Our ultimate guide to the alocasia dark star care and propagation...
The key is to keep the soil moist but not soaking or dry and give them plenty of humidity,
Alocasia Dark Star Summary
|Light needs:||Medium to bright indirect sunlight.|
|Watering needs:||Check once a week and water when top 30% of soil dry.|
|Fertilizer:||Feed a well diluted balanced feed once a month in the summer.|
|Soil:||A loose, well draining soil.|
|Where to buy:||Try our list of Rare Plant Shops or Etsy.|
|Common issues:||Under and over watering.|
Also known as the dark star elephant ear, the alocasia dark star is a big, dark leaved elephant ear alocasia. It is a dominating and impressive plant known for it’s dark leaves and dark stems, the stems are one of my favorite things about this plant.
See also: Alocasia Wentii, Alocasia Lauterbachiana, Alocasia Calidora, Alocasia Ivory Coast, Alocasia Longiloba, Alocasia Chantrieri, Alocasia Ivory Coast, Alocasia Longiloba, Alocasia Portora, Variegated Alocasia.
Tip: we recommend Etsy for buying plants. Look for the best rated seller you can, and try to buy as close to your home as possible so the plant does not travel too far.
Medium to bright indirect sunlight is optimal for the dark star, they do ok back from the window in a bright room. They can even become accustomed to a bit of early morning direct sun too.
How Often to Water
Check your plant once a week and let the top 30% of soil dry out before watering again. They like to be a little bit moist. Avoid them being soaking wet by tipping out any excess water after watering.
Tip: I would try to keep them moist but not dry or soaking. Make sure you tip out any water that drains through the pot after watering and don’t let the plant sit in it.
Alocasia Dark Star Fertilizer
Feed a well diluted balanced feed once a month in the summer to encourage growth. Make sure you dilute it a bit too much the first few times you feed it to avoid fertilizer burn. Then increase the dose slowly.
Use a loose, well draining soil. The alocasia dark star likes water, but does not like to sit in soggy soil. A good mix would be equal parts orchid bark, perlite, normal potting compost. For more on which soil to buy or how to make your own see our guide: Alocasia Soil.
When To Repot
Repot it when it gets root bound and outgrows its current pot. It’s a good idea to check the roots at about easter time, so the plant has space to grow over the coming warmer months.
60% humidity is ideal. But elephant ear alocasias like this are quite tolerant of different humidity levels, they are often grown outside in less humidity.
Tip: Keep them humid, at least 60% in the day and they’ll be ok with a bit less at night. You can buy a humidity meter (affiliate link) to keep an eye on maximum and minimum levels.
The temperature range 18-25ºC (64-77ºF) is optimal for the dark star. Try to keep them above 12ºC (54ºF) as a minimum temperature at night.
How To Propagate Alocasia Dark Star
The best way to propagate an alocasia dark star is to split off the smaller ‘pups’ from the base and pot them up separately. They are rhizomatous plants, so the stems and roots all grow from a central rhizome, which is almost like a bulb. When propagating the plant you need to take some of the rhizome with some roots growing below and stems growing above. Just try to damage the rhizome and roots as little as possible.
They can grow up to nearly two meters tall (approx. 6 feet) if their care needs are met. This can take 2 to 5 years.
alocasia dark star USDA Zone
Alocasia Dark Star Indoor Care
The key to indoor care is to keep humidity high and keep it near a bight window, without direct sun.
The thing to be careful of outside is direct sun and minimum temperature. If the temperatures drop too low the plant can suffer, you don’t want it gong below 12ºC (54ºF) regularly.
Is It Toxic To Cats?
It is toxic to cats and can cause vomiting, numbness and oral irrigation. So see vets advice immediately if your cat has eaten any.
Alocasia Dark Star Size
They can reach up to 1.5 meters in height (5 feet), if given optimal conditions and reach maturity. They can spread to 1 meters (3 feet or so) wide too.
Why Do Alocasias Leaves Die Back When A New One Grows?
Until alocasias are mature and have a well developed trunk/stem they cannot support lots of new leaves, and often one will die off when a new one grows. It is normal behavior for a juvenile alocasia.
Alocasia Dark Star Vs Black Stem
The alocasia dark star is a hybrid of the black stem, but it grows bigger with much bigger leaves. The black stem is smaller and has more heart-shaped leaves.
Alocasia Dark Star Scientific Name
It’s scientific name is alocasia dark star. It’s a hybrid between two other alocasias, you can read more on it at the patent application.
Alocasia Dark Star Elephant Ear.
Where To Buy
Dark star elephant ear.
FAQs and Common Problems
They are commonly under and over watered and these problems show on their big leaves. Drooping, yellowing and browning of leaves could indicate these issues. In any of these cases check the soil and you’ll know which one it is. Maintaining a regular watering schedule is important to stop these issues: check the plant weekly but only water if needed.