Alocasia Essential Care
Position indoors in bright indirect light.
The Alocasia Family is a spectacular plant species native to Asia that thrives in humidity and grows beautiful foliage. Alocasias are tropical plants that grow in over 70 different varieties and can be kept as houseplants. Alocasias grow a stunning foliage that ranges from slim arrow shaped leaves to big heart shaped leaves. Thanks to latter they are also often being nicknamed ‘Elephant Ears’. The leaves are waxy to glossy and are toxic to humans and animals, so make sure to place them out of reach from pets and small children.
Where to place your Alocasia
Alocasias are super popular houseplants. They are fast growers but very sensitive to frost. They can grow outside in hardiness zones 10 and 11 but need to be kept indoors in colder climates. In temperate climates, like in the UK, they can live in pots in partial shade outside in summer, but definitely need to live indoors in spring, autumn and winter. Avoid placing them in cool spots and allow them to stay away from drafty doors and windows. They thrive in humidity, ideally in temperatures above 15 °C, and they love bright, indirect, filtered light.
Rare Black Alocasia
How to care for your Alocasia
Alocasias love loose, well-drained soil. Let the first few inches of the substrate in the pot dry out before watering your houseplant again. When it comes to Alocasias the rule of thumb is usually: keep the soil evenly damp all year-round, but not soggy.
Problems with your Alocasia?
There might come a time when your Alocasia looks a little poorly. This can usually be avoided with the right care, but here’s a little help for the most common problems in case all you’ve tried before didn’t improve your Alocasia’s condition.
Root rot: This problem is often caused by overwatering. Make sure to keep the soil evenly damp all year round, but not soggy. Remember to reduce watering in the Alocasia’s dormant phase in winter and don’t use fertiliser during that time.
Bugs: Can you spot teeny-tiny bugs on the foliage of your Alocasia? Don’t forget to check the underside of the leaves because you might stumble across difficult-to-spot, nasty little spider mites. Leaving this problem for too long might result in a very poorly looking houseplant, so it’s best to address it right away instead of turning a blind eye to these ever so minuscule creatures. Wash the affected leaves of your Alocasia gently with a soft sponge and a little soapy water (it’s best to use horticultural soap) and remove the bugs from your houseplant. Alternatively, you can also put alcohol (70-99%) on a cotton pad and rub the leaves gently to remove the bugs. Another really helpful solution is to spray organic neem oil on your plant to counteract pests. Neem oil is an amazing, eco-friendly alternative to harmful chemicals and won’t do your plant, yourself or the environment any harm. A little goes a long way when it comes to neem oil, so add one teaspoon of neem oil to one litre of water, put the mixture in a plant mister and shake well just so water and oil blend nicely. Oil and water might separate after a while, so shake well before you use the mixture again. Spray your plant and repeat every 4-5 days until all the bugs have gone.
Brown leaves: Are there brown spots on your Alocasia’s foliage, or do entire leaves turn brown and shrivel? This problem can be caused by overwatering or by keeping your houseplant in a space that is not warm or humid enough. Keep your Alocasia away from drafty doors and windows and buy a plant mister to increase humidity, giving the leaves a little spray every day. Alternatively you can place your Alocasia on a tray filled with stones / pebbles and water to increase humidity.
Sometimes it can be hard to choose, especially when there’s over 70 varieties…Here are some of our favourite Alocasia varieties:
The easiest-to-look-after Alocasia varieties are: