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How to Care for an Alocasia

This week we are putting the spotlight on our gorgeous Alocasia. This stunning plant boasts distinctive, deep green foliage with contrasting silvery veins, making for a gorgeous, eye-catching display. Here we cover how to care for an Alocasia from start to finish.

Known by several names including Alocasia Amazonica, Alocasia Polly, African Mask, Amazonian Elephant’s Ear and The Amazon Taro, Alocasias are a tropical plant hailing originally from the rainforests of Southeast Asia. Unsurprisingly, given their heritage, they love a warm, humid environment and with the right care they will make a fab addition to your indoor jungle. Read on for all you need to know about caring for an Alocasia.

How do you take care of an Alocasia plant?

An important question, and one that we can answer for you. We’ve put together this one stop care guide telling you all you need to know to keep your Alocasia happy and healthy. From how often he’ll need water to the best place to position him, read on for the full rundown on how to look after an Alocasia.

How often should I water my Alocasia?

Alocasias like moist but not soggy soil and will need water about once a week to maintain this. In winter you can let the top few centimetres of soil dry out in between waterings.

Should I give my Alocasia plant food?

Your Alocasia will benefit from being given plant food regularly during the spring and summer when he is in his active growing phase. We love Plantsmith’s Fortifying Houseplant Tonic, a complete blend of 13 essential nutrients and kelp extract to promote stronger leaves and stimulate cell growth.

How much light does my Alocasia need?

Your Alocasia will thrive in lots of bright, indirect sunlight. Be careful not to position him in direct sun as this will scorch his leaves. It’s also a really good idea to rotate your Alocasia every couple of weeks. This will encourage even growth as he will grow towards the light.

What temperature does my Alocasia like?

Alocasias are tropical plants and as such, they will be happiest in a warm spot. They will thrive in temperatures between 18 – 23˚C.

Do Alocasias like humidity?

In a word, yes! Alocasias are native to very humid, tropical environments and they love humidity when kept in an indoor environment. To make sure your Alocasia gets the humidity he needs, you could place him in the kitchen or bathroom as these are naturally more humid rooms in your home. Additionally, regularly spritz him with a mister or even consider putting a humidifier in the room with him.

Shop the Alocasia at The Little Botanical

For a gorgeously chic, tropical feel in your home, an Alocasia is a fab choice. Look no further than our TLB range for a green beauty that will arrive potted in your choice of ceramic, taking the pain out of having to choose a decorative pot separately to your plant. All you have to do is wait for the postman and then choose the perfect spot in your home for your new botanical buddy.

Decisions, decisions, which bespoke ceramic will you choose? The choice is yours between the almond stoneware, charcoal stoneware or grey pot. But one thing is for sure, whichever you decide upon, your Alocasia will bring an understated, distinctive elegance to your interiors that you’re sure to love.

Fun Facts

The large leaves of the Alocasia are the inspiration for his ‘Elephant’s Ear’ nickname because they resemble the huge ears of this large mammal.

Alocasias store moisture in their thick stems which makes them sensitive to overwatering.

In the wild, Alocasias grow upright and can reach great heights. Some people believe it is an Alocasia plant that features in the children’s tale; Jack and the Beanstalk.

The Alocasia Amazonica moniker is said to come from the name of the nursery where the plant was first cultivated; the Amazon Nursery in Florida.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Alocasias hard to care for?

Here at TLB, we categorise Alocasias as needing an average level of care. By this, we mean that they are not so low maintenance that they will tolerate neglect but their care needs are not so taxing that they’ll keep you up at night. Once you’ve found a good, well-lit spot, out of direct sunlight and nailed his water and humidity needs you’ll have a happy and thriving Alocasia. Take a look at our care guide for a super handy, quick reference guide to looking after your Alocasia.

How big do Alocasias get?

Alocasia grown indoors can grow up to about 30cm in height.

How many leaves do Alocasias have?

Alocasias tend to only have about 4 or 5 leaves at a time and unlike many tropical houseplants they don’t hold onto leaves for long; they will often drop older leaves as they grow new ones. This is normal and nothing to worry about!

How do you repot an Alocasia?

Your Alocasia will likely need to be re-potted every 12 to 18 months. Spring is the best time of year to do this. Choose a growing pot about 2 to 3 cm larger in diameter than the current growing pot. This will give your plant just the right amount of room to continue growing.

Follow these steps to repot your Alocasia:

  • Gently remove the plant from his current growing pot
  • Loosen the roots and prune off any small or long, thread-like roots.
  • Put some new houseplant soil into the bottom of the new growing pot
  • Gently place the plant on top of the new soil
  • Add more new soil around the roots to secure the plant in place
  • Check out our range of ceramics and belly baskets as you’ll likely need a bigger decorative pot now too

If you need more information about repotting your Alocasia, have a read of our Guide to Repotting Houseplants. This should give you all the information you need, but we know repotting your beloved greenery can feel a little daunting so if you still have questions please do get in touch; [email protected] and we’d be happy to help.

Do Alocasias flower?

Alocasias can flower but it is very unusual for them to produce flowers indoors. If yours does produce blooms, they will likely appear in the spring and summer. They are unusual blooms of small white clusters that will last up to a month.

Are Alocasias toxic to pets?

Yes, sadly Alocasias are toxic to pets so this houseplant is best avoided if you have a furry friend or two. The good news is, we do stock a wide range of pet-friendly houseplants. Check them out for a botanical green style that will keep everyone in your household happy.

We hope that this guide has given you a great insight into how to care for your Alocasia plant. As ever, if you still have questions, please do get in touch at [email protected]. And we’d love to see your Alocasia in his new home, do tag us over on insta when he’s settled in; @thelittlebotanical. Until next time plant people.

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