Alocasia, or elephant’s ears, are popular houseplants with enormous heart-shaped or arrow-shaped leaves. They are a fast-growing tropical species that can naturally grow large leaves that help them soak up the sun under rainforest canopies. In this post, we will see how to grow and care for alocasia plants in your house.
Alocasia can be grown outdoors. However, they need warm and humid conditions that mimic their native habitats. Therefore, growing them indoors is the best solution since it offers them the temperatures and filtered light they require to thrive. During the warmer months, they can be moved outdoors; when the temperature drops, you can move them in. You should avoid these plants if you have pets or children, as the leaves can be toxic to humans and animals.
If given the right conditions, alocasia is easy to care for. They grow quickly in the warm summer months and produce a new leaf every week. During winter, the plant becomes dormant. But ensure you keep them warm indoors as they love humidity and bright indirect sunlight. Alocasia can grow 8-10 feet tall if given proper care. But this depends on which species you select. Growing in containers indoors may not allow them to reach mature heights as they would when grown in a garden under optimal conditions.
Alocasia can thrive in bright indirect light as it prevents their leaves from the scorching sun, but they get the amount and type of light depending on the species. Some large varieties can handle direct sunlight, and their leaf color tends to be more defined. A location near a window with an eastern or western exposure can offer the filtered light. Some alocasia species may also tolerate a shadier spot in your home. However, the leaf growth can be slower and less impressive.
Alocasia requires a loose and well-drained potting mix. They show a preference for slightly acidic soil provided by a standard peat-based potting mix. Since the plants do not like wet feet, you must improve drainage. You can amend the mix with perlite or orchid bark.
Alocasia is water-loving, but there is a fine line. They require soil that is evenly moist but not soggy and requires less water during the winter months since the plant is dormant during this time. It would help to keep the top few inches of soil nearly dry before watering, as it will keep the soil evenly moist. Soggy soil makes them susceptible to fungal infections and root rot.
Temperature and Humidity
Alcosia cannot survive below 60 F., so some varieties may even die during colder weather and re-sprout from the rhizome. The plant requires very humid environments. To increase the humidity around the plant, you can place it on a tray filled with pebbles and add water until it rises just below the pebble surface. Ensure you keep it away from cold drafts from doors, windows, and air conditioning.
Alocasia can be a great indoor, ornamental plant. If taken care of in the right way, it can thrive under any condition. You can find alocasia in many nurseries where you can buy them at affordable rates.
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