The Alocasia, otherwise known as the African Mask Plant, Elephant Ear, or the Kris Plant, is native to the Tropical forests of Southeast Asia and Australia. This plant’s ripple-edged, arrowhead-shaped leaves boast rich green colors with contrasting white veins, making it stand out among your collection of foliage.
With an average of one new leaf sprout per month, it has a moderate growth speed and can reach up to 18 inches in height and/or width.
Alocasias produce underground bulbs called “corms” from which new Alocasia plant babies can grow. When repotting your alocasia, look for corms in the soil which can be propagated separately to create a new plant.
Alocasias are notoriously picky plants. It may take you some time to get the hang of their unique needs before you see new leaf growth.
Avoid putting the plant in direct sunlight or particularly dark areas of your home. Instead, situate your Alocasia plant a few feet away from an East-facing window so that it gets indirect sunlight. If you put it close to a South or West-facing window, cover the window with a sheer curtain to filter the sunlight.
The alocasia is a tropical plant and prefers moist, well drained soil. Water your alocasia when the top inch or two of soil is dry. Don’t allow your plant to sit in standing water as this can lead to root rot.
Distilled or spring water are ideal for watering your alocasia. The minerals and chlorine from your tap water may cause browning or dropped leaves.
The Alocasia plant needs a warm spot to grow. About 85 degrees fahrenheit is its preference, but it will tolerate household temperatures between 65-72 degrees. Exposing your alocasia to temperatures lower than 61 degrees Fahrenheit may cause it to go dormant.
Alocasias need a humid environment to thrive. Consider raising the humidity of its indoor location by placing it in a bright bathroom or kitchen so that it benefits from the steam created by showers or cooking. You can also put a small humidifier next to the plant or put the pot near a tray of water and pebbles.
Alocasias prefer a moist and well draining soil. You can make a porous soil at home by combining one part potting mix and one part perlite.
Alocosias are mildly toxic and should be kept out of reach of children and animals. Consuming parts of the plant can cause irritation to the mouth, tongue and lips, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting.