HOUSEPLANT

How to Care for Alocasia? Elephant Ear Full Guide!

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Gorgeous tropical plants with leaves fashioned like arrowheads are known as alocasia. Locate a cozy and well-lit spot in your house for these lovely things.

How to Care for Alocasia Elephant Ear Full Guide
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The unique and beautiful leaves of an Alocasia plant are what make this houseplant so popular. Broad, textured, heart- or arrowhead-shaped leaves can have flat or wavy margins and include characteristic veining that is often a cream hue, providing a sharp contrast to the rich green of the leaf. The presence of an alocasia is undeniable. Attractive and charming, this plant is a welcome addition to any coffee table or bookshelf.

Alocasia plants, which are indigenous to the tropical region of the South Pacific Islands, mainly the Philippines, thrive in the higher levels of humidity that can be found in a kitchen or bathroom.

How to Care for Alocasia ( Elephant Ear)?

How much light does an Alocasia require?

Alocasias are highly adaptable plants that are able to thrive in a variety of lighting conditions, from dim to high indirect light. The rate at which the plant expands can be directly attributed to the amount of light it is exposed to. Make sure that the alocasia is positioned in a location where it may receive a lot of brilliant indirect light if you want the plant to rapidly push out new leaves and develop the enormous foliage for which it is famous.

If you move the plant to a location with fewer hours of sunlight per day, it will continue to live, but its growth will be slower. If you choose to move your alocasia outside during the warmer months, make sure to do so in a location that receives dappled shade. The leaves will char if they are exposed to sunlight directly.

Alocasias can be in direct sun?

To stay comfortable during the hottest part of the day, even if you live in a dry climate, the afternoon sun should be avoided. High humidity allows plants to handle more intense light, therefore maintaining that level is essential if you want to protect your plants from being scorched by the light’s humidity. The afternoon sun is good for the plants the rest of the year. Sunlight early in the morning is a sure bet year-round.

Temperature

For optimal growth, alocasia should be kept at the warmer temperatures typical of the subtropics. Temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit on average are ideal. Bring your alocasia indoors before the temperature drops below 50 ℉ if you kept it outside during the warmer months. Don’t put it next to a drafty window or door, or in front of a heater or air conditioner.

Changes in temperature can slow development and even harm the leaves. It’s important to keep in mind that alocasia will become dormant in the cooler months. They may not shed all of their leaves, but they will cease growth and benefit from somewhat cooler temperatures during this restful period.

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Soil

All alocasia enjoy loose, nutritious potting soil. In order to prevent root rot, it is important to make use of a soil medium that has the ability to hold moisture while also providing adequate water. The majority of pre-mixed soils will do the trick. Avoid using soils that contain crystals that retain moisture and instead use plenty of organic matter such as coco-coir, peat, or shredded leaves. We suggest repotting the alocasia into a potting mix soil mixture that has fewer components that contribute to drainage if the soil in which it is now planted drains too quickly.

How often to water alocasia?

You should water your alocasia plants whenever the top 2 to 4 inches of soil become dry. Alocasias are considered medium-water plants. It’s best if the moisture level is even and stable. When watering alocasia, make sure to let the soil dry up a little bit between each session.

If the plant is dormant over the winter, it does not need as much water.

In the spring and summer, how much water does an alocasia require?

In locations with more cool-to-temperate weather, we have discovered that it is easiest to let the soil of the potted Alocasias dry out somewhat before watering them again. The amount of light and heat that you are working in will determine how much dryness you should allow for in your project. In most cases, we wait until the top third of my Alocasias has dried up before we water them. This will change depending on the season as well as the location where you store your plants.

If you have moved your plant into a brighter location, but it is still showing signs of distress, the problem may be that it is receiving too much water. Because many of my plants can survive without water for two to four weeks at a time, you shouldn’t be scared to allow for higher dryness in the soil while we experiment with different watering schedules to find the one that works best for you.

