Alocasia ‘Polly’ Care: How to Grow Alocasia Amazonica ‘Polly’ (African Mask Plant)

An evergreen tropical perennial houseplant with beautiful dark green, arrow-shaped leaves and lobed, wavy margins, the Alocasia amazonica ‘Polly,’ or African Mask plant is a striking choice. Alocasia ‘Polly’ has glossy green leaves that contrast with the creamy-white veins, which is a distinctive feature. Alocasia amazonica ‘Polly’ has spathe flowers that are similar to calla lilies and is commonly known as the Amazon Elephant Ear.

Houseplants such as Alocasia “Polly” have compact growth and are simple to maintain indoors. The unique triangular leaves are the most distinguishing feature of this unusual houseplant. It seldom blooms indoors, despite the fact that it grows African mask plant. The most common use for African Mask plants is their lovely leaves. This is a full care guide for the Alocasia amazonica ‘Polly,’ with useful advice on keeping the stunning perennial houseplant thriving indoors at the end of the article.

How to Care for Alocasia Amazonica ‘Polly’

Alocasia ‘Polly’ thrives in a loose, rich potting medium with excellent drainage and thrives best in bright indirect light. When the top 1″ (2.5 cm) of soil is dry, water the African Mask plant and mist the wide leaves to boost humidity. During the growing season, fertilize every month and keep temperatures between 65°F and 80°F (18°C and 27°C).

Alocasia Polly Plant Facts

The African Mask plant and Elephant Ears are two names for the same cultivar of Alocasia amazonica. Alocasia ‘Polly’ is believed to be a cross between Alocasia watsoniana and Alocasia sanderiana, two different species. It’s unknown where this Alocasia hybrid came from, despite the cultivar being labeled amazonica.

The magnificent glossy arrowhead leaves with large protruding silvery-green or white veins make Alocasia ‘Polly’ plants desirable. They grow up to 2 feet (0.6 meters) tall and have a similar spread. The African Mask plant, Elephant Ears, and Kris plant are all common names for the Alocasia amazonica ‘Polly.’

The qualities of triangular leaves are referred to by these names. The leaves of the Alocasia appear to be elephant ears or a traditional African mask, for example. The wavy blade of a kris or Kalis dagger inspired the name Kris plant.

African Mask Plant (Alocasia Amazonica) Flowers 

Peace lilies or calla lilies bloom on Alocasia amazonica ‘Polly,’ which looks a lot like them. The flowering spadix of the African Mask plant resembles a lengthy spike. The flowering spike is surrounded by a spathe, or colorful leaf-like bract. The spathe of African Mask flowers is light green and cream to yellow.

They seldom bloom indoors, despite the fact that Alocasia amazonica ‘Polly’ is a tropical blooming plant. The blossoms, on the other hand, are small and lacklustrious, and the plant’s huge arrowhead leaves are more beautiful.

Alocasia Polly Growth Rate

Alocasia plants are fast-growing, evergreen perennial plants that grow in perfect conditions. Younger plants have a slower growth rate, whereas bigger plants may produce one or two additional leaves each month. The Alocasia ‘Polly’ has a dormant period, as do other species of Alocasia.

The leaves will fade and die during this period. The plants, on the other hand, reenergize and regrow new leaves after this period.

Alocasia Amazonica’ Polly’ Care Guide 

Let’s take a closer look at how to care for an African Mask plant (Alocasia amazonica ‘Polly’) in your home.

Alocasia ‘Polly’ Light Needs

Alocasia amazonica ‘Polly’ needs a lot of bright indirect light to succeed indoors. Make sure you give it enough of it. To avoid scorching the leaves, it is critical to keep the Polly plant away from direct sunlight. Also, keep Alocasia ‘Polly’ plants out of dark rooms and in constant shade. You’ll lose the vibrant leaf colors as growth slows.

Elephant’s Ears plants grow in tropical woods that are beneath the tree canopy. Despite their leathery appearance and durability, Alocasia leaves may burn when exposed to direct sunlight. Near a bright window is the best location to grow Alocasia ‘Polly’ plants. However, if the window faces south or west, a sheer curtain should be placed over the tropical plant.

African Mask plants are not low-light plants, despite the fact that they grow on the forest floor. The foliage loses its color and the plant dies as a result of insufficient light. The African Mask plant will struggle to grow and develop leaf discoloration even if there is some light.

The Best Soil for African Mask Plant

A well-draining, aerated potting mix is the best soil for Alocasia amazonica ‘Polly.’ Regular houseplant soil, peat moss, and perlite may all be combined to make a mixture. A porous, rich growing medium that retains some moisture yet allows fast drainage of excess water is created by combining these soil components.

