With broad arrow-shaped leaves, evident white veins, and wavy margins, the Alocasia Elephant Ear plant (Alocasia amazonica) makes a beautiful decorative houseplant. The Alocasia amazonica is a tropical flowering plant that thrives indoors and is also known as the African mask plant. In medium-bright rooms or partial shade, the huge glossy dark green leaves make a strong impression.
The enormous leafy foliage of Alocasia elephant ear plants is well-known. The Alocasia African mask, a larger version of the compact Alocasia amazonica ‘Polly,’ has the same characteristics as an indoor plant. For indoor growing of the Alocasia elephant ear plant, this article is a comprehensive care guide. You’ll find valuable advice on treating problems with Alocasia amazonica plants at the conclusion of the article.
How to Care for Alocasia Amazonica (Elephant Ear Plant)
Grow potted houseplants in bright indirect light to look after Alocasia elephant ear plants. When the top layer of soil is dry, water African mask plants. Between 65°F and 80°F (18°C and 26°C), Alocasia amazonica flourishes in moderate humidity. During the growing season, fertilize every two weeks.
Alocasia Elephant Ear Plant Facts
The African mask plant, also known as Alocasia amazonica, is a perennial hybrid tropical plant in the Araceae family. The wide-leafed plants grow on tropical forest floors in the plant’s natural habitat, which is subtropical and tropical climates. The plant’s giant triangular leaves may grow to be as tall as it is.
The gorgeous plant isn’t from South America, despite having the scientific name Alocasia amazonica. In the jungles of Southeast Asia, Alocasia plants grow wild. The Alocasia amazonica hybrid cultivar is said to have originated in a Miami nursery. The unusually-shaped large green leaves are the source of its popular names, such as ‘elephant ears’ and ‘African mask.
Alocasia amazonica, which grows up to 2 feet (0.6 meters) tall indoors, is a fast-growing plant. Its long-lived arrow leaves, which may grow up to 2 feet (60 cm), are also evergreen. Its arrowhead foliage may turn purple-green in color, and the leaves are glossy and green with prominent white veins.
USDA zones 10 through 12 are home to Alocasia elephant ear plants. In temperate climates, the rhizomes or tuberous roots aren’t cold-hardy, so the plant won’t survive outdoors. Indoors in bright conditions and above-average humidity, you may easily grow African mask plants.
Alocasia Elephant Ear Plant (Alocasia Amazonica) Flowers
The flowering plant Alocasia amazonica, which bloom in tropical conditions, is known as the African mask plant. Alocasia plants, like other aroids, produce white spathe-like blooms that look like peace lily blooms. The flowering spadix of these Alocasia flowers is surrounded by a beautiful leaf.
Only ideal growing conditions allow Alocasia elephant ear plants to bloom. As a result, they don’t flower indoors very often, if ever. However, the modest little blossoms are no match for the beauty of the huge broad-leaved leaves.
Alocasia Amazonica (Elephant Ear Plant) Care Guide
If you take care of it, the Alocasia elephant ear plant may thrive indoors. Adequate light, adequate humidity, and adequate watering are the three most important care requirements for Alocasia plants to survive. In order for the plant’s rhizome roots to survive in damp soil, it’s important to limit overwatering. Let’s examine how to care for Alocasia African mask plants at home in more depth.
Alocasia African Mask Light Requirements
The bright light of day is best for the Alocasia elephant ear plant, which should be shielded from direct sunlight. The leaves stay dark green and have prominent veins because to the abundant light. African mask plants prefer to grow in the brightest area possible, ideally facing east or west.
In low light, Alocasia elephant ear plants don’t thrive. In the tropical forests, Alocasia plants thrived in dappled light. The foliage of leathery leaves may be damaged by direct sunlight, despite their appearance. The leaves may become pale and lose their color if there is too much sunlight.
The shade-survived alocasia elephant ear plants are not the same species. The leaves may fade and die as a result of growing in dark environments. Move the plant to a brighter location if you see that the leaves are drooping and yellowing.
The Best Soil for Elephant Ear Plant (Alocasia Amazonica)
Loose, porous soil with excellent drainage is ideal for growing African mask plants. For an Alocasia potting mix, combine one part peat moss, one part potting soil, and one part perlite. This fast-draining soil mix maintains just enough moisture without risk of root rot and is a good candidate for houseplant soil.