When you water the plant, make sure that you get every part of it. This will clean your plant and assist manage any pests that may be present in the future. Another option is to simply use a damp towel to wipe down both sides of the stems and leaves of the plant.

Do alocasia like humidity?

Given their subtropical ancestry, it stands to reason that houseplants of the genus Alocasia will do best in conditions of high humidity. The best situation for the houseplant would be one with a high humidity level. Consider making use of a humidifier or a pebble tray with water if you reside in a climate that is drier than average or if you just don’t have access to an area that has sufficient humidity.

The additional boost in humidity that these plants require can be provided by several methods. Find out how to improve the conditions for the alocasia and other houseplants by raising the relative humidity!

Fertilizer

It is helpful to give these houseplants fertilizer on a regular basis, especially when they are actively developing so that they can put out new growth. Varieties that are renowned for having very big leaves may benefit from feedings. For alocasia, you should use either a diluted full liquid fertilizer, an emulsion of fish and seaweed, or a slow-release fertilizer. All three of these options are quite good. If your alocasia plant is dormant, there is no need to fertilize it.

Fun Fact

If the conditions are ideal, alocasia plants can produce new leaves from the energy that is stored in their bulbs even if plants lose all of their leaves. This is because alocasia plants grow from bulbs rather than stems or roots.

Each time you water the alocasia, give the container a quarter turn on its side in a counterclockwise direction. This will ensure that the plant receives an equal amount of sunlight and stop it from developing towards the light, which will prevent it from becoming top-heavy.

The root system of an alocasia looks like a rhizome. These robust roots will be able to store additional water for the plant. Since the nodes are found on the roots, an alocasia can be propagated by cutting off a part of one of the roots and then planting it in the soil. If you give it enough time and the proper growing circumstances, a new plant may sprout from the rhizome.

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How to Propagate Alocasia
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How to Propagate Alocasia?

Due to their tuberous nature, alocasia plants sprout from a single central rhizome. Due to this, unlike other species of houseplants like Monstera, it is not very appropriate for propagation through taking cuttings. Fortunately, this doesn’t make it difficult to propagate your Alocasia.

Propagating Alocasia by Offset Division

  • The initial step in Alocasia propagation is to take the plant from its pot and then shake the extra soil from its roots. Soak clumped soil or use a water hose to loosen the roots.
  • Once the roots are revealed, you’ll discover that your Alocasia has several clumps and offsets (baby plants). These are all connected by their roots, but you can (gently) separate a few. If the roots are twisted, use a knife or scissors.
  • Separated your Alocasia.
  • When dividing clumping plants, each clump has its own root system, so you do not need to wait till they root. Simply follow the directions for water or soil cultivation to witness fresh growth rapidly.

Propagating Alocasia by Water

Water propagation is used on cuttings without roots. You can still put the Alocasia clumps you separated in water. It’s an attractive way to raise houseplants, and they may flourish in water with proper care.

Simply remove any soil from the roots of the Alocasia offset and place it in a container of your choice to grow it in water. The root system is often as beautiful as the foliage itself, so I prefer to use glass vases that allow me to see both. If the water in your nation contains chlorine or chloramine, fill it up using tap water and let it sit out for at least 24 hours. After that, you should merely make sure its roots are underwater.

Put the container where it will get lots of indirect light. Algae development and overheated water are both risks posed by direct sunshine.

In terms of long-term maintenance, you should always replenish the lost moisture. Additionally, once every few months I like to give the water fresh water and add some liquid plant fertilizer to help it flourish.

Propagating Alocasia by Soil

In most cases, offsets and clumps of Alocasia will already have its own root system, making soil propagation the most common mode of propagation. A pot (with such a drainage hole) can be prepared for each plant; I prefer to use regular plastic nursery containers and then cover them with an attractive pot.