The soil mix is one of the most important aspects when caring for African Mask plants. Peat moss acts as a bridge between decaying organic matter and the forest floor. Perlite, coarse horticultural sand, bark shavings, or charcoal are all examples of amendments that help improve drainage.

Remember that Alocasia ‘Polly’ plants prefer moist soil but cannot tolerate soggy soil. As a result, the potting soil should be watered enough to partially dry between watering. The following are signs that the soil is too thick or weighs too much:

  • The soil lets water work slowly through it.
  • On the surface of the soil, water puddles.
  • Overwatering may be seen on the Alocasia ‘Polly,’ which includes drooping leaves and yellowing leaves.

In these situations, it’s preferable to amend the potting soil with perlite or gravel.

How to Water Alocasia ‘Polly’ 

An Alocasia ‘Polly’ plant should be watered enough to keep its rootystems moist on a regular basis. Watering frequently with small amounts of water is the optimum watering technique. Before watering, make sure the top 1 in. (2.5 cm) of soil is dry. The amount of time it takes for the top layer of soil to dry determines how often it is watered. You never overwater your houseplants by letting the soil dry before watering. Overwatering may harm the Alocasia plant by rotting the roots. The roots will not get enough moisture if you do not water sufficiently, hence the plant wilts.

When you drench the soil between watering, most houseplants flourish. That may, however, lead to root rot with Alocasia plants. As a result, only water the soil until it is mostly dry before providing enough water to reach the roots. On watering African Mask plants, here are a few tips:

  • Never water on a set schedule unless the soil is dry.
  • To ensure the soil is always moist, water just a little and often.
  • Since the plant growth becomes dormant in the winter, only water Alocasia ‘Polly’ on rare occasions.
  • When the plant goes dormant, do not water it. All you have to do during dormancy is keep the soil damp.

Temperature Requirements to Grow Alocasia ‘Polly’ at Home

The warm climate of Africa suits African Mask plants. Healthy growth is usually aided by room temperatures of 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C). The plant can halt growing as it enters dormancy if the room temperature drops below 60°F (15°C). The Alocasia ‘Polly’ will begin to shed leaves if the temperature drops too low.

It’s important to avoid temperature fluctuations while growing any type of Alocasia plant. Keep the elephant’s ears plant, which is available in the winter, in a warm room but not near a hot radiator. Also, ensure that the plant isn’t harmed by cold breezes from windows. Make sure the plant isn’t exposed to air-conditioning flow in the summer.

An Alocasia ‘Polly’ plant will grow fast when it is growing in warm, bright conditions. Throughout the warm summer months, you may also bring potted tropical houseplants outdoors. In zones 10 through 12, Alocasia amazonica thrives in high humidity and grows outdoors. Bring a potted ‘Polly’ plant indoors when the temperature drops below 65°F (18°C) if you want to keep it outside during the summer.

Humidity Needs for Alocasia Polly Houseplants

High humidity requirements apply to Alocasia amazonica ‘Polly.’ The glossy leaves of African Mask plants may become dry and crunchy when grown in too dry household air. Misting the leaves with filtered tap water at least twice a week will increase humidity. The ideal environment for fast, healthy Alocasia plant development is warm, humid conditions indoors. For maintaining indoor humidity levels for growing Alocasia plants, here are a few more useful suggestions:

  • Pebble tray—Pour water halfway up the pebbles in a large tray, then lay a layer of ornamental pebbles on top. On top of the pebbles layer, position your potted African Mask plant. Your tropical plant will become humidified as the water evaporates.
  • Humidifier—To raise humidity levels to at least 50%, use a humidifier in each room.
  • Grow plants together—To create a humid environment and promote healthy growth, put your houseplants together.

The Best Fertilizer for Growing African Mask Plants (Alocasia Amazonica)

During the growing season, African Mask plants require fertilization. Feed the plant twice to four weeks with a diluted, balanced houseplant fertilizer. From spring through the end of August, fertilizing Alocasia ‘Polly’ plants encourages quick development. In the summer, your Amazon “elephant ears” plants should create a leaf every month.

It’s difficult to fertilize tropical houseplants. Mineral salts can accumulate in the soil and harm roots. As a result, it’s a good idea to mix half-strength liquid fertilizer. Slow-release fertilizer, which lasts for several months, is another option. Using a natural houseplant fertilizer is usually the best option. All of the minerals and nutrients that fast-growing plants need are present in organic fertilizers. You can also avoid nutrient burn by not using chemical fertilizers.

Repotting Elephant Ear Plants (Alocasia Amazonica)

Every year, you may have to repot an Alocasia amazonica “Polly” plant. When the Amazon Elephant Ear plant is growing vigorously in the spring, it’s the best time to transfer it. Repotting allows you to replenish the potting soil and examine the rhizome roots for signs of wear.

