Alocasias are considered some of the most striking houseplants because of their spectacular foliage and visual appeal. Beautiful, glossy green foliage is adorned with thick, prominent veins on the undersides of the leaves, and wavy, upturned leaf margins. It’s much easier to overwater in the colder months. It’s extremely poisonous to both pets and humans. Alocasia plants are primarily hybridized because of the appeal of their leaf form, color, and sizes. You want to keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Be sure to cut back during the winter. A post shared by Katie Pennington (@the_potted_plant_club) on Jan 14, 2020 at 1:02pm PST. Depending on the variety, you could end up with a splash of red, bronze or even purple veined with striking white. Alocasia is one of several plants known as an elephant ear. Once the plant is in its dormant period (in the late fall and winter), it will begin resting. This goes for the roots and the leaves. Is your plant collection still missing something? This variety is most popular and grows around 2 feet tall... Alocasia Macrorrhizos ‘stingray’ is a large variety that grows up to 4-5 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide. Plants are on the smaller side, growing 1 to 3 feet tall with their width matching their height. To raise the humidity around your plant, place it on a tray filled with pebbles and then add water until it rises to just below the bottom of the pot. Another compact variety, ‘Silver Dragon,’ has silvery, pale green leaves with dark green veining that shows red on the underside. It needs more than most house plants, but, although it should be in the sun for at least 6 – 8 hours of every day, the light needs to be indirect or filtered. If you’re growing an elephant ear outside, it’s also sun-loving, but you’ll need to place it somewhere where it can have partial shade in the afternoon. Plant in loose, well-drained potting mix or a crumbly loamy soil. Because the plant isn’t growing, it isn’t using up nutrients. Grown for its striking foliage, the African mask plant is not an easy care houseplant. Due to its popularity, this variety is easy to find locally in stores. As we’ve said, Alocasia is a fussy house plant, but the information above should help you get off to a great start. I’m here to share my experience and help you have more success and enjoyment growing plants. The clues can range from misshapen leaves to white residue. Native to the tropical area in the South Pacific Islands, particularly the Philippines, Alocasia plants appreciate the extra humidity a … Maintain high humidity levels by grouping your plants, using a pebble tray. The goal when watering an elephant ear is to prevent it from becoming soggy. The large leaves of the Alocasia wentii can reach up to 12 inches in length, in a jeweled deep green shade with a surprising, spectacular contrasting purple-bronze underneath. This makes it important to let the soil for your Black Velvet dry out more than other types and ensure it has good root aeration. During the cooler, winter months scale back watering when plants are dormant to prevent root rot. They look regal, begging to be touched, and added to your plant collection. Black Velvet Alocasias seldom grow taller than 12-inches in height and about 18-inches across to create a “bushier” plant than most Alocasias. It has shiny, thick, dark green and arrow shaped leaves and a distinctive, tiger-striped stem. Just note they aren’t the type of houseplant that will grow if neglected; they are a little finicky and need your attention. The new growth will be beautiful too. In this case, the highly textured, almost oval leaves are really light in color, a pale silvery-blueish with primary and secondary veins in dark green to sage-blue. If you need to control your Alocasia’s growth, repot it annually and split the rhizome into 2 containers when you do so. Leaves are on average 18-inches in length when fully grown. It’s best not to mist this plant because wet leaves can lead to fungal infections. If it gets below 60, the leaves will quickly start to drop. If you can find the right balance, the light will encourage rapid growth and make the leaves even bolder. It’s certainly a commitment. Once the plant is in its dormant period (in the late fall and winter), it will begin resting. Read more about fertilizing houseplants here. Check with your local municipality if you have concerns prior to planting this species outdoors. Elephant ear must get enough sun. Your email address will not be published. ", The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. The recessed veins are so dark they almost appear black. Read