Alocasia care comes down to keeping them moist and humid, but being careful of pests and waterlogging, they are a little bit fussy but as long as you get these few things right you should be well on your way to have a happy alocasia…
Alocasia Care Summary
|Light needs:||Bright but indirect sunlight|
|Watering needs:||Check the soil weekly, water it if the top 50% is dry. Keep it moist but not wet.|
|Fertilizer:||Feed them once a month in summer with a general purpose fertilizer.|
|Soil:||A well-draining peat-based potting compost.|
|Temperature:||18-30°C (64-86°F). The warmer end of household temperatures.|
|Where to buy:||Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.|
|Other names:||Elephant ear alocasia, alocasia zebrina, alocasia polly, alocasia frydek.|
|Common issues:||Alocasia can be susceptible to spider mites or scale insects.|
Welcome to our guide to alocasia care. Alocasias are a genus of plants which include some of my favourites like the alocasia polly and frydek. Their jagged and pointed unique-shaped leaves are the main features of this beautiful genus of tuberous tropical houseplants.
Alocasias need bright but indirect sunlight. Those leaves need a lot of light energy to maintain them, but their beautiful foliage will burn if given too much direct sun.
How Often to Water An Alocasia
Check the soil weekly, water it if the top 50% is dry. Keep it moist but not wet.
Test it with your finger to make sure at least half of your finger is dry when sticking it down into the soil. Go to water it each week and only do so if the top layer is dry. In the winter when the plants grow less they will need much less water, but apply the same technique to test to see if they need any.
Do not feed your alocasia in the winter, but in the summer you can feed them once a month with a general purpose fertilizer. As with all fertilizer feeding, always use a diluted dose on the first time and check for leaf burning/browning.
Use a well-draining peat-based potting compost. You can consider adding some perlite, as alocasias like their environment to be well-draining. They like to be wet but not sitting in water or water logged as this can cause root rot.
For more on which soil to buy or how to make your own see our guide: Alocasia Soil.
When To Repot An Alocasia
If the plant is root bound, then repot your alocasia up a pot size. Do this in spring before the warmer growing months, and plant it up one or two pot sizes.
Alocasias like humidity, or their leaves ill go crispy. They like to misted at watering a the very least, and will like 60%-70% humidity levels if possible, which is like the high end of a household bathroom humidity. So mist them regularly and set up a pebble tray if you can.
Alocasias like the warmer end of household temperatures. Keep them in a warm window, but do not let them get exposed to cold drafts in the winter. Their ideal temperature rand is 18-21°C (64-70°F), so they’ll do well in most households.
How To Propagate Alocasia
Alocasias grow from tubers, so you need to wait for a smaller alocasia pup to grow at the base of the main plant. Then separate it out by taking the plants out of their container, and breaking the smaller pup plant off, being careful to take a small part of the tuber and roots with it. Then pot them up separately.
You cannot take cuttings like you can with a monstera for example.
Where To Buy An Alocasia
I find the best places to get Alocasias are from specialist plant traders. See our article Rare Plant Shops for more info.
Other Names for Alocasia
There are many names for the different types of alocasia, like the elephant ear alocasia, alocasia zebrina, alocasia polly or alocasia frydek.
Alocasia Care FAQs and Common Problems
Alocasias can be susceptible to pests. The good news is that they get less pests if they are kept humid. If they get spider mites or scale insects they can be treated with a cotton bud and rubbing alcohol to get rid of the bad ones, and if it is only a small issue you can spray the leaves with water and washing up liquid and wipe them down.
For more info on pests see our articles on Houseplant Pests and Problems.
Alocasia Frydek Vs Polly
The frydek has a much lusher green color to its leaves, the polly’s have a very glossy texture and more jagged edges to them.
Do Alocasia Like To Be Root Bound?
They are ok to be root bound, but not very crowded.
Do Alocasia Go Dormant?
When it gets cold it is normal for alocasias to stop growing for a period. It is very important to check the soil before watering in the winter as they may hardly need any water at all and so can be easily overwatered.
Can Alocasia Grow In Water?
You can transition an alocasia from water to soil. It is best to do it with a young pup. You must clean all the soil form the roots and tuber before putting it in water to grow water roots and adapt.
Why Are My Alocasia Leaves Curling?
The most common reason is lack of moisture in the leaves, so make sure your plant is well watered and humid. It could also be too much direct sun.
Is Alocasia Toxic To Cats?
They are toxic to cats and dogs if eaten, they can cause vomiting. Seek vets advice.
Why Is My Alocasia Turning Yellow?
Often leaves turn yellow and can fall off due to not enough water or humidity, which is easy to remedy, But be careful as it can also be a sign of overwatering. Check the soil is dry first before watering. If the soil is wet and the plant is overwatered, then take it out of its soil, let it dry out and then repot it in dry compost.
Brown Patches on Leaves
Alocasia tend to get brown patches from sunburn – be careful of direct sunlight and move the plants back from the light.
Crispy Crunchy Leaves
If the leaves start to go crunchy on your alocasia it is due to a lack of water in the leaves, which is from underwatering or not enough humidity (or both).
Why Is My Alocasia Drooping?
Drooping is a symptom of many issues, the most common one being overwatering. Check the soil and if it is wet, then dry the roots out and repot, then water regularly, but check the top layer of soil is dry before watering again.
How To Trim An Alocasia Polly?
You can use clean, sharp scissors to trim off leaves. Cut the branch as close to the base as possible with a clean cut. Make sure you do not damage the other branches.
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