Always pick a one-size-up pot for repotting an Alocasia ‘Polly’ plant. This allows the roots to develop more freely. It’s also a good idea to replace the pots with a fresh potting soil.

Remove the plant from its container before repotting it. Remove all of the roots’ surplus dirt. Fill the pot halfway with a suitable potting soil. Plant the Alocasia amazonica plant at the same height as before, with the roots in a pot. Soil and water should be thoroughly filled into the remaining space.

Pruning Alocasia ‘Polly’ Houseplants

African Mask plants should only be trimmed to remove dead or damaged leaves. All you have to do is cut off the old leaf at the stem’s base with clean pruning shears. Pruning has no effect on plant growth because Alocasia amazonica plants are fast growers.

Propagating Alocasia Amazonica ‘Polly’

Root division is the optimum technique to spread Alocasia ‘Polly’ plants. You may remove the mother plant’s rhizome roots and replant them in a fresh pot. Propagate Polly plants in the spring for optimum results. Remove the plant from its pot and remove soil from the roots to propagate Alocasia ‘Polly.’

Separate offsets from the root of the plant by looking for them around the base. Until the roots appear, replant the offsets of the Alocasia in fresh potting soil and maintain it in a warm, humid environment. After that, treat the plant as you would any other.

Pests that Affect Alocasia ‘Polly’ Plants

Potted Alocasia ‘Polly’ plants are frequently infested with spider mites. For the little houseplant pests, use a neem oil solution. 2 teaspoons of mixer is the amount to use. 1 tsp. Neem oil is combined with In a spray bottle, mix a quart (1 l) of warm water with liquid dish soap. To kill spider mites, liberally spray both sides of the foliage with the natural bug solution.

Spider mites are a destructive plant pest that is difficult to see, but they can harm your plant if you do not remove them. Spider mites can also spread quickly to other houseplants.

Disease Problems with African Mask Plants

The growth of the African Mask plant may be affected by root rot. If you always water Alocasia plants properly, however, root rot is avoidable. Roots rot and decay due to excessively wet soil. The roots of the plant are ultimately irreversibly harmed as a result.

Black patches at the base of the plant’s roots and leaves are symptoms of root rot on Alocasia ‘Polly’ plants. It’s usually too late to save a dying Alocasia plant at this point. For Alocasia and other tropical houseplants, here are a few ways to prevent root rot:

  • Make sure the soil is not compacted and drains well at all times.
  • Water houseplants are only watered as frequently as the top layer of soil.
  • When watering plants is in a dormant state, avoid watering them too often.

Are Alocasia ‘Polly’ Plants Toxic?

Cats and dogs should not eat Alocasia amazonica ‘Polly.’ If dogs or cats consume any of the plant material, the ASPCA claims that “Elephant’s Ear” plants may cause mouth irritation and pain. Drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing are some of the symptoms of Alocasia ‘Polly’ poisoning.

Humans should avoid African Mask plants as well. Burning or blistering in the mouth and throat, discomfort when swallowing, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are all symptoms that may occur after ingesting the leaves.

FAQs About Alocasia ‘Polly’ Care

You should be aware of a few issues when caring for Alocasia amazonica plants, despite the fact that they are generally easy to care for.

My Alocasia ‘Polly’ seems to be dying, what should I do?

If your Alocasia ‘Polly’ plant is in a dormancy period, it may seem to be dying. The plant has a hiccup in its growth until the weather gets cold or the soil becomes dry. Leaves may start to brown and fall off throughout this period. The plant, on the other hand, should come back to life in the spring.

Other factors that influence plant development include growing conditions. Roots rot and your plant may die if the soil is soggy. If the ‘Polly’ plant has been in darkness for too long, it might begin to perish.

What are brown spots on African mask plant leaves?

Brown spots on Alocasia ‘Polly’ plant leaves are often due to a lack of humidity. As a result, daily misting of the Alocasia plant’s leaves and ensuring that it receives adequate but not excessive water are critical to increasing humidity.

Why Alocasia Amazonica leaves turning yellow?

Yellowing leaves are usually caused by watering problems. Leaves can turn yellow due to too much water, an overly damp soil, or a dry potting mix. Excessive sunlight is another cause of yellow Alocasia plant leaves.

How long does Alocasia ‘Polly’ dormancy last for?

During the winter, Alocasia amazonica ‘Polly’ goes dormant. Growth ceases in the autumn, and the leaves may fall away until spring. At this time, you should keep the earth damp yet refrain from watering or fertilizing the plant. In the spring, the Alocasia ‘Polly’ plant should begin to grow.

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