Avoid thick potting soil when caring for an Alocasia elephant ear plant. Peat moss adds essential nutrients to the soil while loosening it up. Perlite is also a good additive to houseplant potting soil since it aerates the mix and drains quickly. Between wateringings, the soil should be porous enough to dry out somewhat.
Roots should not decay if the soil has quick drainage. Alocasia potting soil isn’t draining well for the following reasons:
- Water can’t drain freely because the Alocasia amazonica may be rootbound.
- Water begins pooling on the soil’s surface as the potting soil becomes compacted.
- The soil contains too much clay, so you’ll need to add peat moss and perlite to it.
How to Water Alocasia Elephant Ear Plant
When the surface layer of soil dries, water your elephant ear plant as often as you can. Water the Alocasia plant as frequently as once a week in the summer. Watering the plant every two to three weeks in the winter is usually sufficient. When the top 1” (2.5 cm) of soil is dry, usually only water the African mask plant. All you have to do is put your finger in the dirt. It’s time to water the plant if the top layer is bone dry. Wait a few days before checking again if there is still some moisture.
Just enough water to keep the Alocasia soil moist, not wet or saturated. This plant prefers little, frequent watering. When you flood the soil after watering, most houseplants thrive. That might, however, lead to root rot with Alocasia plants. Therefore, only water the soil when it is partially dry before providing enough water to reach the roots.
It is permissible to water the soil only slightly during the winter. While Alocasia amazonica isn’t drought tolerant, it can weather dry spells.
Temperature Requirements for Growing Alocasia Amazonica at Home
Alocasia elephant ear plants flourish in warm indoor conditions. Try to avoid sudden temperature changes and maintain the indoor temperature between 65°F and 80°F (18°C and 26°C). The Alocasia should grow well in most cases if you feel comfortable—not too hot or too chilly.
Growth slows and becomes dormant at temperatures below 55°F (12°C). Leaf drop is more likely to occur in cold temperatures. As it warms up, the Alocasia plant should begin to sprout again.
Avoiding temperature extremes is the best way to care for the Alocasia elephant ear plant. Avoid drafts from doors or windows in the summer, and keep the Alocasia pot away from AC units. Place the plant pot away from hot air vents and radiators in the winter.
Humidity Requirements for Alocasia African Mask Plant Indoors
To thrive indoors, Alocasia Amazonica requires at least 50% humidity. Misting the leaves every few days, placing the pot on a pebble and water tray, or using a humidifier is one way to increase room humidity. The leaves avoid acquiring crisp brown sections due to abundant air moisture. Alocasia elephant ear plants can be humidified in a variety of ways.
Mist the leaves—Fill a spray bottle with tap water that has been filtered. Every other day, spray the leaves lightly with water, but don’t let them get too wet.
Group houseplants—To encourage fast growth, grow houseplants together in a humid environment.
Pebble tray—On a tray, layer decorative stones and half-fill it with water. So that the evaporating moisture humidifies the African mask plant, put the Alocasia pot on the pebbles.
Room humidifier—Using a humidifier to maintain at least 50% humidity levels will help boost humidity.
Fertilizer for Alocasia Elephant Ear Plant
During the growing season, the Alocasia elephant ear plant benefits from fortnightly fertilization. Heavy feeders are common in plants in the Alocasia genus. To supplement nutrients for houseplants, use a diluted balanced fertilizer. From spring through the end of August, apply fertilizer every two weeks.
It’s worth keeping in mind that mineral salts may accumulate in potting soil. Flushing the soil every two to three months is a wise strategy. To eliminate excess nutrients, simply run warm water through the soil for a few minutes.
Pruning Alocasia Amazonica Houseplants
Pruning is not required for the Alocasia elephant ear plant. Pruning Alocasia foliage is normally done to eliminate damaged, rotting, or dead leaves. Tuberous roots produce straight stems on the plants. Snip off the leaf stems near the soil line to prune Alocasia plants.
Repotting Alocasia Elephant Ear Plants
Every spring, Alocasia elephant ear plants need to be repotted because they grow quickly. Roots have more room to develop when repotting Alocasia plants in a bigger pot. At the same time, check for signs of deterioration in the plant’s roots and refresh the potting soil. When repotting Alocasia elephant ear plants, here are some helpful hints:
- Choose a bigger pot than the current one, either one or two sizes.
- Always keep the plant in the same height as its predecessor in a fresh pot.
- Brown or mushy roots should be trimmed away.
- To promote healthy development and reduce the incidence of disease, always use appropriate fresh potting soil.
- Divide the rhizome roots using the repotting method, and then grow the plant.
