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Alocasias are highly popular houseplants, coveted for their fascinating designs and interesting shapes; Statement plants that are guaranteed to upgrade any space any room and commonly known as elephant ear plants or African mask plants. Navigate this lovely collection by choosing between different sizes, rooms, light levels and prices.
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How To Grow Alocasias?
Alocasia plants prefer bright, indirect filtered sunlight, but they are also adaptable and can handle a range of light from low to bright indirect. Some species even enjoy full light! As long as they are not exposed to the harsh midday summer light, Alocasia plants should thrive.
Alocasia plants are a fussy bunch! They dislike both soggy soil and dry soil.
With Alocasia plants, it’s a case of finding the happy medium. Water them regularly in spring and summer when they are actively growing, keeping the soil evenly moist, and watering when the top layer begins to feel dry to the touch. In winter they will require less water. Alocasia plants tend to be sensitive to the chlorine found in tap water, so allow the water to sit overnight and let the chemicals evaporate before watering. If you’re able to collect rainwater, drizzling some over your Alocasia plant can help promote happy new growth!
In spring and summer, feed once or twice a month with diluted balanced fertiliser. During winter dormancy they won’t need feeding at all.
Re-pot your Alocasia when the roots begin to emerge from the drainage holes of the pot. Alocasia plants enjoy being slightly rootbound, so pot size should be increased gradually. A ceramic or non-porous pot is ideal for soil moisture levels. Replenish the soil annually even if you’re not repotting.
Alocasia leaves collect dust, so wipe them gently every so often with a damp cloth to improve their ability to photosynthesise. Misting can also help with this.
How To Fertilise An Alocasia?
You may be wondering; how do I fertilise my Alocasia Elephant Ear?
The first thing to know is that Alocasia plants are heavy feeders. As fast-growing plants, they need plenty of nutrients to reach their full potential. Alocasia leaves can grow to a significant size with the right care, so it’s no wonder they’re also known as elephant ears. They vary in size depending on the variety, but some Alocasia species can grow to an enormous 12 feet tall with leaves spanning 3ft or more! An Alocasia houseplant will generally remain much smaller.
It’s a good idea to up the fertilising schedule in spring and summer during the Alocasia’s active growing period. Fertilise them regularly with a balanced mix of 20:20:20 fertiliser, with equal parts nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, and your Alocasia will show its appreciation with plenty of new foliage and fast growth.
With most fertilisers, it’s generally a good idea to use a well-diluted mix. Fertilising once or twice a month during spring and summer should be the ideal amount for the average Alocasia plant kept indoors. In winter, Alocasia plants do not need any fertiliser, as this is their dormancy period.
What Different Types of Alocasia are there?
Elephant Ear 'Tiger'
The Elephant Ear tiger Alocasia is nature’s own design masterpiece - with funky zebra-like patterns on its rhizomatic stems and the classic shiny, elongated leaves that Alocasia ‘Elephant Ear’ is nicknamed for.
Upright Elephant Ear
Upright Elephant Ear, or Alocasia Portodora, is a stand-out Alocasia with huge scalloped leaves and thick stems that almost resemble rhubarb. The glossy, tropical foliage adds a luscious feel to the home. They’re perfect for bathrooms and kitchens and love humidity!
Elephant Ear 'Giant Taro'
The Elephant Ear ‘Giant Taro is also known as the Borneo Giant and Giant Alocasia. The zingy green leaves are a fresh and verdant addition to a household. This giant will add dense foliage to your indoor jungle - During its active growing season, it can even produce new leaves every week.
The Alocasia Lauterbachiana is a stunning Alocasia Elephant Ear, with striking spear-like stems and arrowhead leaves with scalloped edges and red undersides. This Alocasia plant prefers slightly drier, well-draining soil and only needs a drink with the top two inches of soil is dry.
Hardy Elephant Ear
Hardy Elephant Ear, or Alocasia Wentii, has stunning arrow-shaped leaves with a deep green sheen and purple-hued metallic undersides. This plant is native to the mountains of New Guinea called 'Hardy Elephant Ear' due to its tolerance to colder temperatures. Other nicknames include New Guinea Shield and Purple Umbrella, and it’s easy to see why!
Elephant Ear 'Red Secret'
Originally from hot humid environments, this Alocasia is found particularly in Borneo and other countries in Southeast Asia and South America. They’re also known as Jewel Alocasias, and Mirror Plant; their luminous lime green stems and iridescent leaves with deep red undersides seem to shimmer and change colour.
How to Propagating your Alocasia?
You may be wondering if it’s possible to propagate an Alocasia Elephant Ear, and you’ll be pleased to hear that Alocasia are relatively easy to propagate! Leaf cuttings are not advised, as Alocasia plants grow from tuberous rhizomes, and the easiest way to propagate is by dividing these rhizomes into sections.
For the best chance at a successful Alocasia Elephant Ear propagation, wait until the plant comes out of winter dormancy, propagating in spring or summer.
- Start by removing the Alocasia plant from the soil, gently shaking off any excess. If the soil is clumped, soak in water or spray with a hose to remove it. Repotting couldn’t be easier using our 3 piece garden set
- Next, tease the roots apart, always keeping the roots intact if possible, using a clean pair of pruning shears if they are too tangled to separate. The mother plant should be clearly visible, and the smaller offsets are the new plants to propagate.
- Re-pot these into small pots with a rich potting medium and fertilise. Unlike cuttings, these will have their own root system already, so you’re likely to see some new growth emerge in no time!
Propagating is a wonderful way to grow your house plant collection, or to gift a miniature version of your favourite houseplant to a friend!
Is Alocasia pet-friendly?
Unfortunately not; most, if not all species of Alocasia are toxic. Their leaves contain insoluble oxalate crystals that are released when eaten. These crystals can cause swelling and irritation of the mouth and gastrointestinal tract. Keep away from nibbly pets, and contact your vet immediately if your pet has bitten into a leaf.