Did you know that there are as many as 97 species of Alocasia in existence? Although the genus first originated in Asia and Australia, over the years, a variety of cultivars and hybrids have been created. Today the Alocasia plant is available to houseplant owners all over the world!
You’ve probably heard of the popular Alocasia polly (also called the Alocasia Amazonica), known for its dark green foliage and striking venation. Or perhaps you’ve heard of the wonderful Alocasia zebrina (Elephant Ear Tiger), with its quirky, tiger-print stem? You might not have heard of the rarer varieties of Alocasia, such as the Alocasia sarawakensis (Elephant Ear ‘Yucatan Princess’) or the Alocasia cuprea (Elephant Ear ‘Red Secret’) - but that’s about to change!
Here at Bloombox Club, we stock a fantastic range of Alocasia plants, from the more popular varieties to the lesser-known ones - you’ll be spoilt for choice!
The Different Types of Alocasia
We sell many different types of Alocasia here at Bloombox Club. Check out some of our favourites below.
Elephant Ear ‘Tiger’ (Alocasia zebrina)
This Alocasia boasts rhizomatic, tiger-print print stems and arrow-shaped leaves. It is native to the Philippines and up until recently, it could only be found on a single island! The zebrina loves high humidity and bright indirect light.
Elephant Ear ‘Giant Taro’ (Alocasia macrorrhiza)
The Giant Taro is definitely a statement piece. It is one of the larger Alocasia plants and is known to produce new, arrow-shaped leaves as often as once a week! It hails from India, Sri Lanka, and the Indonesian Islands, meaning it thrives in high humidity and warm temperatures. It is also a natural air purifier and dust trapper!
Elephant Ear ‘Yucatan Princess’ (Alocasia sarawakensis)
This unique variety of Alocasia has glossy leaves with maroon undersides. It is native to the tropics and subtropics of Asia and the east of Australia. It loves the sun but prefers to be kept out of direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time. If overwatered, it will drip water from the tips of its leaves!
Elephant Ear Stingray (Alocasia ‘stingray’)
This plant gets its name from its unusual leaves that are said to resemble a stingray! It is native to the tropics of Asia and can grow as tall as 1.8 metres high and 1 metre wide! In the wild, animals love to shelter under stingrays to protect themselves from the rain. This Alocasia loves warmer environments and benefits from regular watering in summer.
Elephant Ear ‘Red Secret’ (Alocasia cuprea)
The Alocasia cuprea is a real showstopper! In its natural habitat, Borneo, it grows on the rainforest floor, where it does not receive much sunlight. To make up for this, it has developed a metallic, iridescent surface that bounces sunlight between each leaf! It loves to live in the bathroom or kitchen, where humidity levels are high, and it prefers consistently moist soil.
General Alocasia Care Tips
We’ve put together some general care tips for looking after your Alocasia.
- Lighting: Alocasias prefer bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight will scorch your plant’s leaves and cause them to fade, so try to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays.
- Watering: Allow the top layer of soil to dry out before watering. This should be roughly once or twice a week during the summer months and less frequently during winter.
- Temperature and Humidity: Alocasias are native to the tropical rainforests, meaning they absolutely love high humidity and warmer temperatures, generally in the region of 15-30°C. Try not to expose to temperatures below 12°C.
- Feeding: Try feeding your Alocasia once a month during the growing season using a diluted liquid fertiliser.
- Repotting: Repot your Alocasia once it becomes root-bound. You will be able to tell that it needs repotting when the roots start to peek out of the drainage holes.
Propagating your Alocasia: Top Tips
Did you know that you can propagate your plants to make new ones? There are a few simple methods for doing this:
Many Alocasias produce offsets, which are essentially miniature versions of the adult plant that grow from the roots. Offsets can be separated from the adult plant (they should come apart easily but you can use a pair of shears if necessary) and then either placed into soil or water.
If propagating in soil, plant your offsets into a fresh potting mix, give them a drink, and place them in a spot with bright, indirect light. If the propagation was successful, you should see new growth appearing within a few weeks.
If propagating in water, place your offsets into a container such as a vase, ensuring that the roots are submerged. Place in bright, indirect light and wait for new roots to form. Then, follow the above step for replanting into soil.
You can do this as many times as you want, depending on how many Alocasia babies you want to create!
How do I clean my Alocasia?
Some Alocasia plants are natural dust trappers, which is great for promoting a healthy indoor climate! However, this means that your plants may become quite dusty, so we recommend wiping the leaves regularly using a clean cloth in order to keep them fresh.