Because this is a tropical plant, the soil may store some water yet still allow excess to drain. Plants should thrive in a medium composed primarily of potting soil, with additional coco coir and perlite added as needed.

When you’re ready, plant your Alocasia offsets in the ground and give them a little water. Put the containers somewhere that get lots of bright indirect light, and wait a while. It may take the plant a few weeks to recover from the transplant shock, even though it has its own established root system. When new leaves begin to appear after propagation, you’ll know it was successful.

Be sure to keep larger pots available for any small Alocasia species that may develop from larger parent plants. Even though the plants might be quite small right now, you’ll be astounded by how quickly it will outgrow their current container if you don’t repot it.

READ: How to Propagate Aglaonema? (6 Best Method)

How to Plant Alocasia Bulbs?

Growing Alocasias from bulbs may seem challenging, but expert gardeners can do it. In actuality, cultivating an Alocasia bulb couldn’t be easier, as the bulbs do most of the work. A popular method to propagate Alocasias. Most individuals don’t know about the bulbs hiding beneath the surface. This is a satisfying procedure, so we recommend utilizing a see-through container.

  • Check to see that the bulb has not softened.
  • Position the bulb so that the root section is facing downward.
  • Use rapid draining soil
  • Cover it with either plastic or glass.
  • Never allow it to dry out completely.
  • An abundance of light

How deep should you plant Alocasia bulbs?

Make sure the root zone is facing down when you plant your Alocasia bulb. It is recommended to bury the bulb 8 inches deep for larger kinds and 4 to 6 inches deep for smaller ones. After planting bulbs, water heavily to let the soil settle around them.

How long does it take for Alocasia bulbs to root?

After four to six weeks, you should observe that your bulbs are developing some long, white roots.

How long are bulbs of Alocasia able to be stored?

After two to three years of storage, the quality of the corms will begin to deteriorate, and you will need to purchase new corms.

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Can alocasia grow in water?

Alocasia grown in this method are aesthetically pleasing, and with proper care, Alocasia can survive in water for an unlimited period of time. Simply remove any soil from the roots of the Alocasia offset and place it in a container of your choice to grow it in water.

Do alocasias go dormant?

In the winter season, the Alocasia will go into a resting winter. Your Alocasia will benefit from being moved to a warmer room during the dormancy months. Lessen the number of times you water, but don’t let the potting soil dry out entirely. In the spring, the plant will emerge from its dormancy and resume its development cycle.

Does alocasia like to be root bound?

Most alocasias can last a few years without being repotted since they enjoy being slightly root bound. Since alocasia and other tropical houseplants thrive all year if kept in a warm environment, repotting them in the fall or spring is a smart idea.

Is alocasia edible?

The majority of Alocasia species are not suitable for human consumption. There are some that are highly dangerous, and consuming them could result in death. However, several different types of colocasia are cultivated for the edible tubers that they produce, which are called taro.

How big does alocasia get?

The Aroid family genus Alocasia has over 70 varieties of large-leaved, rhizomatous, and tuberous perennials that normally reach heights of 2 to 6 feet. Depending on the species, long-stalked leaves with arrowhead- to heart-shaped shapes and striking, colorful decorations can be anywhere from 8 and 36 inches long.

When to repot alocasia?

The best time to repot a plant is in the spring or summer when it is at its healthiest. Repotting should be done every 18 to 24 months for bigger floor plants. In order to allow for growth, you need often to use a potting vessel with a diameter of 2″ to 4″ greater.

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Do alocasia flower?

The inflorescence or flower of an alocasia is not as aesthetically attractive to look at as the leaves of the plant itself, which are rather lovely. The flower of an alocasia is made up of a spadix that is encircled by a spathe that is covered in vibrant color. The flowers often bloom during the summer and the spring.

Is alocasia an indoor plant?

The Alocasia has some of the most eye-catching leaves of any indoor plant, and it is gaining popularity as a result of its outstanding visual and sculptural qualities.