Alocasia (Elephant ears) - Care tips
Alocasias are considered some of the most striking houseplants in our webshop. The Alocasia is a houseplant that you will not easily overlook. This is because of their spectacular foliage and visual appeal, but also literally because the leaves can grow to a meter in length! We are happy to inform you that she is not the most difficult plant to take care of as well.
Alocasias belong to the Araceae family and is native to subtropical Asia and eastern Australia. All Alocasias have similar basic traits because of their genetic connection, but the individual Alocasia varieties show differences in color, leaf size and shape. A few Alocasias even have the nickname ‘Elephant ears’, this because of their large (heart) shaped leaves.
It can be hard to pick a favorite when there are over 80 species to choose from. Therefore we are going to help you with highlighting just a few of the many different varieties.
The Alocasia Polly is known for her large, dark-green leaves shaped like an arrow or a shield. These leaves have wavy, undulating edges and have thick white veins running throughout the leaves.
The Alocasia Frydek is a large-sized plant with beautiful velvety, deep-green leaves and bright white prominent veins on the foliage. The Alocasia Zebrina is missing the distinctive white veins running through the leaves, but instead the stems are adorned with a super cool yellow and black zebra (some even say tiger) print-esque markings. This gives the plant a distinctive, eye-catching appearance.
The Alocasia with maybe the most characteristic textured is the ‘Silver Dragon’. It has lighter, almost pale silvery-blueish, leaves but with a dark prominent venation. This Alocasia stays, even with fully grown leaves, a bit smaller. Pretty cute, isn’t she?
Alocasia Plant Care Tips
Most Alocasias have similar care instructions since they are all closely related. We always recommend to double-check how to care for a new plant when you bring it home though. This so that you can make sure you give your baby the best conditions.
Alocasias are native to, and grow best, in a humid environment. So avoid placing your beloved Alocasia near to an air conditioner or a heater if possible. If your Alocasia begins to droop, it can be a sign of her having too little light, too much or too little water in the soil, or not enough nutrients. Yes we know.. Plant parenting is a lot! After proper care, the plant will right itself over time.
Light and placement for Alocasias
Alocasias need bright, but indirect light! This is due to the plants natural habitat, on the forest floor beneath the tree canopy. Direct sun will cause the foliage to burn or scorch. So avoid placing your Alocasia somewhere with direct sun for a longer period. This plant is also not tolerant of lower light conditions though, so make sure the spot you place your Alocasia in feels very bright.
Here's the thing about water and Alocasias: They like their soil a little on the drier side, but require high humidity. Counter-intuitive, we know.. For your Alocasias optimal comfort, we recommend frequent misting with a misting bottle. Allow the top 2 to 3 centimeters of the soil to dry between watering to ensure the plant isn't sitting in soil that is too wet. Alocasias will go through a dormancy period in the winter and therefore require less frequent watering. Alocasias can be susceptible to root rot and fungal infections if their soil doesn't have proper drainage, so we always advise potting these plants in a vessel with a drainage hole.
We recommend to give your Alocasia some extra love by giving good plant food every two or three weeks during summer. In winter, she will go through a dormancy period and does not crave any plant nutrition.
Do you love your Alocasia so much that you want to create more babies? We feel you! When the Alocasia is just coming out of dormancy, so early spring or early summer is the best moment to propagate. For exact propagation tips we recommend to check the best propagation way for your type of Alocasia. Every Alocasia has a best/easiest propagation method.
Most common pests on Alocasias
Alocasia's most common pest is spider mites. Humidity can help combat this pest. Placing a pebble tray near your Alocasia is a good way to increase the humidity around the plant. Consistently, and frequent misting is encouraged too. When misting, try not to get the leaves too wet as sitting water can damage the leaves and weigh the stems down. Keep an eye out for pests by dusting the leaves every now and then. While dusting you can take the opportunity to inspect the underside of the leaves. Dusting the leaves will also help the plant to photosynthesize efficiently.
If spider mites, or other pests are found, treat the plant immediately to remove the insects and prevent extensive damage. Don’t know how to treat the plant? Our PLNTS Doctor knows what to do!
Are Alocasias poisonous for you pets or children?
The Alocasia leaves and stems contain oxalic acid, this is a compound that is toxic to pets and children. So keep your plants out of reach from your children and furry friends. We don’t want you being a plant parent is a problem for the rest of your babies.
Alocasia plant for sale
At PLNTS.com you can buy different types of Alocasia plants, like the Alocasia Zebrina, the Alocasia Portodora and the Alocasia Cucullata. With so many varieties to choose from, there is a Alocasia for everyone!
Whether you like your Alocasia big from the start or prefer to grow them from tiny BabyPLNTS into full-grown PLNTS - we’ve got you covered!