How to Propagate Alocasia Amazonica
Split the roots of the Alocasia elephant ear plant to propagate it. Small offsets from the tuberous roots can be easily distinguished from the mother plant. You may grow new plants by planting these babies directly into fresh soil. Remove the root ball from the container gently to propagate African mask plants.
Remove any remaining plant debris from the rhizome. Look for little offsets and gently move them away from the main root. Individual pots with fresh, moist potting soil should be used to grow the original plant and the smaller propagated plants.
Is Alocasia Amazonica (Elephant Ear Plant) Toxic?
Cats, dogs, and other animals are poisonous to the Alocasia elephant ear plant. Alocasia plant species, according to the ASPCA, include insoluble calcium oxalates. Oral discomfort, swelling, huge drooling, and vomiting may occur if you consume plant parts.
Pests Affecting Alocasia Amazonica Growth
Alocasia elephant ear plants can be infested with red spider mites and common spider mites. Using a neem oil solution, you can get rid of mites. In addition, add 2 tsp. 1 tsp. of neem oil Fill a spray bottle with one quart (1 l) of lukewarm water and add liquid Castile soap. Spray the natural pesticide on the plant’s foliage thoroughly andshake it well.
It’s important to understand how to recognize the signs of houseplant pests in order to properly care for Alocasia elephant ear plants. The thin silky strands that dangle from leaves are used to identify spider mites. If you have a more severe spider mite infestation, webbing on leaves and stems may be visible.
Diseases Affecting Alocasia Amazonica Growth
Root rot is the most common problem afflicting the Alocasia elephant ear plant. When tubers are placed in moist, soggy soil, roots begin to degrade. Fungal diseases attack the roots and kill the plant if the damp soil is not properly managed.
Proper watering is the best way to prevent root rot in your tropical plants. Root damage is usually extensive by the time signs of root rot appear on the plant’s stems and leaves.
Stems near the plant’s roots frequently blacken and soften. One of the reasons why African mask plant leaves turn yellow is root rot. Repotting an Alocasia plant in a new potting mix is the finest method to restore it after it has experienced root rot. Any portion of the root with signs of decay should be removed or cut off. It may be difficult to rescue Alocasia plants with rotting roots in severe situations.
Alocasia Amazonica (Elephant Ear Plant) Care — FAQ
The Alocasia elephant ear plant is very easy to grow. The African mask plant thrives indoors in most cases with some extra humidity, bright light, and typical room temperatures. The leaves may drop and lose their shine if a few problems arise.
Do Alocasia elephant ear plants die in winter?
In the winter, Alocasia plant species go dormant and stop producing. The leaves die back due to cold weather and dry soil. Nonetheless, it should reroot in the spring if you just water it occasionally and the potting soil is slightly damp.
How do I care for Alocasia elephant ear plants in winter?
It’s important to avoid watering the Alocasia plants during their dormant season in the winter. Fungal root infections may be seen in colder or wetter conditions. Additionally, if you reside in USDA zones 9 and below, you shouldn’t leave a potted Alocasia elephant ear plant outside during winter.
Why are my Alocasia amazonica leaves yellowing?
The reason for African mask plants’ yellow leaves is frequently watering problems. Nutrient absorption is hampered by overly dry soil or a wet potting mixture. The glossy dark green color of the leaves will fade gradually.
Why are my Alocasia amazonica leaves turning brown?
If humidity is not present, the brown tips or spots on alocasia elephant ear plants develop. Increase humidity by misting the arrowhead leaves daily to prevent more brown, crispy patches on the leaves. To improve the plant’s look, you may trim off its brown tips.
Why are my Alocasia African mask plant leaves drooping?
Alocasia foliage withers and droops as a result of several care problems. Parched soil, excessively wet soil, insufficient light, a pest problem, or a lack of nutrients are the most common reasons for a pestsproblem. You must identify the source of your plant’s poor development in order to help it recover.
The Alocasia plant may need watering and more humidity, for example, dry soil, brown tips, and drooping growth. Moving the plant to a brighter location could revitalize its growth if the potting soil is moist and the plant is in the shade.
How do you revive an Alocasia plant?
Resolve the underlying problem to bring an elephant ear plant back to life. Drench the plant’s roots and water half of the potting mix every day if the soil is excessively dry. Repotting the Alocasia plant may be required in cases of root rot or waterlogged soil. You may need to cut your losses and throw away the dying plant if the roots have substantial decay.