more about caring for Alocasia zebrina here. Perhaps it’s time to consider an Alocasia. The only one to avoid is A. Macrorrhizos. On the other hand, you should never fertilize it in the winter. Keep them away from cold drafts from windows, doors, and air conditioning. It benefits from a mix with lots of peat, as this increases the acidity of the soil and helps it to hold onto its nutrients. It’s also just as hungry for sunlight as it is for nutrients. This is the one which grows to over 15’ tall. Thick, heart-shaped leaves grow to the size of saucers and develop a deep black color and almost velvety texture accented with prominent silvery-white veins. These narrow leaves have wavy, undulating edges, and are adorned with thick white veins running throughout the leaves. Alocasia zebrina (also called as Elephant Ear or zebra plant) is an evergreen ornamental houseplant. Although pruning isn’t an essential job in terms of Alocasia care, it will encourage new growth. The Silver Dragon is one of the more compact Alocasia varieties. All common house plant pests can be a problem for this plant, so watch out for evidence of aphids, mealybugs, scales and spider mites. A good solution is to polish the shiny leaves with diluted neem oil every few weeks. Sometimes, each leaf can be double the size of the one that came before it. Its large, arrowhead-shaped leaves are shiny, rippled at the edges, and much darker than those of other house plants. Very rarely, there will be extreme swelling of the upper airway, making it difficult to breathe. There is a fine line with these plants. The plant doesn’t drink as much when it’s dormant. They both have large leaves and they’re equally hardy. Elephant ear is a very hungry plant. Plants quickly reach upwards of 6-feet tall at full height and span a width of 3 to 4-feet across, giving plants a tall, slender appearance. The flowers are often obscured by the large foliage and are somewhat insignificant (green spadix and white spathe). This is the most common elephant ear you can buy. Finally, Colocasia is slightly harder to kill. Leaves on the Zebrina are thinner than most Alocasia varieties, but they still display the bold, noticeable veins, just without the bright white markings. Using one will encourage the soil to dry out between waterings. Because this plant hates to stand in water, a terracotta pot is a good choice. Use a balanced all-purpose fertilizer for leafy green plants. Place your plant in a location where it can receive. The plant needs to be dusted anyway and neem is a natural pest repellent. Alocasias can be heavy feeders, especially large specimens. If you don’t want to dig it up to check which one you have, look at the leaves. They have colorful veins and a variety of textures from thick, waxy, slick, and glossy. Don’t let air temperatures drop below 60℉ and keep plants away from cold drafts coming in through leaky windows or out of air conditioning vents. Occasionally, indoor-grown houseplants will flower, sending up a small, calla-like inflorescence. There are over 70 species and hybrids of Alocasia. A post shared by simone (@dutchgreenhouse) on Sep 15, 2019 at 7:37am PDT. A post shared by Herban Tropics ‍‍ (@phillyjunglebook) on Feb 27, 2019 at 5:23pm PST. Keep it inside in the winter, protect it from drafts, and never put it too close to an air conditioning unit. Also known as Buddha’s Hand, the Hooded Dwarf Alocasia is thought to bring good fortune and is found in Buddhist temples across Thailand and Laos. These products will kill the pests and their eggs. Signs of diseases are typically black or dark brown spots on the leaves and a yellowish rim around the spots. Frydek plants have velvety (as opposed to glossy), deep-green leaves with bright white, prominent veins on the foliage; the veins, however, are narrower than those on Polly plants, appearing less prominent. The unique feature about the Purple Sword though is they stay a mere 2 inches wide compared to other varieties that have leaves almost as wide as they are long. Smaller than some other Alocasia varieties, Hooded Dwarf only grows to about 3-feet tall and 3-feet wide. This will help keep the plant dust-free. If you notice bite marks in your plant, you should seek urgent medical attention. These quick-growing plants make a great indoor specimen if you have the space for a large houseplant; when grown outside they are often considered invasive as they take over your yard or garden. Most Alocasia plants can be propagated by clump or rhizome division. Alocasia tends to grow straight up from the stem, whereas Colocasia flop downwards.

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