It feels at home in the tropics of Asia. The beautiful Alocasia is found mainly in India, Malesia (Sumatra to New Guinea) and even in eastern parts of Australia. All Alocasia species belong to the Araceae family. They are also called taro or elephant ear because of their large leaves, which can reach one and a half feet in diameter. With enough light and proper care, one is always rewarded with new leaves after the oldest ones are shed periodically. Thus, the Alocasia is constantly renewing itself.
Did you know?
The Alocasia is not only beautiful, but also useful: in the tropical rainforests, the leaves of the Alocasia are used as umbrellas by some native peoples because of their enormous size. When properly prepared, some Alocasia species can even be eaten.
The perfect location:
Alocasia is a true sun worshipper. When it lacks light, it forms very long petioles to grow towards the light. When the stems become too long, the Alocasia can no longer support the weight of the leaves. They break or droop. Therefore, it should definitely be placed in a predominantly light location. Here, west or east windows are best suited. A place directly at the south window is recommended only with sufficient distance (at least two meters) to the glass pane, because the leaves of the Alocasia can burn due to the strong sunlight. In addition to sufficient light, the Alocasia needs high humidity and warm temperatures between 18° and 23° Celsius.
How to care for Alocasia
As a true tropical plant, Alocasia loves moisture. Since there must always be water in its stems, the substrate should also be kept permanently moist. Therefore, it is recommended to regularly check the soil for wetness with your finger.
But be careful: the Alocasia loves a humid environment - but too much water at once (waterlogging) should be avoided at all costs. Since its natural habitat is in tropical warm areas, the Alocasia is sensitive to cold watering. A lukewarm shower to remove dust or stagnant water at room temperature for watering are great for making the Alocasia as at home as possible.
To wash off the exotic houseplant, that is, to rid it of dust, its planter should be removed so that excess water can drain away well. Alternatively, it is enough to gently wipe its leaves with a damp cloth. So nothing stands in the way of metabolism and beauty.
How to fertilize Alocasia
The nutrient requirements of alocasias tend to be rather high. Therefore, it is important to provide them with such regularly. From April to September, it is recommended to fertilize once a week, while from October to March, every four to six weeks is sufficient. Thus, the exotic houseplant gets the necessary minerals, nutrients and trace elements it needs for healthy growth and formation of new leaves.
The Alocasia is also much more resistant to pests and diseases with a perfect supply of nutrients. Of course, slow-release fertilizers, such as fertilizer sticks, are also suitable here.
How to repot Alocasia
For houseplants, it is recommended to check in the spring whether a new pot is needed or not. In the case of Alocasia, the need can be easily identified by the roots. When these penetrate through the drainage holes, the time has come for a new pot. In the best case, it is about five to eight inches larger than the previous one and filled with fresh loose substrate. This gives the alocasia enough room to spread out again. The new substrate can also store more moisture again.
So far, 70 to 84 variants of Alocasia have been discovered worldwide.
Our favorite 5:
- Alocasia Silver Dragon
- Alocasia Macrorrhiza variegata
- Alocasia Frydek
- Alocasia Dragon Scale variegata
- Alocasia Polly variegata