The Amazonian Alocasia is one of those plants that will steal all eyes, as it has a beautiful shape and colours that are impossible to ignore. Its leaves are dark green, criss-crossed with well-defined white lines, have a lanceolate shape and a natural sheen that will captivate you. There is also something imposing about the size of its leaves that has made it one of my favourite Alocasia varieties.
If you take care of a couple of details, you will find that it is a perfect plant to have indoors and that it is not difficult to care for. Pay attention to all the points we explain in this brief Alocasia amazonica care guide and unleash its lush, natural beauty.
Amazonian Alocasia Curiosities
- Although its name might suggest otherwise, the Alocasia amazonica is a plant native to Southeast Asia.
- This plant is also known as Elephant's Ear or African Mask.
- It is a perennial plant, i.e. it has a life cycle of more than 2 years as long as you take good care of it.
- The alocasias are characterised by an underground rhizome, which is a thick root that functions as a reservoir of nutrients. From this rhizome the leaves and flowers grow.
- It can reach up to 60 cm or more in height, provided it has enough space for its roots to develop. It can also get very bushy and reach up to 60 cm in width.
- For this plant the most crucial aspect to ensure its growth and success is humidity.
- Alocasia amazonica has the ability to flower, although it rarely does. The flower (which is actually a bract) is similar to the flowers of the peace lily although a little more bulbous, which is not surprising as both belong to the same family, the Araceae.
- It is a poisonous plant. It has a compound called calcium oxalate which causes respiratory problems. Keep it away from small children and pets that may bite it.
How to care for Alocasia amazonica
The Alocasia amazonica loves light. It prefers well-lit environments but never direct sunlight. Remember that it comes from a tropical forest, where it is protected by the tallest and leafiest trees, so try to keep it in semi-shade. To ensure that it grows properly, turn it from time to time to avoid having all the leaves facing the same direction. This will make it grow evenly and look bushier.
Alocasisas like to have a moist substrate, but not waterlogged. It is best to water in the morning, so that they dry out during the day and have time to drain the water from the roots. You should water generously in spring, but start to reduce the frequency and amount of watering around autumn and winter, as these seasons are more prone to excess moisture rotting the rhizome. In these seasons, allow the substrate to dry out between waterings.
Elephant's ear is a tropical plant, so if it is exposed to too low temperatures it can die or at best go into dormancy. Avoid temperatures below 18°C. In winter it is best to keep it indoors, where it can receive a stable, warm temperature.
Your alocasia requires a moist environment to grow happy, contented and with lots of shiny leaves. For them you can spray the leaves with fresh water a couple of times a week and keep it grouped with other plants, as having it with its green friends will create a bubble of humidity in the area. Another trick is to place it on a plate full of pebbles, in which you put a little water. The aim is for the heat to evaporate the water, without it touching the roots. It is also advisable to keep it away from the radiator and/or air conditioning, so that it is not robbed of humidity.
Substrate and Fertilisers
This plant is not too fussy about the type of substrate you provide. A mixture of universal organic compost, with a little peat and some sand to facilitate drainage will do very well. It is important to put a layer of pieces of terracotta, pebbles or similar to allow excess water from watering to drain away.
As for fertiliser, you should fertilise in spring and summer, every 3 weeks. You can use a balanced NPK fertiliser (you can read more about fertilisers in this article). Avoid fertilising in winter, which is its dormant period.
Pruning, Transplanting and Propagation
Never prune your alocasia, there is no need. Leaves that are yellow, burnt or decayed can easily be removed with a little tug. You can repot your plant every 2 years, if possible at the end of February. By doing this in early spring it will have time to grow and expand in its new pot. Propagation can be done by dividing the rhizome, which is a delicate operation best left to professionals. Pay attention to the possible offspring that may grow at the base of the plant, as these can be transplanted without too much trouble.
What I like most about this plant is that it is very striking, it can become the focal point of any space, but it is not as large or invasive as Monstera, which will spread as much as it is allowed to. Amazonian Alocasia has a lot of visual impact, but retains form and restraint. It is an excellent addition to your houseplant collection.
Dedicated to creating an army of cacti, succulents, poodles and cats to help me conquer the world. In the little free time I have left, I play, write and dance.