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Can I use cypress mulch around my Elephant Ear plants?

Marty Asked

I have several elephant ear plants planted in my backyard around our deck. Most of them have been there for a few years.
My question is would a cypress mulch be a good mulch for these plants?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Marty: I have to admit that I’m a bit jealous that you can leave your Elephant Ear bulbs in the ground year round. Just North of you we are digging them up and storing them indoors for the winter. The tropical feel they give to the garden is well worth the effort.

Any type of mulch is beneficial in terms of protecting the bulbs during the winter months. Cypress is one of the least sustainable options and it tends to break down slower than other common mulches such as hardwood or pinestraw. This can become an issue over time if the mulch builds up; too much mulch can lead to insect and disease issues. If you add more than 3 inches of mulch this fall, you will want to pull some of it back next spring to let the new growth emerge. You can also use broken down leaves and grass clippings from your own garden. I hope this helps.

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