Is your elephant ear plant dripping water?
This can happen for a few reasons, but it is most commonly a result of transpiration. These water droplets usually evaporate but may remain on the leaves in certain conditions (low temperature, high humidity, etc).
In this guide, we’ll explore all the reasons why elephant ear plants may drip water, what it means, and whether there is anything you need to do about it. Let’s get straight into it.
- Why Your Elephant Ear Plant Is Dripping Water
- Is It More Common For Outdoor Elephant Ear Plants To Drip Water?
- What To Do If Your Elephant Ear Is Dripping Water
- 3 Ways To Reduce Water Dripping In Elephant Ear Plants
- Should You Wipe Away Water Droplets?
- In Summary
Why Your Elephant Ear Plant Is Dripping Water
There are a few reasons your elephant ear plant may be dripping water.
The main culprits are transpiration, dew, and guttation. This section will briefly discuss each of these processes to help you better understand why your plant is dripping water.
Transpiration is common in plants, where water vapor evaporates from the leaves.
This normal physiological process allows plants to maintain proper internal moisture levels; it’s essentially a plant’s way of sweating.
Water droplets on the tips of elephant ear leaves are a common symptom of transpiration, and it occurs when the leaves have too much water and need to release some.
These droplets usually evaporate, so you wouldn’t notice them, but if it’s particularly humid or the temperature drops, they will stay on the leaves longer.
Dew can also contribute to water droplets on your elephant ear plant. When the temperature outside drops overnight, water vapor can condense on the leaves, leading to dew formation.
This is completely natural and should not be a cause for concern, and it will also affect outdoor elephant ear plants much more than those kept as houseplants.
However, it’s a good idea to monitor the dew and wipe it off the leaves if you notice a buildup, as excess moisture can lead to diseases or pests.
In most cases, transpiration is the cause of dripping elephant ear plants, but sometimes it can be due to guttation.
If you haven’t heard of this term before, it’s used when plants release water and nutrients from their leaves to restore the balance between the two.
These are released from hydathodes located on the tips or edges of the leaves and are often mistaken for water.
Guttation typically happens at night as the stomata used for transpiration are closed during this time.
Is It More Common For Outdoor Elephant Ear Plants To Drip Water?
For several reasons, outdoor elephant ear plants are a lot more common to drip water than those kept inside.
Firstly, outdoor elephant ear plants are subjected to fluctuating temperatures and humidity.
If the temperature drops, humidity increases, or air circulation around the plant lowers, then it’s a lot more common to see water droplets on the leaves.
Less Control Over Watering
Another reason for increased water dripping in outdoor elephant ear plants is that they may receive more water from rainfall.
Elephant ear plants do enjoy quite moist soil and can even grow in water, but sudden changes in the water content of the soil due to rain can lead to transportation and even guttation.
Dew Is More Common Outside
Dew can affect houseplants, but it’s much more common outside due to more drastic changes in temperature overnight.
What To Do If Your Elephant Ear Is Dripping Water
If your elephant ear plant is dripping water, it isn’t necessarily bad.
However, I like to do some things to make sure that you don’t run into a problem further down the line.
Check The Soil
You should first inspect the soil to ensure it provides the right moisture level for your elephant ear plant. The soil should be consistently damp but not waterlogged.
If the soil is waterlogged, this can quickly lead to overwatering symptoms and eventually root rot.
Check The Roots
Checking the roots is also a good idea to ensure they are still healthy, but I would only do this if the leaves show other symptoms besides dripping water, like yellowing or browning.
If any roots have started to turn brown/black and mushy with a foul odor, they have rotted. These roots will need to be pruned, and the rest treated with a fungicide designed to treat root rot to give your elephant ear the best chance of survival.
3 Ways To Reduce Water Dripping In Elephant Ear Plants
There aren’t any real ways to stop water dripping completely, but you can implement some tactics to keep it to a minimum, especially if your elephant ear plant is kept inside:
1. Water Properly
If your elephant ear plant is potted, it only needs to be watered when the top one to two inches of soil become dry.
This rule will prevent overwatering, which can lead to increased transpiration and guttation.
2. Be Careful With Humidity
Elephant ear plants love humidity; however, excessive humidity may result in more dripping or the presence of water droplets on the leaves due to decreased evaporation.
You should keep the humidity around 50 to 70% for ideal growth but avoid extreme humidity levels above this range.
3. Provide Adequate Airflow
Air circulation also plays a key role in evaporating water droplets due to transpiration or guttation, so ensure adequate circulation around your elephant ear plant.
This is very beneficial in humid environments.
Should You Wipe Away Water Droplets?
It’s a good idea to wipe away the droplets caused by dripping leaves on elephant ear plants.
This is because water droplets can encourage fungal growth in the right conditions and might attract pests looking for water.
If your elephant ear plant is dripping water, it isn’t something to be concerned about as long as the soil is not saturated.
I’d take it as a sign to check the soil and roots to make sure they are healthy – apart from that, wipe away any excess moisture on the leaves, and your plant will be fine.
Remember that outdoor elephant ears are much more likely to exhibit this behavior than those kept inside.
If you’re interested in learning more about elephant ear plants, please check out some of our other recent articles below: