to spontaneously combust. While that won't happen on your flower bed or landscaping, it can make and keep the area quite warm over the winter. I use cedar because it is soft and composts more rapidly than most. If it composts enough you may even be left with just a rich coat of topsoil in place of the mulch by spring.

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