How to Care for Alocasia
Also known as the African Mask plant or Elephant Ear plant, the Alocasia isn’t African at all. It’s native to Asia and has striking and beautiful foliage that adds a dramatic flair to your home or office. The Alocasia tends to require a little extra TLC, so we’ve put together some specifics on how to treat your new addition right.
Note: Alocasia is poisonous to people and animals, so take care to keep away from children and pets.
How much light does an Alocasia need?
Alocasia needs bright, indirect light. Keep it in a sunny room but avoid direct sunlight or it may get sunburned.
How much water does an Alocasia need?
Keep the top inch of soil moist and water regularly (usually once a week, depending on the temperature and humidity in your home). Overwatering will result in soggy, soupy soil and can cause root rot and fungal infections, so take care to let the Alocasia’s soil dry before rewatering.
The Alocasia also thrives in high humidity environments, so investing in a humidifier to keep near your plants is a great idea. Avoid misting your Alocasia as direct water on the leaves can make it prone to rot and infections.
Does an Alocasia need fertilizer?
Our plants are grown in the greenhouse to successfully and comfortably transition into the home environment, so you shouldn’t need to fertilize for the first six to twelve months. If you want to add a fertilizer routine later to help promote new growth, you can fertilize regularly in spring and summer with a standard plant food diluted to half strength. Don’t fertilize in the winter when the Alocasia is dormant and storing energy for growth in the spring.
What is the best temperature for an Alocasia?
The Alocasia likes to be comfortably warm, so keep it at an average room temperature between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid drafts and keep it away from air conditioning units and vents. If your Alocasia is kept below 60 degrees it can go dormant and lose its leaves, so keep it cozy.
Common Alocasia Problems
Like other plants, Alocasia will show its problems by displaying discolored or dark spots on leaves or losing leaves entirely.
If you overwater your Alocasia, it’s possible that it will develop root rot or a fungal infection. Watch for brown or black spots developing on the leaves and monitor the soil for moisture. The top inch or two of soil should be damp but not saturated with water for optimal health. If you notice spots or other signs of rot or infection, remove damaged leaves and back off watering until the soil has had a chance to dry out. Compensate for light and humidity levels to ensure that you are not overwatering in the future.
An underwatered Alocasia will have dry, crispy leaves and receding soil. Keep your Alocasia well watered to avoid dryness! Note that you should cut back on watering in the winter months when it’s cooler and when the plant is in its dormant stage. Once you get the hang of it, keeping your Alocasia watered will be second nature.
Insects and Pests
While more rare on indoor plants, Alocasia can be prone to pests like mealybugs and spider mites. If you notice these or other insects on your plant, spray or apply neem oil to kill bugs and eggs.
Keep Calm and Alocasia On
If you’ve got additional questions about caring for your Alocasia, let us know. We will be happy to troubleshoot for you.
PS. Once again - keep away from pets and children, as the Alocasia is toxic!